Javier Bustos, director of GFM: "SME Instrument helped us reach global markets"

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Javier Bustos and Moisés Labarquilla presenting Suninbox in Lagos (Nigeria)
In addition to financial support, the SME Instrument programme helps companies go global with its Overseas Trade Fairs programme that offers the possibility to access the most important business fairs all around the world under the EU flag. The managing director of GFM, Javier Bustos, gave us an interview about his experience at Lagos international trade fair.

Suninbox is a disruptive portable Solar PV energy solution that integrates all the components necessary to generate electricity autonomously, in a certified container. It arises from a joint business venture between Solarbox Solar Solutions and Generaciones Fotovoltaicas de la Mancha (GFM). The SME instrument programme invests almost €1,5 million in those two Spanish companies to gradually reach industrial scale with increasingly lower costs, gaining penetration in the international market.  

What motivated you to join the SME Instrument - OTF programme?

We believe fairs is a great place to show innovative products, novelties and high advantage solutions. Lagos internatoinal trade fair is THE reference for West Africa so when we learnt about the SME Instrument -OTF offering us the possibility to join the European pavilion we did not hesitate. It was the best opportunity for us to show our product Suninbox.

How was your experience?

Very good! We met with a lot of energy companies, end customers and other key players and they taught us a lot about their market. We have plenty of experience in Africa but it was our first time in Nigeria and I have to say that it is a really different country than others in the area: the big generators to supply energy everywhere, the food, the sea…

Would you recommend the SME Instrument - OTF programme and why?

Of course I would recommend it. The SME Instrument-OTF team offers a training and support beforehand so you can understand the country, what the needs are and who is who in the market. It's a very good opportunity to start working in a new market with very good help to look for new partners, customers, contacts in a short time and straight to the point. 

What was the most important outcome of your participation?

The best outcome for us is to understand the Nigerian energy market and confirm that Suninbox is perfect for them. Now we have a product ready for the Nigerian market, good contacts and a hook to very interesting potential projects. This is what you need for a fast start on a new market.

What surprised you most about the fair and the city/country?

It was a surprise to find out how the energy of the country is coming from very big petrol generators and their efficiency is very low. There is a great opportunity for renewable energy solutions, the market is big and the need is clear: less pollution, less noise and less energy cost. 

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