Introduction Esther Mwangi
Thank you for this chance to introduce myself. I am based in Kenya and live in a part of Nairobi called Westlands. From the name it is in the West part of Nairobi where I live with my dog called Jabari (he is really cute). I studied International Business and administration at University.
My first job was at Ericsson Kenya where I worked for 1 year, 7 months as a Project Administrator. This gave me a good view into the Telecoms market. My job was to prepare purchase orders, work orders, variation orders, and invoices for sub-contractors and suppliers.
I was then reporting to a Swedish Manager who joined Flexenclosure, and invited me to join. That is how I came to work in this Energy Solutions for Telecoms market. We started off Flenclosure literally from the ground...ie. registering it as a company, buying furniture and hiring the necessary staff.
After this was done, we next needed business, and I enrolled to be the first Inside Sales person. My job was to find leads, learn about the market and ensure we have as many leads as possible. I thoroughly enjoyed this, and it was equally successful. I was managing 4 other people – 2 based with me in Nairobi (coving MEA and some countries in Asia) , 1 based in Malaysia (covering APAC) and 1 in Sweden (covering Europe), I equally covered North and Latin America.
From Flexenclosure, I moved to Coromatic – equally a Swedish Company, as Global Sales Support Manager, then Cambridge Communications Systems – a Cambridge based company focused on mmWave for backhaul and access for 5G, and most recently Apollo Solar, with HQ in Massachuchets US.
However, my greatest know how has been in Energy saving solutions for Telecoms because I did quite some research on it.
Biggest take away for me have been
- Mobile operators are always looking at shedding off extra work load by selling to Tower Companies and ESCOS.
- It requires a bit of work to registered as a vendor by either a Tower Company or ESCO, but once you do it, you can rest easy for some years.
- Best market; TowerCos and ESCOS (due to volume), MNOS (due to low loads which makes good solar business case), and ISPs (however, they sometimes have budget contrains).
- Most Opcos have no power to make financial decisions past a certain budget, and one needs to start at the group level.
- You need to map out the people in the supply chain i.e the CTO, Head of power department, Procurement team etc and impress them all.
- In some countries, diesel sale is big business. Sometimes the people in the MNOs are part of this chain and do not want to hear about energy saving solutions. However, the higher you go the better your chances of getting an uncorrupt contact.
- Be nice to personal assistants, otherwise you might never get a foot in.
- If you have an inside contact, always good to know when the financial year starts and if they have a budget for energy solutions.