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Tene

producing innovative USB cable made of recycled materials

Georgia
Market: Appliances, Electronics
Stage of the project: Prototype or product is ready

Date of last change: 20.02.2020
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Idea

Tene will produce the first Georgian charging cable made of recycled materials. Plastic components of the cable will be made of recycled PET bottles that Tene will collect from the population. Tene will launch public awareness raising campaigns on the environmetal benefits of waste management and recycling.
The cable will also be equiped with innovative smart chip preventing the device from overcharging and thus extending the battery/device lifecycle.

Current Status

TENE team has developed a working prototype of the USB charging cable and is ready for the next stage, which is mass production and commercialization of the cable

Market

There are different assumptions regarding the potential of USB cable (without innovate technologies and eco-component) industry and its development potential. Although, all forecasts agree that there will be not only stable but also a fast growth. For instance, according to IHS Markit Technology the global profit from the sales of only Type-C cable and its annual growth rate is projected at 30% that translates to 1.2 billion USD in 2021.
Georgian market is flooded by cell phones and therefore USB cable users. According to the National Statistics Bureau (GeoStat) in 2019 the share of population above 6 years that owns a cell phone is 84.8%, which in numbers are 3,153,203 users across the country and 993,074 in Tbilisi. If we assume that annual demand of USB cable is around 20% of the cell phone users (according to TENE survey ), this is approximately 630,000 sold cables only in Georgia.
Although there are many sellers of the USB cables but existing stable but growing demand on USB cables provides for the profitability of the USB cable business.

The USB charging cables largely available at low/mid price range market do not provide for durability and over a year usage time. The cables chip, break, tangle and easily get damaged. In addition, average customer rarely has cable customization (color, length, design) opportunity. There is a need and demand for a durable, reliable charging cables, customization of which (length, color, design) is an added value and bonus for a customer. Customers;’ approach to the selection of the charging cable is also changing, instead of blindly opting for X cable because of the price or design, increasingly more customers are trying to verify reliability of the cables and ensure that the cable will not damage the smartphone batteries.
TENE cables are specifically tailored for such customers; the cables will not only maintain and extend battery life and provide for the longer usage of the cellphones but also allow customers to purchase its standard or customized model, meeting their needs and likes.
As to market entry barriers, the barriers are low at the local market, in addition Tene parent company Ginventor already sells charging cables on the local market (currently produced in China), has achieved a certain degree of market penetration and brand awareness. By launching TENE and migrating cable production/assembly to Georgia cable production-transportation costs will be decreased by half, the change that will resonate in cable sale price and its competitive advantage.
USB cable market is represented by 6 basic types of USB cables and their users respectively. Of these, the target market for TENE are the users of the 3 types of USB cables (representing the current and future standards of the industry) – micro, lightning (for IOS) and Type-C cables, compatible with the new models of the smartphones and other gadgets. As the analysts of the gadget industry predict, these 3 types of USB cables and especially Type-C will remain the industry standards and their market penetration share will increase even more. By selectiong these 3 types of cables, TENE will potentially be able to meet the demand of the users of the lead smartphone brands, including iPhone, Samsung, HTC, Blackberry, Sony, Nokia, LG, and Motorola.
The USB cables could potentially be replaced by wireless devices; however, for this their slow connection problem has to be tackled first, which is quite unlikely in the nearest future.
This was the description of the global market. As far as the Georgian market is concerned, it is a part of the global market and mirrors tendencies of the former and based on the fact that there is no Georgian production of the USB cable, is entirely represented by imported goods.

Problem or Opportunity

Production and use of plastic eased daily life of the mankind, at the same time it caused great damage to the global eco-system and human health. Regrettably, when it comes to the damage and pollution caused by plastic waste Georgia is no exception. Oftentimes the great bulk of the produced plastic ends up at the land fields and at times due to low awareness of the population and neglect of the environmental issues on the roads, in streets, rivers and oceans.
Up to date many essential products that consumers heavily rely on are still made of plastic or with plastic components. USB charging cables are no exception, not only they are made of plastic parts but also lack innovation, are basic, damage Lithium-ion batteries of gadgets they charge and do not take into account individuality and personality of consumers.

Solution (product or service)

With TENE – the first Georgia produced USB charging cable - we as a company sharing a Corporate Social Responsibility, aim to assist measures geared at reduction of plastic waste, prevention of plastic waste dumping, and improvement of the eco-system.
What makes TENE eco-friendly?
Production of cable requires a number of parts and materials, including so called connectors that are made of plastic. As the part of its vision and green policy TENE, will only use plastic and granules, recycled fr om the plastic (PET ) bottles and thus contribute to the prevention of environmental pollution and littering.
How do we produce TENE cable?
Through the efforts of TENE team PET bottles, segregated and accumulated from the population, fast food chains and other businesses, municipal services, will be transformed into PET granules widely used in the industry as a raw material to produce plastic goods. Recycled plastic granules will be used produce TENE USB cable. All materials used in TENE production will be recycled and/or recyclable.
Innovation by TENE
Besides producing eco-friendly, green cable TENE aims to have its say in innovations. Most of the smartphones today are equipped with Lithium (Li-ion) batteries. Their lifecycle provides for around 500 full discharge-charge cycles, after which the batteries start to deplete. According to researches, in order to prolong the battery life, the batteries should not be discharged at more than 20% and charged at more than 80-90%. By doing so 1 full discharge-charge cycle is not completed and thus the battery life is extended up to indefinite time. Oftentimes cell phone users with an aim to extend the battery life faultily discharge and re-charge the battery and do even more harm to the health of the battery. TENE team has developed a smart chip prototype that prevents the cell phone from charging at 100% by automatically cutting-off charging cycle (at 80%) and thus extending life of the batteries and smartphones. The next step will be transforming prototype into a nano chip that would fit into the cable heads (connectors). Equipped with a tiny swith, the cable will also give the users an opportunity to manage charging modes and opt for 80%, 90% or full charge (100%) options.

Why could this technology be better than existing USB cable technologies? - There are only a handful of USB cables that cut-off power supply to batteries fully at 100% charge mark and the charging icon disappears on the smartphone screen. Other cables continue to supply minor power to devices (0.01 AMP), enough to keep charging icon lit but not charging the battery. As it turns out disappearance of the charging icon has a huge impact on the customers’ consciousness. For instance our Facebook posts wh ere we note USB function with automatic power cut-off at 100% charge mark are 5 times more popular than those of other cables.
There is no technology that would automatically cut off the power supply at 80-90% charge mark. Interest generated among our customers and feedback received allows us to forecast that such kind of cables will be popular among technology savvy customers.

Competitors

As far as competition is concerned, TENE has no competitors in production of the Georgian USB cable, the product – Georgia produced USB cable – is unique to the Georgian market. If the generalize the notion of the competition, then we can assume that competitors are medium and large shops of the cell phone accessories, market (bazroba) merchants, wholesale shops that often themselves purchase and re-sell USB cables branded by Ginventor. Competitors that will not re-sell TENE USB cables are giant cell phone producer companies including Apple (net income $59.531 billion, 123,000 employees), Samsung (net income $37.1 billion, 320,671 employees), Huawei (net income $8.656 billion, 188,000 employees), also Chinese producers of mobile accessories, such as Anker, Remax and alike.
USB cables produced by world giants are expensive for consumers, thus consumers opt for cheaper cables providing the same quality, for instance Remax. Chinese products are sold mostly by market (bazroba) merchants, minor and large (online) shops. This implies purchase of goods and re-sale of the marked up merchandise. In this business model Ginventor (TENE parent company) successfully managed to position its USB cable (currently produced in China), as opposed to other China produced cables, as a high quality, durable and fast cable.

Advantages or differentiators

With introduction of TENE the project team will be able to supply customers at a low price with quality and durable cable that will not damage the smartphones and if wished so, can be customized to meet individual preferences of the clients. Materials used in the cable production are worth of special mentioning and differentiate TENE from other cables. Nowadays increasingly more customers are are becoming eco-aware and adopting recycling as part of their lifestyle. TENE made of recycled/recyclable materials allows such customers to enjoy products containing plastic and do not feel bad about purchase and usage of plastic containing goods.
Currently TENE cables produced in China and branded as TENE are sold in all Elit Electronics branches in the country, and Smiley shops. Moreover, cable is available in TENE shop and social/web pages.

Money will be spent on

Purchase of production lines for mass production (TENE team has already traveled to China and identified the best option in terms of price, capacity and quality).

Cable (raw) materials

Personnel (logistics, line operator)

Space rental for the production line

Team or Management

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