The vision is that people should have the ultimate in convenience. Being able to get the things they care about on the appropriate device._Bill Gates
Convenience in purchasing is one of the most sought out necessities in the realm of online shopping. A quick internet search on a product or service shows that there are probably quite a few businesses competing to sell that product or service to you.
Sharing a similar vision to Gates, a young start-up hailing from Gweru has created the go to online place for local products. This creative organisation is called Mushambadzi, an online store that combines local manufactured products from food, detergents, cosmetics and clothing to the right delivery services all in one app. Their goal is to make life easier for the customer through an easily accessible online store.
The Founder of Mushambadzi, a young, vibrant and talented graduate called Innocent Munyaradzi Mpasi is a developer by profession. The idea for Mushambadzi came about whilst Mpasi was still in college in Gweru, which is when he developed his first algorithm. His goal was to try to find a way to blend his love for technology with his desire to help people. He sought assistance from his co-founder, Munashe Musaruwa to help market and grow his idea into a profitable venture.
Currently, Mushambadzi connects individuals directly to the primary supplier of the product thus allowing the customer to skip most of the add-on costs associated with purchasing from retailers. Embedded with the services they offer, is a reliable delivery system that allows customers to collect their goods right at their doorstep.
The team is comprised of programmers who help with tasks and service improvements. Another branch of their team is customer relations, to ensure customer satisfaction with each purchase and help ease the process should complications arise.
Amongst some of the challenges faced by Mushambadzi is the inability to scale fast. It’s often difficult to convince suppliers to register their products on the platform and there is still a bit of mistrust surrounding online monetary transfers. Despite all this, Mushambadzi has been able to experience an uptake in customers during the Covid-19 pandemic as people seek to stay safe inside their homes. The team is also in the process of identifying relevant methods to intensify their marketing efforts to boost growth.
For Innocent, the whole journey and formation of Mushambadzi has been an unplanned and unexpected blessing. When he started, his sole aim was to assist local producers. Now he is one of the founders of an increasingly popular online solution.
When asked how the journey for Youth Connekt has been for him, he had this to say:
“Youth Connekt has been a very eye-opening experience for us. I’ve been able to witness and take hold of so many opportunities. Coming straight from school, one is only taught [books] but with Youth Connekt I’m starting to see it’s possible to pursue your passion, your dreams and still make good friends whilst earning.”
To get in touch with Mushambadzi and experience the full journey be sure to visit their website here here
How best do you think Mushambadzi should market themselves? What is the future of online retail in Zimbabwe? Share your ideas in the comments section below: