Is Powerbank business the next big thing in Kenya?
The 21st century is full of Tablets, Phablets, smartphones and others a-must-have portable electronic gadgets. Kenya has been named as the largest market for smartphones in Sub-Saharan Africa with Safaricom Limited, Kenya’s largest network provider selling a record 37,000 phones a month.
We have all become accustomed to the use of these gadgets and there’s nothing more frustrating than a dead phone in the middle of a busy day, you can’t call, you can’t text and you can’t check email or Facebook. That’s where a battery pack comes in handy. A Powerbank is an external battery in a sealed case. Powerbanks come with a USB cable that you connect to a power source such as a laptop to charge it. You then carry the charged Powerbank and use it to charge the phone or tablet when it starts to run out of charge.
According to Eric Mwanzia a Powerbank distributor, a majority of Kenyans have embraced the convenience of Powerbanks and the sales are skyrocketing. “It’s just a matter of time and it will be the next big thing for Kenya.”
Vincent Kandima, a University of Nairobi law student agrees the Powerbanks are in demand but fears the market will be flooded soon, “Most students want to study even while traveling home in a matatu, you can’t go wrong with a Powerbank, the problem is everyone will be selling them soon.”
Prices and shapes of Powerbanks vary with prices starting from as low as Ksh. 200 ($2.24) to as high as ksh. 10,000 ($112) depending on power capacities such as 1000mah, 5000mah, 10,000mah. Hill Ren a seller on JUMIA Kenya online marketplace Jumia Powerbank and a Powerbank importer agrees that the prospects are high, “If you are able to import in bulk from china, you will be surprised how cheap they are there and you will make a lot of profit here.”
Counterfeit products will remain the plague of this market causing incalculable damage to the consumers and unsuspecting suppliers. Government regulation and empowering of agencies charged with monitoring imports remains vital if this market is going to become the next big thing for Kenya and our economy.