Sanitation Business Profile: Runock Investments
January 9, 2013
By Sherina Munyana, Water For People
Runock Investments was established in 2009 by Paul Chimwemwe (photo on right) and Sarah Mtuwa.
In September 2011, they began working with Tools for Enterprise & Education Consultants (TEECs) when they were recruited as a potential entrepreneur under the Sanitation as a Business (SAAB) program. Through their interaction with TEECs, Paul and Sarah gained an appreciation of the business potential of sanitation, given the high demand for services such as pit emptying especially in the low-income areas of Blantyre. Runock consequently began investing in a sanitation services business targeting two business models: providing pit-emptying services and building latrines.
Runock worked with TEECs and has done intensive marketing around sanitation services, specifically for pit emptying using a Gulper. Runock received both financial and technical training from TEECs to establish their business and learn how to operate a Gulper. In June 2012, Runock purchased a Gulper, recruited a team of four staff and began operations offering pit-emptying services. Within the first six months, Runock had emptied 43 pit-latrines and two septic tanks for customers within six low-income areas in Blantyre. This has resulted in revenue of 684,011 Kwacha (just over $2,000 USD).
Paul and Sarah strongly believe the business has potential to expand to higher volumes and now intend to purchase a second Gulper and a truck to expand operations and increase their profitability. They are also diversifying into latrine construction.
What do you think?