Redesigning Cassava Processing Generator, Eko Welders Became Sustainable – Improving Margin and Fueling Innovation

The impact of total quality management was very dominant in modern commerce and industry. Information technology is presently redesigning global business ecosystem, connecting nations, people and businesses.

Yet, sustainability could even do more than the above. It forces firms and organizations to become frugal in design and development. Sure, many see it as an extra burden, especially, when it is mandated by government to reduce green house emissions. While it is true that it could cost firms at the initial phase to be sustainable in the environmental context, research has shown that it is indeed a profitable model for business. It pushes firms to cut waste and look for alternative ways of doing things that they would not have evaluated without that sustainability interest.

The Nigeria challenge today is energy that will fuel operations across the nation. Generators have shown to be expensive and the government has not provided much help. Innovative startups, like a welder, Eko Welders in Abia State (Ahaba Junction), that converted a petrol generator for cassava processing into one that runs on gas is having an unusual level of profitability. Sure, his motivation was not necessarily sustainability, rather survival of his business since lack of electricity was undermining his business operations. Yet, he is crusading that he wants to keep the city fresh and out of pollution.

We caught up this small firm where most people line up to do their welding related jobs. Whenever the national grid goes down, the welder will be the one only working. That has provided a huge price premium as his rate when he is working on grid is different when he uses his special generator.  But the good aspect of this business is the profit margin the business enjoy and the good deeds to the environment. So, in both ways, the welder is winning for himself and Nature.

Government must understand that there are pockets of inventors within the informal economy that can be stimulated to develop solutions to most of the nation’s problems. The key will be reaching them at their level and helping them to sustain their creative and survival instincts. That is why a national incubation center is urgently needed in Nigeria.

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