So… with our sales data in for the last few months we are able to compare the actual sales on the ground with last season and get a sense of the growth. It doesn’t tell the whole story, but it’s an empirical bit of data that tells us something. So far we have sold about double the units we sold last year, and would have sold more if we had had the cash flow on hand to get more production happening before the season started.
What the data doesn’t tell us is just how positive the response from the community actually is. To demonstrate some of this, I will simply share some of the reviews from our Facebook page: Himalayan Rocket Stove
“Installed the rocket stove a week ago. It is everything that they promise and more. Excellent smokeless combustion. Extremely efficient. Build to last more than a lifetime. The design is superior to anything avaliable in the himalayas. Aesthetically pleasing to the eye as well. A wonderful addition to our home. Thanks to the team for building such a great product. Very happy and highly recommend this.BHimanshu Sud
“the best part is 100 percent combustion and 50 percent less wood, it looks beautiful too. the presence of the stove also makes socialising better”Top of FormRajesh Joshi
“Its amazing………. I have install this in my room and results are more excellent than these five star.Narendra Kaundal
Thanks to HRS whole team and Russell Sir for their great efforts.”
“perfect product nice to winter areas”Dalip Sharma Shastri
“Long story short….its a must have…it works wonder on exhaust pipes with bends as well…very less smoke and white ash with no coals as residue. It actually uses very less wood…good for environment and and a treat to hang around…In normal Tandoors with exhaust pipe with bends if it was windy outside all smoke would flow back and fill the room with smoke…no such problems with this tandoor. Happy Winters for sure.”Nishant Chander Thakur
With the feedback and response to domestic heating now clear, we have identified several key areas to expand our focus, and the first of these is Institutional Cooking. This involves any kind of large community kitchen dealing with more than 100 meals per day. Schools, monasteries, nunneries, ashrams, Gurdwaras, community centres, etc. Some are now using gas, but many are still using wood, and if so, large amounts of it.
One example which is particularly telling is a monastery in Spiti Valley called Kye Gompa. It imports 7 trucks of wood per year at a cost of $2000 per truckload. Tanzin was up there a few months ago and installed a simple clay version of our high efficiency cooking stove. This was able to reduce the wood demand and smoke output dramatically. If we only save one truck per year that’s a $2000 saving without counting the reduction in pollution and tree harvesting. If we can save 50%, well the maths is obvious.
There are countless thousands of institutions in India that would be highly incentivised to cut their wood cost in half. I am currently working up a design based on our core technology of high temperature combustion to address this need in a format that is simple to use, easy to implement and highly cost effective.
This will be a perfect summer product for HRS as the teams are mostly dormant after the busy winter season. It will hopefully help us through the cash flow issues as well.
Bearing in mind the growth trajectory, I anticipate that if we can fund the production for stoves, we are looking at a 3-4x growth on this year, which means we will be looking at making and selling approx. 3000+ units.
To do this, we will need to produce about 2000 prior to the season starting, so we are now trying to set up an overdraft facility in India (or a loan of some sort) of around $500,000 AUD. We are currently in talks to get this happening.
The plan is to grow the team and the market regions organically as we extend our reach across the Himalayas, whilst also developing new products that utilise the core technology we are becoming good at. There are various new applications as well as modular add-on features we are developing. I’ll explore these in more detail in a further post.
Meanwhile, thanks to everyone who has supported us so far. We are still looking to raise more funds to keep everything moving in the right direction. If you are interested in investing or lending to us, please get in touch. We have proven ourselves in the marketplace, and now it’s a matter of scaling sensibly to meet the opportunity.
Hi Russell, how do we bring your rocket stove to the states?
Hi David, up to now we have not been exporting outside the India region, but we are now looking for a partner in the US to work with distribution in that area. The 2 main issues are cost of transportation if we send the units one at a time (approx $500 for courier fees) and the regulatory restrictions on a combustion heater that is not currently approved by the EPA in USA. We are looking into selling it as an outdoor BBQ or Tent Heater, but it will not be legally able to be installed inside a home (and will likely void insurance if it is). So these are the issues. If you are able to assist with any of these, please get in touch. (firstname.lastname@example.org)