From drought to blessings – AquaFlow

Mogul in the Making

BY KARENA BENNETT Business reporter bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, June 07, 2016









When Jovan Evans created his first water pump-n-spray prototype, it was to combat the constant water lock-offs he was experiencing back in 2013.




 



Three years later, the Campion College past student now employs seven contract workers in his company – AquaFlow Products and Services Ltd – and is cementing deals to begin export of his pump-n-spray water solution across the Caribbean later this year.


"I got tired of bathing out of a bucket. One night I had forgotten to set the water before I went to work, and when I came back there was no water and the bucket was empty," Evans told the
Jamaica Observer in a telephone interview last Monday.


"So I went on the internet looking for a solution that I could buy, but then the idea came to me that I could actually create a solution," he added.


Currently, Evans operates his business of assembling five litres and five gallon pump-n-spray water dispensers from 62 Dumbarton Avenue in Kingston. The product transforms a bottle of water for domestic use into a portable shower with pressure comparable to a standard indoor shower. The device also allows for water to be conveniently stored, easily transported and efficiently used.


"What the product basically does is pump air into the bottle and water is forced out – a very simple concept," Evans explained.


"There are two hoses running through the cap. The cap is part of the product, so you don’t bore any holes in it. A pump is connected to one hole and the shower head is connected to the other. As you pump the air into the bottle, it pressurises and then it forces the water out through the hole that is there," he continued.


But commencing operations was no easy task.


"I tried to get a loan but that didn’t work out. The business was 100 per cent self-financed, costing roughly $1.5 million to buy the equipment needed to start up operations and on marketing the company," the 34-year-old told the
Business Observer.


Evans now has the operating capacity of 2000 pump-n-spray units per month and is working tirelessly to increase awareness of his product. Later this year, he plans to fulfil orders from the British Virgin Islands and Barbados.


Over the next five years, the CEO plans to expand his pump-n-spray product line and is eyeing the production of grey water solutions. Locally, the device is retailed for up to $4,500 at locations including Phil’s Hardware, York Pharmacy, Azan Supercentre and General Foods Supermarket, with plans to increase the number of retailers across the island.


So far, Evans has managed to patent his pump-n-spray water solution design locally, and is working to have the design protected internationally.


Through the assistance of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Evans has benefited from a loan valuing US$15,000. He has also been a beneficiary of the Development Bank of Jamaica voucher programme and the Scotia Vision Achievers business coaching initiative.


The proceeds are being used to finance investment in machinery, raw materials and to get the company ready for potential investors.


"I was selected as one of the entrepreneurs to get an unsecured low-interest loan in the Made of More Entrepreneurship challenge. They have invested quite a bit in me so far, and I have no regrets," he said.


Evans left a promising corporate job to pursue his dream to provide Jamaican households and businesses with an alternative to piped water. He is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, and then worked for several years in corporate Jamaica.

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