Are you struggling with budgeting and saving your money to buy goods or product you want? What if I tell you there is a digital solution to that, meet Tunzaa fintech, a digital product that allows people to buy goods and services and pay in installments according to one’s income in a certain period of time.
Ng’winula Kingamkono who is the founder of Tunzaa with a background in Information Systems sat down with Tech & Media Convergency (TMC) and shared how he leveraged on his digital product when it comes to marketing it and delivering their services to customers. Tunzaa was officially launched in June16th 2021 to the public. They are located at Kigamboni, Dar es Salaam.
The Attended Gap and Inspiration
“What Tunzaa is trying to achieve is to use technology to in skill positive saving habits to young Africans, through gamification which is done on our application.”
In April, of 2019 Ng’winula with a help of friends conducted a survey to people in Dar es Salaam and Tanga region, it showed 55.5% of people earn 10,000 to 50,000 shillings per day. This group of people see that, they cannot afford to buy the products they want based on the amount of money they earn and are struggling to maintain proper financial habits.
Tunzaa believes that the use of game mechanics and experience help to digitally engage customers to achieve their goals, they create reminders for their customers that help in nudging them to commit to their decision and every time one pays for each installment, they receive points to encourage one to continue pursuing their goals.
Just like any teenager, Ng’winula’s love for basketball made him want to buy the latest sneakers in town or any other latest products but he and his friends couldn’t afford to pay for products in full payment and therefore they started negotiating with these shop owners to pay in installments over a certain period of time, this is what inspired Ng’winula years later to establish Tunzaa a digital product that does just that
Bootstrapping as a Startup Capital
As most Startup they’ve used the bootstrapping method in establishing their products Ng’winula is no different, he states, “Tunzaa is a bootstrap product, it is funded by working on other side projects, I make software for a living and whatever money that we make it goes to Tunzaa, since we started the research in 2019 sending people to Tanga to do survey and others conducting it here in Dar Es Salaam we have been using the same model.”
User Interface and Service
Tunzaa has mobile apps that work for Android and iOS, a new customer can download the app, register then browse for products and services that we are selling for free but if they want to purchase a product, they have to create an account then payments can be done using mobile wallet
For a consumer who want to pay using the Tunzaa model, they select a product they want to purchase then choose a time where the products will be fully paid, it can be on daily, weekly or monthly basis. The app automatically calculates the amount that they are required to pay on the intervals they set up.
For business Ng’winula says, “We have another app called Tunzaa plus it allows business to post their products, to manage stock, customers and to see who is actually buying their products and how are they paying for these products.
He says they are vetting and verifying business so not every business can sell on Tunzaa.
“On the other side we have the dashboard for internal use that shows the astronomical view of Tunzaa and how it is performing, one can see the revenue and who is buying what on daily basis.”
Target Customers and Market Reach
“We built Tunzaa for Young Africans, when you look at countries such as Tanzania and other countries in Africa, over 60% of the working population are doing informal jobs, these kinds of people are the ones we target, since most of them earn from 2dollars a day to 50 dollars, we also target people within the city because they have access to the internet.”
When it comes to digital platforms Tunzaa uses social media such as Twitter and Instagram ads to reach its customers, they also use word of mouth and referrals to promote their product and widen their market.
“But we look forward to doing door to door visits and tell people what Tunzaa is and what are the benefits of using our digital product.” He adds
Ng’winula says there are similar initiatives as our but what differentiates us form the rest is, “We invest in building the product right, the minute we receive feedback from customers we make sure to work on it instantly, so with in way we try to stay on top of the market what customers want, we deliver.”
The other top-notch strategy used in growing their digital product is communication with their customers, they listen and make time to interact with them on social media.
Achievements and Prior Challenges
“Making 20 million shillings as revenue is one of our biggest achievements, from having nothing at the beginning to making such profit is worth celebrating.”
Other achievements are having 4000 registered accounts and customers who appreciate their services and always give feedbacks such as what to improve.
Ng’winula says that he wishes that they would have launched sooner, a lot time was spent in perfecting the product and they lost potentials during that period.
What to Improve and Covid-19 impact
Tunzaa is still a growing business and what would enhance or maximize their services would be resources that would help in facilitating operations, human capital, they would want to get funds and pull in investors who would be interested to invest in their Fintech Product another key aspect is a logistic person he says, “If we could get a person that we would partner with in logistics that would help ease our operations.”
Ng’winula says, “Before officially launching our product we had different versions of Tunzaa in 2019, when the pandemic hit, I had to stop everything in 2020 to see how the wave of the pandemic was and where it will head so it kind of slowed down our operations.”
A Word of Advice
Ng’winula tells youth who aspire in starting their own business that, “Get to really study about what you do, whether it getting in the tech industry, do your research but the most important aspect is build, sell then go back to building and selling again it is a cycle.”
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Tech & Media Convergency (TMC)