The FINANCIAL -- Tata Kozmava, Founder of Alien Green, reveals the secret behind the first Georgian thermostat
Q. What is the most widespread problem in Georgia, in terms of heating and electricity usage?
A. Almost everyone in Georgia complains about how much they have to pay for their utility expenses and yet aren’t doing anything to find a way out. Most people think that in the case of a central heating system or electricity, if they control it manually it will be less expensive for them, but that is a mistake. They can’t get the result mechanically. This is the main problem nowadays. Everyone can see the problem but nobody knows how to solve it.
Q. Let’s speak about the novelties that you offer your customers, what kind of guarantee do you provide in terms of saving energy?
A. It’s a thermostat. A connection with your smart thermostat is achieved by means of internet connection, the same as a laptop or personal computer accesses the internet. This connection is used to directly access the controls of your HVAC system, and can set up programmable routines to regulate the temperature in your home. Smart thermostats can also compile various forms of data, to help homeowners achieve more effective, stable temperatures. In the case of offices we have had exceptionally good results. Expenses decrease by about 50%. We have the same result in homes as well.
Q. Has the number of your customers increased?
A. The number of our customers is increasing, but the challenge is that this is the very first gadget of its kind in Georgia. In Europe and in the USA they have already experienced and tested the gadget and are on another level of development. For us it is a problem, we don’t have any base from which to work, we are explaining and selling the product to customers at the same time. We have just started development. We launched the thermostat in December last year. Initially people at Saga stores started asking about such an instalment that would decrease their expenses. Some of those people were even involved in the product’s test regime. They trusted us and gave us useful and positive feedback.
Q. What are the advantages of your product in accordance with worldwide analogues?
A. Our advantage is that our product is produced for Georgian Market, the application language is Georgian, it's suitable with heating boilers that are presented on the market, we have customer service which works 24/7, the price of our products was customized and accessible. Our thermostat doesn’t have a screen but we don’t need source of power. You can double check where the best place for installing it is, and install it where you want. The process is very easy and takes just 15 minutes.
The thermostat’s source of power is a battery. In case of a change of temperature we receive a notification. The product was specially created for Georgia and its neighbouring countries’ conditions. The point is, customers have understood how important an investment it is to buy such a thermostat.
We have a 2 year down payment option. The cost of the thermostat is GEL 349. It doesn’t make sense to install the thermostat in a small area. We have changed many clients’ minds due to this exact reason.
We don’t live for today and are planning to go forward, we care about our customers and are loyal to them.
Q. Due to its high price, are you planning to provide an instalment service as well?
A. We have already added an instalment service and started working on a new product which will cost less. We are positioning ourselves as a green company and green technology producer. We can understand that the number one goal for people is to save money but it’s very important how they are spending the resources they have. Also we should acknowledge that simply planting a tree is not caring about the environment. The world has gone so far on this current issue that we must keep up with them in terms of this tendency.
Q. Where can one buy the product?
A. Our product is available at our website Mostat.ge, at Saga, Bricorama, and we will be entering other different companies too. Quite often customers don’t realize what a thermostat is. We are arranging supply and demand at the same time. We are creating demand due to the fact that many people complain about utility expenses and don’t want to find a way out.
For awareness and PR we use social networks. We are planning a green campaign to increase the knowledge and make them believe that you can save expenses by doing just one small thing.
Q. How do you plan to develop the business Alien Green?
A. Our mission is to offer customers smart boilers with pre-installed Mostat thermostats. We are thinking about the global market, to integrate it with the leading producers of boilers. We also have a strategy to add two more products. There will be another version of the thermostat. We want to create the same principal device for air conditioners by next year.
Q. What path has business gone before entering business incubator and what has changed / improved since its first steps?
The business incubator has changed us, we have learned many things. We have received many opportunities. Being a startup is very hard, one person has to be responsible for many functions simultaneously. There were some hard times which is usual for startups but this has been a great experience.
Q. How do you foresee your role in Tbilisi’s urban development?
A. Many companies are speaking about development of the green direction. We make a green product which cares about the environment and it would be optimal if construction companies were to collaborate with us.