OHROS helps solar company in Mozambique expand its horizons

08 May 2024 Consultancy.eu 5 min. read

OHROS Consulting Group, an international advisory firm specialized in the global energy and utility sector, sparked up a collaboration with Mozambican solar energy company Solarworks. The six-month project was aimed at helping Solarworks overcome key challenges and expand its horizons.

The collaboration was headed by Francisco Vassalo, consultant at OHROS Consulting Group, who worked together in Mozambique with the innovative solar power company. The goal was to help Solarworks expand its reach throughout the country.

“Access to energy has always been a particular area of interest for me, leading to my enjoyment of working in the industry. Africa, particularly Mozambique, has high potential for all types of energy, especially renewable energy,” says Vassalo.

OHROS helps solar company in Mozambique expand its horizons

Solarworks team members

In resource-rich Africa, there is huge potential for the energy sector – and Mozambique is no exception to that. Despite that, so many people still live without proper access to electricity owing to a lack of development.

“Solarworks contributes to many projects and developments in Mozambique, and I had the chance to participate in those,” added Vassalo. “There were different projects happening, from powering 100 houses with small systems to powering large health centers and school complexes, or selling solar TVs, or solar fridges so that people can create value from it and have a business around it.”

Mozambique is a very large country – and not just by European standards, but also when compared with its African neighbors. Its landmass and population put it moderately high on the list of largest countries on the continent.

“Mozambique is 10 times the size of a country like the Netherlands, with 32 million people, which makes it harder to create networks and reach everyone. For that reason, Solarworks is well spread across the country with many local shops, that allow it to be closer to the communities and provide support,” noted Vassalo.

In fact, it is estimated that only around 40% to 50% of the population of Mozambique has access to electricity. Access to the power grid is generally very poor.

“There are many schools, hospitals, and homes without access to electricity, contributing to a lack of knowledge and capacity in the country. It’s difficult for children to study, for hospitals to provide adequate care, and the lack of electricity significantly hinders development,” says Vassalo.

“I believe the best way to help is by building capacity and providing local people with knowledge … the best way to help is by training and assisting local people who will stay there and are the future of the country.”

OHROS helps solar company in Mozambique expand its horizons

Photo: Solarworks

Solarworks

And indeed, Solarworks has made it their mission to start to fix Mozambique’s huge energy problems. So far, the company has provided over 70,000 households with electricity by distributing solar home systems. The company is made up of 150 employees in Mozambique and Malawi. The company has also offered larger solutions to help power local businesses and schools.

“Their main goal is to give light and empowerment to the people of Mozambique, by selling different types of products and participating in different and complex projects. Their products go from a small system that can power 4 lamps to systems that can supply restaurants and local shops,” commented Vassalo.

Advisory services

OHROS Consulting Group provided critical support to Solarworks in a number of areas. The main goal was to help the company define a clear strategy, develop business cases, find new NGO partnerships, and find other ways to boost business development.

Vassalo supported the engineers in developing proposals, provided training related to new types of customers, and accompanied team members to projects to enhance the installation process and provide training.

As far the technical and on-the-ground side of the company, the Netherlands-headquartered consultancy also helped with training commercial and technical staff, developing new installation methods, and helping to create a dashboard to track new installations across the country.

“Part of the work was also to develop processes within a new and young team. From sales to installation, there was an unstructured way of working,” noted Vasssalo. “I trained the team on customer categorization and targeting, developed new sales and proposal tools, and implemented new processes for better management and efficiency.”

OHROS helps solar company in Mozambique expand its horizons

Solarworks team installing water pumps

Vassalo worked closely with the rest of the OHROS Consulting Group team, who provided critical support for the project. Focusing on asset management, Vassalo noted that Solarworks had a lot to gain from pinpointing ways they could create additional value.

“OHROS Consulting Group played a pivotal role, not only embracing the project wholeheartedly and supporting me with everything prior to the project, but also providing expertise during the project which helped me immensely to overcome some of the challenges I encountered at Solarworks,” added Vassalo.

“I had scheduled calls with the team here in the Netherlands, and we shared different ideas on how to tackle these challenges; their feedback was crucial. Additionally, the experience I gained in my work as a consultant over the years was key to better understanding these challenges and assisting the Solarworks team.”