Kiakia Gas | Nigerian start-up disrupting cooking gas business

Kiakia Gas | Nigerian start-up disrupting cooking gas business

Kiakia Gas | Nigerian start-up disrupting cooking gas business

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Uwandu Emmanuel, founder of Kiakia Gas is confident that his start-up can leverage technology to change the face of cooking gas business in Nigeria.

Uwandu who founded Kiakia Gas, a start-up Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) provider, says he is on track to technology to disrupt energy consumption.

Uwandu, who sees technology redefining the global LPG industry, says his innovative idea introduced in Nigeria will not only create as many cooking gas outlets, but also revitalise the sector using technology.

“The LPG sector is almost new in Nigeria so we are coming in to use technology to recreate that industry. Technology has given us room to engage our customers. We have numerous channels where we engage them”, Uwandu told Technology Times in an exclusive interview at the iDEA Hub in Yaba, Lagos.

Giving an insight of how he founded his company, Uwandu told Technology Times that the rising causality figures from firewood and kerosene smoke inhalation incidents recorded annually in Nigeria prompted him to venture into the business of “cooking gas” which he sees as much safer and more efficient to use.

“It is appalling that women still die from firewood and kerosene smoke when Nigeria has over 181 million cubic feet of gas that has not been touched. It is regrettable and painful that people use kerosene and they have health issues when we have these resources. It is like having food and you still die of hunger”, he says.

“It is appalling that women still die from firewood and kerosene smoke when Nigeria has over 181 million cubic feet of gas that has not been touched. It is regrettable and painful that people use kerosene and they have health issues when we have these resources. It is like having food and you still die of hunger”, he says.

Uwandu Emmanuel, founder of Kiakia Gas is confident that his start-up can leverage technology to change the face of cooking gas business in Nigeria.
Uwandu Emmanuel, founder of Kiakia Gas is confident that his start-up can leverage technology to change the face of cooking gas business in Nigeria.

There is also the market dynamics as “cooking gas is now on the rise in Nigeria because kerosene is no longer available and of cause you know the health challenges associated with using kerosene. Over 470, 000 women die on an annual basis because they use firewood and kerosene. The smoke they inhale is hazardous to their health.”

According to him, “that was what gave birth to the idea of Kiakia Gas. And of course, we also have to stay profitable as a business to be able to sustain our idea. So it is more or less like recreating energy consumption in Nigeria and basically putting our name in the sands of time as people that contributed to the development of our continent.”

He further revealed that Kiakia Gas is currently receiving tutelage with iDEA (Information Technology Developers Entrepreneurship Accelerator) Hub in Yaba Lagos and the start-up incorporated in 2014, launched its website in 2015. It partially commenced operation in August 2015 but fully commenced operation in January 2016 and as at the end of 2016, the start-up had generated about N250 million revenue.

The Kiakia Gas founder explains that at the heart of his business model is to help set up entrepreneurs in the LPG sector.
The Kiakia Gas founder explains that at the heart of his business model is to help set up entrepreneurs in the LPG sector.

The Kiakia Gas founder explains that at the heart of his business model is to help set up entrepreneurs in the LPG sector.

“We have a ‘pay small-small’ package where if for instance, it will cost you N6 million to set up, and you want to be paying N200,000 within a period and when you finish, we set you up.

“For now, we don’t have that package where you can set up and pay gradually until you pay completely or at least, 85%, then we set you up and you can start doing business.

According to Uwandu the business is gaining traction as “we have numerous customers coming to us online, www.kiakiagas.com. They place orders. So when we set you up, we set a facility up because of regulatory and statutory requirements. We get you a good location, a physical store. So when people place an order, our dispatch rider picks it up from you and delivers to them.

“The places where we will set up the business for them are places where we already have a vibrant market, your physical store. People come in to buy which is still profitable. We also push sales offline but the larger part of the sales; we are going to provide you online”, he explains.

“Currently, the contract we have with the businesses that we set up is that Kiakia Gas will ensure that you sell 30% of every quantity of gas that you get, you are responsible for 70% and we hope to change that to 50% by the end of the year.”

The Kiakia Gas founder intends to take over the fast-growing LPG market in Nigeria and rival existing players in the industry. “We are coming in with something different. We are coming in with a whole new idea, a whole new approach. So it makes a lot of sense that naturally, we will just displace these people.

The Kiakia Gas founder intends to take over the fast-growing LPG market in Nigeria and rival existing players in the industry. “We are coming in with something different. We are coming in with a whole new idea, a whole new approach. So it makes a lot of sense that naturally, we will just displace these people.

 

Young Nigerians seen at work inside the Information Technology Developers Entrepreneurship Accelerator (iDEA) Hub in Yaba, Lagos.

“Our passion, the energy we put into it, we do a lot of awareness campaigns. You can’t do that if you don’t have the passion. That’s why we help them to create businesses. The reason is we have to multiply the supply chain in the sense that we have to duplicate it across different places but the people we are duplicating these things for ought to make money from it, that’s why we create the platform for them.”

Uwandu said he can see Kiakia Gas become the largest supplier of cooking gas in Sub-Saharan Africa with presence in at least 22 countries.

He hinted Technology Times how he hopes to achieve this ambitious vision when he says that “by the end of this year, we will consolidate the Lagos market.”

According to him, “in the Nigerian market, Lagos is the biggest. We will be in four different cities aside Lagos this year. We are looking at Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Onitsha in Anambra state basically. We are launching on the Island, Lekki precisely on the 14th.”

According to Uwandu, “we wanted to more or less solve a social problem and the social problem was cooking gas as it concerns the rural area. That is why we started out on the Mainland (in Lagos) where we feel we still have rural people. But now, we are launching on the Island because of the growing market. Next month, we will be expanding to another location.”

Elizabeth Edozie Technology Journalist @Technology Times 08077671659 elizabeth.edozie@technologytimes.ng

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