Beneficiary story of change by Odak Onyango, CEO – Wable Maji Safi Solution

 In the heart of Homabay County, nestled along the shores of Lake Victoria, Wable Maji Safi Solutions embarked on a mission to quench the thirst of their community with clean, safe drinking water. However, their journey began with humble roots, as they navigated the challenges of bootstrapping their startup and grappling with the stark reality of water scarcity in rural and urban areas.

“Our initial state of business was bootstrapping with our startup Wable Maji Safi solutions,” recalls the founder, reflecting on the early days of their venture. “We were more focused on the direct impact of providing clean and safe drinking water to our people living in rural and urban areas along the lake shores of Victoria.”

Figure 1: Residents of Thuku Kariuki fetching non-revenue water from Lake Victoria

Yet, amidst their noble intentions, Wable Maji Safi Solutions faced a formidable challenge: the collection of revenue on water. “The biggest challenge we faced was the collection of revenue on water,” the founder admits. “Local communities were not accustomed to paying for clean and safe drinking water services, compounded by a lack of investment and funds in water infrastructure.”

Driven by a deep-rooted commitment to leveraging their local water resources and technical expertise, Wable Maji Safi Solutions sought support to propel their innovation forward. “We were motivated to develop innovation that would propel our water resources as part of the blue economy sector,” the founder explains. “This motivated us to join the Viktoria R2C program to commercialize aspects of our innovation for positive growth and sustainability.”

 Through the R2C program anchored in the RISA fund, Wable Maji Safi Solutions gained invaluable insights and skills, ranging from fundraising to sales strategies and team building. “Key learnings included fundraising, sales techniques, effective team building, marketing, branding, IP registration, and networking,” the founder elaborates.

The R2C program became a catalyst for transformation, providing Wable Maji Safi Solutions with a comprehensive suite of resources and support tailored to their needs. “Nearly every resource within Viktoria’s scope was utilized to propel us to the next level of this long journey,” the founder acknowledges.

“We maximized this great opportunity to see our products out there serving our people effectively.”

Armed with newfound knowledge and skills, Wable Maji Safi Solutions wasted no time in applying them to their business endeavours. “For us, this was not an exercise inside a building but a real skill being applied as soon as we were outside,” the founder asserts. “We rebranded our product, implemented new marketing strategies, and negotiated contracts with confidence.”

Figure 2: Vallery Adhiambo of Wable Maji Safi Solutions showing Governor Gladys Wanga the MSafi online real-time dashboard application at the Africa Climate Summit 2023.

Digital tools became instrumental in their journey, as Wable Maji Safi Solutions embraced social media for marketing and utilized Excel for showcasing ROI and due diligence. “The use of social media in marketing, Excel for ROI calculations, due diligence, and IP were pivotal,”the founder notes.

The immediate results were tangible, as Wable Maji Safi Solutions found it easier to articulate their value proposition, secure funding, and expand their customer base. “It is now easier to talk about our product and add value, making it easier to fundraise and sell to customers,” the founder rejoices.

Figure 3: Wable Maji Safi Solutions containerized water kiosk arriving in Homabay.

The impact on their client base and service delivery was profound, with a staggering 120% increase in sales reflecting the efficacy of their newfound knowledge and tools. “The biggest impact has been reflected in the sales of our water,” the founder affirms. “Our ability to package our product services and messaging has transformed the way we engage with our customers.”

 Looking ahead, Wable Maji Safi Solutions exudes optimism, fuelled by their accelerated growth trajectory and newfound momentum. “We see ourselves owning over 50 water points in the next two years,” the founder projects. “Moving from startup to scale-up is majorly attributed to attending Viktoria’s R2C acceleration program, for which we are immensely thankful.”

Figure 4 : Governor Gladys Wanga at the opening of the Pier Market and Wable Maji Safi Solution water service in Homabay Town.

As the waves of change ripple outward, Wable Maji Safi Solutions stands as a beacon of hope, harnessing the power of innovation to transform lives and communities, one drop at a time.