This week was filled with big events. Beginning with Monday, we finally got our first 5 shellers. We immediately took this opportunity to take two of them to dealers and then the rest out to testing. The machines worked beautifully, with a few kinks in the design here and there.
On Wednesday, we opened our office! We had no power, which was a downside, but it was productive nonetheless, as we finished furnishing our office, with brochures, curtains, our door sign, etc.
On Thursday, our shipment of shellers not only left China, but we made our first sale! Actually, it’s our second sale, but it’s the first one since I’ve been here. I was a bit upset at first, as it was still in its testing phase and I wanted to make sure everything was perfect, but our customer loved it as it was. I think the greatest part of this sale though was that our product sold for nearly full price, AND our customer didn’t already have Phoenix Bike. So, she actually bought a bicycle just so she could use our machine, which I believe is saying a lot.
On Friday, we met with the Manager of Sales and Marketing of the Tanganyika Farmers Association (TFA). This was really eye-opening, as the discussion went from introducing our product to discussing how TFA sells its products and if we would be open to their approach if they decided to distribute our product and if we had the capacity to scale if they sold our product in all 11 branches across Tanzania. We will be continuing our conversation once we have registered as a company (which should be next week as the papers are already off to Dar for approval!).
And on Saturday, we finally had a heart-to-heart with Karam Engineering. From our conversation, I learned a lot about Karam Engineering’s relationship with Kickstart. Eight years ago, Karam started making Kickstart’s pumps, and it took two years for them to finally develop the perfect machine that could last. Since working with Kickstart, they have had no complaints in all their years. This aspect reflects highly on Karam Engineering, but it also says a lot about Kickstart…
As for next week, some places are now harvesting corn in Arusha, so we will be demonstrating our device wherever we go. Moreover, our 25 shellers will be ready, so I’m really looking forward to building our bicycle dealer network. And our company should be registered, so we can now get things moving towards actually generating the revenues.