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How Saja station is using solar energy to charge mobile phones in Nigeria, with Seyi Fakoya, CEO

Saja Station
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Bad electricity is a major problem in Nigeria, and has led to many other secondary problems. One of these is the difficulty that comes with charging of phones. Over time, people have employed the use of generators to charge phones and many other devices, but here we are with a startup taking a different dimension.

Saja is a mobile utility service that charges mobile devices using our patented solar-powered mobile kiosk. TechMoran chats with its founder and CEO, Seyi Fakoya where he shares a lot about this self-funded startup.

Daniel Anuoluwapelumi: Many known Startups present are mostly Internet based. Why did you choose to take a different turn?

A: We are all about solving the biggest problems in our society. Technology allows us to scale solutions but it needs something to ride one. We choose this as we are working on building an infrastructure to not just for our service but for others who need to reach the mobile generation in Africa.

What has been the greatest challenge you’ve had to encounter since the launch of Saja?

Our greatest challenge so far has been the weather, we are currently in the rainy season in the country and our stations are currently not operating at full capacity but it’s been a learning curve for us as we can only get better after this season.

Saja Station

Tell us more about yourself, background and all. 

I am the founder/CEO of CREO, a tech startup in Lagos, developers of Open Heavens Mobile App. I have a background in software engineering and with corresponding real-time business experience of 4 years. I’m a graduate of Software Engineering from the Open University (UK), Also a Fate Foundation AEP (Alumni) and Certified Digital Marketing from Simon Page business school.

Are there any competitors to Saja, tell us how you’ve been able to deal.

We entered into an existing segment. Our pilot at the NYSC Camp, we had over 10 vendors who use generators were providing this service and they told us they have been doing it for over a decade.  It was heavily competitive but they gave kudos to our innovation and are interested in switching to our service as we don’t use fuel and almost zero maintenance.

Saja station attending to customers

In 5 years, how big do you envision Saja as a startup? 

In 5 years time, we believe there will more advancement in technology, more sustainable solutions and better infrastructure, our goal is to provide other services such as agent banking, mobile repairs, point of sales for other services. We aim to become a hub for services in Africa.

Do you plan expanding to other parts of Africa, or this is just a Nigerian problem? 

Mobile phone charging is a need globally; we all need to charge our devices to stay connected. We are bullish on Nigeria our home country we don’t have plans to expand at this time.

Say a few words for young people who want to solve a problem with tech.

My advice for young people is to solve the problems around them, a tip will be to take a note of all the activities you do in a single day and observe the ones that were challenging to accomplish, as social beings, a problem you face, others also face too.

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