Stories of entrepreneurs in Peru: the case of Wilbert from Arequipa
7 July 2017
“Customers wondered if this was a good product. EnDev supports us with the validation of the product …” - Wilbert Pulcha Silcahue
Sounds of a circular saw cutting metal and a welding device processing metal parts can be heard from the workshop in Arequipa, Peru. In the beginning of the process, there are numerous metal parts that are cut from larger sheets and reels which do not seem to fit together. Then they are processed and welded, and with each step of the manufacturing process, they obviously form a more fitting unit. At the end of the process, a well-engineered energy-efficient cookstove stands in the workshop waiting for its first use. Wilbert Hector Pulcha Silcahue owns a metal processing shop specialised in the manufacturing of technologies for cooking based on firewood. The 34-year-old entrepreneur from Arequipa inherited the family’s metal workshop where he learnt his trade. He started fabricating doors, windows and metal fences, and later began manufacturing chimneys and grills for improved cookstoves. EnDev asked him to create a prototype of a portable cookstove which then inspired him to develop a prototype of a cylinder-type improved oven. The customers who visited his workshop started showing interest in it. Since then, he has expanded his business in the area of clean energy and energy efficiency. EnDev supported Wilbert getting the stoves and ovens quality tested and certified by the independent Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería in Lima so that he can prove the high quality to his customers. EnDev further helps him with sales trainings and the development of a distribution network. In the beginning, he sold about four units per month. After the certification, trainings, and improvement of the production process he sells about 35 to 45 units per month. Today, Wilbert is the leading manufacturer of improved firewood cookstoves nationwide. With the support of EnDev, he has developed a network of distributors that covers six regions of the country: San Martin, Cusco, Puno, Tacna, Moquega, and Arequipa. His family business flourishes and he is able to provide secure jobs to his employees. Watch Wilbert explain the story in his own words here.