Prakti Design

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Overview

Designing and producing affordable clean stoves to reduace air pollution abd fuel use

Overview

Headquarters: Bommiyarpalayam, Pondicherry, India
Established:  2008
Impact Areas: Product sales: Nepal, India, Haiti, Kenya Consulting services: Benin, Burkina Faso, Kazakhstan, Mauritania, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda
Type: For-Profit
Energy Sectors:
Business Model Types:
Staff Size:  25
Annual Budget: $300,000
Major Funders:  Self-funded
Awards: 2008: Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA) Special Achievement Award2009: Clinton Global Initiative Special keynote mention2011: Global Social Venture Competition-Runner-Up Social Impact Assessment Award, Sankalp India Social Business Plan Award

ABOUT

Prakti develops products for the basic energy needs of the bottom of the pyramid, and specializes in improved cooking stoves and fuels.

 

Energy Products/Services

  • Leo household woodstoves- single pot, double pot, double with chimney-
  • Leo household charcoal stoves
  • Orka institutional stoves

Target Market

  • Users of traditional cookstoves and open fires, initially in Haiti, India, Nepal, and Kenya, but eventually worldwide

Prakti Design

Revenue Streams

  • Sale of clean stoves

Value Proposition

  • Prakti Design is primarily a product developer, focused on improved cookstoves, which it supplies to partner distributor organizations.
  • However, as Prakti has grown it has expanded to integrate in-house manufacturing, and is now planning to play an active role in distribution through a packaged franchise system.
  • Prakti’s stoves reduce fuel consumption by 40% for household stoves and 80% for institutional stoves.

Problem Addressed

  • Extensive use of traditional cookstoves and open fires across the developing world, creating smoke which kills 1.9 million people every year.  Traditional cooking methods also use expensive and environmentally damaging amounts of fuel and hugely increase the workload of the women who have to find fuel and cook with them.

Where They Are Now

Impact to Date

  • 100,000 people are currently benefiting from Prakti stoves.
  • Prakti has developed a number of different stoves and consulted on stove development in several countries, primarily supporting the German aid agency GTZ.
  • In 2010, Prakti sold 5,000 household stoves and 100 institutional stoves.

Milestones

  • 2008: Prakti founded as a product design firm
  • 2009: Prakti developed first double burner woodstove in India
  • 2010: Chimney stoves introduced, product development for Haiti commenced
  • 2011: Prakti merged with its manufacturer

Growth Plan

  • 2012: Sell 100,000 stoves

How They Deliver

Product Sourcing & Design

  • Prakti’s founder previously spent 6 years at Motorola focused on consumer design for cell phones, and has since found that designing products for poor communities is quite similar to designing for rich consumers
  • Prakti has a team of industrial designers and mechanical engineers who identify customer needs, and iterate until they have a strong product
  • Prakti’s primary focus is product development and it uses other partners for distribution.
  • Prakti’s stoves are manufactured by a factory in Chennai which initially had an exclusive contract, and more recently has become officially part of Prakti.
  • As Prakti has begun selling outside India, they are seeking to set up production wherever they sell.
  • Prakti’s philosopy is to understand customer needs and then make the product as cheap as possible.

Distribution

  • Prakti is much more interested in product development than distribution, but has not yet found a strong distributor, so is still managing this element itsef.
  • Prakti initially tried to sell in South India, where it is based, but this was challenging.  Because there is an abundance of wood, customers receive no financial benefit from switching to a more efficient stove.  While they still receive hugh health and environmental benefits, these are not a priority for most poor customers
  • Prakti has now shifted focus to selling in areas with a shortage of fuel.
  • In South India, Prakti sold 5,000 stoves in its first 3 years; when it started selling in Haiti in 2010, it sold 2,000 in 2 months, though this did include many sales to NGOs after the earthquake.
  • It is now selling primarily in Nepal, Haiti, and parts of India where fuel is scarce, partnered with NGO and MFI distributors, including SELCO.

Revenue & Affordability

  • As Prakti innovates its design, the stove gets cheaper every year.

Financing

  • Thus far, Prakti is completely financed by its founder.

Scaling

  • Prakti is currently creating a franchise system, where they send a franchisee a shipping container convertible into a stove factory-in-a-box, incuding all the raw material to produce a stove.  Prakti would be responsible for providing raw materials and tool repairs, and new designs, in exchange for a fee.
  • Prakti also scales by selling through partners in new countries.

Social Impact

  • Prakti measures its impact by how many products it has brought to the market- both new products and improvements to existing products.
  • The two simplest metrics Prakti uses for social impact measurement are
    • its impact on global warming- each stove saves 1.5 tons/year of carbon, and
    • its impact on womens’ workload- saving women collecting wood 6 hours per week in most locations.
    • Prakti has also been working with several universities to study its stove’s effect on air pollution.
    • Prakti’s founder is co-chair of the technology/fuel working group of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

 

More Resources

Online Resources

Contact Information

Prakti Design
Spririt Sense Land
Old Auroville Road
Bommiyarpalayam 605 104
India

* info@praktidesign.com