Marketing Solar Lights to the Base of the Pyramid Print E-mail

A Case Study on Tanzania: The Challenge of Rural Distribution and Affordability

by Simon Moser


By means of a practical example, this thesis provides insights to the challenges faced when serving solar lights to rural markets at the base of the economic pyramid (BOP). On the basis of a co-authored working paper that features a literature review of articles about the various BOP market challenges, the case study identifies the most pressing difficulties in the market launch of OOLUX, a modern off-grid lighting solution, in Tanzania.

For this purpose, the paper provides, after an introductory section and a presentation of OOLUX, an analysis on Tanzania’s national energy market in general, and the solar off-grid market in particular. In the second part of this paper, the case study examines the question whether OOLUX is apt to overcome the challenges posed by the rural BOP market in Tanzania. The case study focuses on those difficulties, which are considered to be the most pressing ones at the present stage. These hurdles relate to the distribution of OOLUX and its affordability. Overall, the paper intends to contribute to the evaluation of the OOLUX business model and to provide the involved stakeholders with recommendations for the future development of OOLUX in general, and the distribution model in Tanzania in particular.