Malek Atallah, development director of “Wattnow” at La Presse: “Startups, important foundations for innovation and growth”

Many Tunisian companies are struggling to develop their business model. Today, digital has transformed the world. More details with Malek Atallah, director of development in the “Wattnow” interview.

What does your project consist of?

“Wattnow” was created with the aim of providing our customers and partners with an effective method to control energy usage in the best and most efficient way possible. The founding team worked on this question to try to provide an answer that takes into account the constant increase in energy prices around the world and the need to reduce the carbon footprint. She put in place a tool, a solution, to allow companies to easily take control. Thus, Wattnow is an IoT solution for intelligent energy management, enabling our customers to reduce their energy cost but also act on their carbon footprint.

How did your startup idea come about?

Wattnow’s founding team, trained in electrical and engineering, has always had a clear vision of the imperative of good energy management. However, this knowledge, when combined with the observation of large-scale energy waste observed in certain sectors (sometimes we speak of more than 30%), the use of technology to remedy it became evident.

What steps have you taken to become known in the market?

We are convinced that our product and our solution speak for themselves, so the best vector available to us to make ourselves known comes directly from our customers. They are the best spokespersons as they are the ones who use our solution on a daily basis. That said, we obviously also use various methods of communication using both, let’s say traditional, vectors, such as participation in events, whether through lectures, networking and other more current and based on technological and scientific approaches to segmentation.

What is your strategy to monetize your business?

We deployed our solution by installing smart sensors to retrieve information about energy consumption and production and providing our customers with our dashboard to access this data. It is a solution that aims at a quick return on investment for our customers. You know, you can only change what you see, and that’s what Wattnow allows. Visualization for better action.

What are the main difficulties encountered?

Instead, I prefer to talk about the immense support currently in place across the entire Tunisian ecosystem. Indeed, even if there are obviously difficulties, and they always are, we must remain positive, go to the end of the existing provisions and, on the contrary, emphasize the positive elements that allow us to move forward. At Wattnow, we believe in getting to the finish lines first and then working to push those limits. And fortunately, in Tunisia, there is still the place and the space to be able to grow and develop. Obviously, we can always wait and ask for more, and that’s normal because that’s how we move forward and I think it’s something we have to do together.

Is it necessary for digital to be integrated into all our Tunisian companies?

Absolutely. All companies need to catch up and catch up when it comes to digital. The digitization of our entire economy will, in my opinion, only have positive repercussions, in terms of efficiency, of all sectors combined. This is also one of the purposes for which Wattnow works. When we realised, and this is true for our industries, in the energy industry but also in other industries, the considerable amount of time wasted on manually processing documents, data, etc. : Digitization would help us enormously to act and be more efficient. It also allows us to deal internationally with shared knowledge, identical deadlines and common methods.

how do you see the future of our economy?

It is clear that decarbonization and green development, taking into account sobriety and respect for the environment to ensure its preservation, for us and for our children, are probably the great challenges of our time. If we want to take on this challenge, it is together, with the commitment of everyone and at all levels, that we will achieve it.

What advice would you give to people who want to embark on the startup adventure?

You have to go, and you have to commit. Startups are becoming a very important economic base for both innovation and growth in every country in the world. So embarking on the startup adventure also means telling ourselves that we are contributing, at our level, to change. Plus it’s obviously an amazing human adventure that you have to experience. The generations that preceded us prepared the ground for us, namely through education and the legacy of experience, but it is now up to us to continue this work following the path of our generational knowledge, especially technological, and to give our contribution that will be passed on to the generation that will follow us.

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