Development and commercialisation of rechargeable wooden LED lamps

Bradley Schultz

Abstract


The focus of this project was to work with local staff at Kathmandu Alternative Power and Energy Group to commercialise a product which would generate recurring income for the organisation, to enable staff to learn the process of commercialisation and to provide employment and skills in the local community. Rechargeable Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps were deemed suitable for these aims, as they are a simple product, yet one that is urgently required in Nepal due to the prevalence of ‘load-shedding’ – scheduled electrical blackouts. After reviewing the market, it was found that it would be impossible to compete with the price of cheap imported Chinese rechargeable LED lamps, so an alternative approach was taken. This involved sourcing wooden off-cuts from a local furniture factory and transforming them into attractive desk lamps, with the target market being affluent Nepalis, ex-pats living in Nepal and tourists. Successful initial sales were achieved through a Kathmandu-based ex-pat email group, hotel-markets and souvenir stores. KAPEG staff have continued the project, producing variations on the initial design including Himalayan rock salt lamps, employing local people to manufacture lamps and selling them at markets in Kathmandu. Staffing and marketing challenges remain to ensure the lamp manufacture and sales continue.


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References


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