In emerging markets, much of the population has limited access to electricity and at the same time have limited purchasing power. Accessibility is also about price, and a product needs to be affordable enough for the larger part of the population, without compromising on quality for users living in urban areas or more rural areas. In an exclusive presentation at Department of Design, SolaWorks reveals how their product is affordable, effective and designed for South African and Southern African markets.
How can your solar products be beneficial to South Africans?
A significant percentage of South Africans are still without power, a far larger part of the population has access to power but is depending on an unreliable supply. With good product design in terms of functionality as well as local support this can be solved with solar products.
How can the Netherlands learn from challenges that South Africa faces?
The pressure for a good combination of quality and price is high in South Africa, which forces product designers to keep cost low. In the Netherlands, the pressure on cost is lower, but a good product that is affordable and beats (expensive) competition will work in the Netherlands just as well as in South Africa. The Dutch should pay more attention to this combination and improve the current offerings.
What do you hope to accomplish in Department of Design?
SolarWorks! aims to extend its network of organisations and companies to include those that want to collaborate, as the products have been specifically designed for emerging markets with a focus on South(ern) Africa.