Leveraging Data Insights to Scale Off-Grid Solar Businesses

Data insights can play a powerful role in the off-grid solar distribution sector. At Angaza, we leverage data in two primary ways to help businesses grow. First and foremost, we provide data analytics that enable our customers to gain insight into their active loan portfolio, client base, product offerings and overall operations, allowing them to make informed decisions with confidence. More recently, we have begun to tap into this same wealth of data to help investors in the sector more efficiently deploy debt capital to scaling distributors through the SIMA Angaza Distributor Financing Fund.

Unlocking Valuable Insights on the Angaza Platform
When distributors use the Angaza platform and mobile app to collect and manage valuable client, payment and product information, they gain access to a number of features that extract intelligence from the data. In order to turn this data into actionable insights, it is imperative to make it easy to understand and relevant. That’s why Angaza’s online platform, the Hub, features interactive, visual dashboards that provide overview reports of a distributor’s sales, payments, and client accounts.

With the Sales Dashboard on the Angaza Hub, distributors can quickly analyze sales trends and patterns.

By using the Sales Dashboard, distributors can view the number of sales made over a certain time period and filter by responsible sales agents. With this information, they can recognize sales trends and discern how each sales agent is faring compared to others week by week while providing support to improve performance where needed. Distributors can also analyze which products their team has registered, or sold, to understand how the different products in their portfolio perform within their client base. This means that distributors can accurately measure the popularity of specific products and back up anecdotal evidence from agents on the ground with data, thereby informing product inventory and marketing decisions. Finally, by quickly comparing sales across different loan offerings, managers can gain insight into what financing options resonate with the market they serve.

In the world of pay-as-you-go (PAYG) distribution, making a sale is just the beginning of a business’s relationship with a client. Whether selling on a rent-to-own or perpetual lease billing model, efficient payment collection is essential for any PAYG business. Payment data can shed light on what is working well and where distributors might employ a different strategy to strengthen their portfolio performance. Distributors using the Angaza Hub’s Collections Dashboard can view payment trends over time, including the number of client accounts that are behind on payment and the outstanding balance for such accounts. Because distributors can break down these client accounts by sales agents, they can identify top performers and those who may need support and guidance to improve payment collection. 

The Collections Dashboard on the Angaza Hub enables distributors to view the business impact of their payment collection efforts. 

Beyond the Sales and Collections Dashboards, distributors can interact with their Angaza data on the Hub in many other useful ways, such as by examining an individual client’s payment history or analyzing product usage and health patterns. This type of information at a distributor’s fingertips can help them improve product and client support, for example. Clients with product errors are more likely to default on their loans, and timely client support boosts repayment rates. By accessing detailed product information to quickly identify issues with a product and provide targeted troubleshooting assistance for a client, distributors can improve client support and satisfaction. Furthermore, by identifying which clients have made consistent payments over time and paid for their products in full, distributors can offer additional life-changing products to these clients with lower risk. Thus, they can turn a one-time sale into a satisfied, repeat customer.

A Data-Driven Financing Fund for Distributors

With an abundance of impactful data on the Hub, we recognized an additional way to benefit distributors: utilize these insights to catalyze investment in the sector by de-risking working capital loans. As many distributors have cited a lack of access to funding as the number one barrier to growth, Angaza decided to join forces with SIMA to launch the SIMA Angaza Distributor Financing Fund (DFF), a data-driven investment fund for distributors.

With permission from interested Angaza customers, DFF leverages centralized, real-time data analytics from the Hub to support fund management. Using Angaza data, DFF assesses eligibility for funding, reduces the duration and complexity of due diligence, and monitors and reports on loans.

With the ability to access distributors’ business operations data via the Hub to evaluate prospective fund recipients’ business health and investment risks, the SIMA Angaza Distributor Financing Fund provides opportunities to distributors that have been traditionally overlooked for funding. 

Whether empowering distributors to make decisions for their business or enabling investors to provide much-needed access to funding, the power of data is undeniable. We believe at Angaza that data driven-insights will play a vital role in accelerating the growth of the off-grid energy sector and, ultimately, in increasing access to life-changing solar products in emerging markets.

Angaza is a GOGLA member and sponsor of the Off-Grid Forum & Expo 2020. Visit Angaza at booth #40 at the event in Nairobi, Kenya.

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