Ayoola Dominic, co-founder, Koolboks, in this interview with TAIWO HASSAN, speaks on the inevitability of his product to the micro small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs), especially with regard to frozen food busines
Tell us about Koolboks refrigerating system and its merits? Some key major problems we have in Africa is, number one; wastage of food and medications due to lack of refrigeration and storage facilities. So today in Africa, we have three significant challenges. One; 40 per cent of food is wasted in emerging markets; also, we have about five out of every ten patients that get to die due to vaccine spoilage. Two, we know that affording a refrigerator is usually expensive and when you have it, there is no electricity. Over 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa today lack access to electricity and therefore lack access to refrigeration. And when they even have refrigeration, the cost of effectively owning one is usually an uneasy task. Because after getting a refrigerator, they typically have to get a generator and then you start buying fuel to be able to run your refrigerator. Thirdly, of course, we are talking of the environment; most of the refrigerants that are being used are dangerous refrigerants. They have been banned elsewhere, and these are 80,000 times more dangerous than carbon, but that is what still exists in African countries. So what we have done is providing the solution using sun and water which is very cheap. We make it a pay-as-go to make it easy for individuals and shop owners to pay on monthly, weekly or daily basis. You can pay as low as N12,000 weekly or monthly. Our mission is to make cooling affordable and accessible to everyone that needs it and to stimulate small-scale businesses in Nigeria.
What are the other benefits of Koolboks to Nigerians?
Koolboks freezers come with four LED bulbs and four charging points, which means that whether or not you have public power, generator or not, Koolboks system is one that powers your house with light and you at the same time charge your phones. So it provides light, energy and refrigeration in a single unit.
That also means providing your family all these from natural energy source which is not diluted. It is like using the sun and water to power your home which you do not have to pay for. We give you the opportunity to pay for it every month for the next 24 months; so what else do you need? God has giving you sun and you have water in the well which is natural. The value that comes with Koolboks is immeasurable for family and for small business owners who can sell all manners of drinks without having to sweat to get a generator and all that. All we are doing is to empower struggling families and others.
They shouldn’t go beyond that temperature for you to be able to sell your foods fresh and clean or you poison people generally, so the whole idea is for us to remotely monitor the temperature of the fridge. It’s just like someone or kidney that requires oxygen at a particular rate and you know what it means when he does not get it. Or what it means when a frozen food dealer or vaccine preserver go off power for four or five hours? They become understandably worried because they could lose a lot in terms of spoilage. That is why we monitor the temperature of the refrigerators and also monitor …….