Promoting Impact Technology Tanzania — Spotlight on MabiboSokoni

ust imagine buying all your groceries and market products on your list without having to leave your house with quality supply in a short span of time. You don’t have to worry about traffic, you don’t have to worry about moving stall to stall to collect everything on the list. Well, that imagination has been made real by an applied innovation through technology. Through the MabiboSokoni digital solution, you can access all your market products and they are delivered at your door step at reasonable price range.

With the founder of MabiboSokoni Mr. Innocent Mayawa, let us take you through this intriguing innovative technological solution intended to make your life easier. MabiboSokoni’s value lie in honest quantity and quality. It is an online shopping platform that brings convenience to those who prefer to go to the market but do not have enough time.

Image for post

How it started

The platform officially began early June in the year 2020 with the sole purpose of providing easy accessibility of groceries to its customers.Innocent Mayawathe young man whose idea spring to life in the midst of Covid-19 says he had always been passionate about technology and innovation. As he shared his idea with his partner Richard Mushi who is an IT geek the to execute the idea to an action plan began. Innocent who once worked in a telecom company for seven years and in a renewable energy company for two years, had a desire to start a business one that he would call his own, one that he would lead and work for from the scratch. In a conversation with Tech & Media Convergency (TMC) Innocent said, “MabiboSokoni stands for Honesty in quantity and quality, because they believe in a business built on trust between the customer and the seller. If the customer needs one kilogram of potatoes then that is what should be provided, as a supplier finding means to provide less than what was ordered tarnishes your business.”

Innocent believes that time is of essence as long as we keep up with the good quality and are on time with delivery he sees the growth of MabiboSokoni. They are looking forward to adding more services to their platform, the more service the more efficiency in the way we work.

Connecting the Market Place and the Customer

Now days people are less to go to retail shops for purchasing products, both men and women are piled up with works, home chores and taking care of their families. MabiboSokoni connects the service provider and the receiver of such service through digital application. Therefore, they provided an easy way to access market products that are of quality and delivered on time.

Convenience is at its best with MabiboSokoni, rather than planning for a specific day to go to the market, thinking of the transport that one will use, choosing right items from different market areas all you have to do is visit their site, browse the items, pick the product that you want to purchase, fill in the necessary information then make payment and within few minutes it is delivered on your door step and some sites even provide cash on delivery which can in one way help those who do not know how to pay via online.

With MabiboSokoni one saves time, one saves transportations expenses, you no longer have to wait on queues for your product, you can shop anytime you want and searching for the product you need is made easier.

The emerging of initiatives that centers on online shopping has increased because of the demand for the internet and mobile data services, though Mabibo is similar to these initiatives in terms of the products that they have and supply, their strategy comes differently. Last year during the holiday season they came up with a program that aimed at buying food supplies to orphanages. The targeted orphanage was Chakuwama located at Sinza in Dar es salaam. For customers who wanted to donate all they had to was change the address to the intended orphanage and the delivery was free of charge.

How does it work?

Innocent says, “We have fixed people who we buy these market products from, it becomes easier to track the place where you bought it, if the product was not per customers satisfactory and you have to replace it.”

A business always has a system of how activities work and these activities need to follow a procedure, it can be from production to the end product or the market to its customers.

This is how the operation works, there are two porters responsible for carrying the market items, then there are two ladies whose work is running errands and choosing suitable places to get the type of market products needed. After collecting market products they are verified to see if the order fits what they have, then it is packed and delivered to the customer. Within three hours the order is delivered to any place that you are located in Dar es Salaam.

All that a customer ought to do is register on the website, make an order, make payments online and the order is delivered. The service provider will get in contact with the customer through the number used in registry to verify the order before actually delivering it.

Image for post

Target customer

Any business requires a target market research and understanding the needs, perspectives of the customers you intend in targeting. For Innocent it is the women who spend most of their time doing groceries to carter for their families.

A research was conducted for three months to more than 100 women with the aim of knowing how grocery shopping affects them and their work life. Innocent as an uber driver used that opportunity to ask the women he had as passengers. Lots of responses showed that corporate women have lesser time to do grocery shopping and it was tiresome having to balance office hours and finding time to go the market.

Innocent wanted to provide a solution that is going to be convenient for these women. When the business was up and running the first people to call was the women he interviewed. Innocent says 50% of his customers in the first month were the women he interviewed. He knew what they wanted was a variety of quality products and he delivered.

This is what Innocent asked himself when he began his research “If I am looking at a woman what services am I bring to fit her needs?”

When it comes to the reach of his customers, Innocent uses social platforms such as Instagram, Whats App to advertise their products as well as communicate with their customers.

“Here is the most interesting part, the reason why I do uber is to network, if I am driving you to anywhere you are going I have about 10 to 15 minutes of your time to speak about the product I am providing and your undivided attention”

Innocent says the aim is to get about 5 customers in a week from Uber drives and the rest from other online platforms.

Image for post

Accomplishments and challenges so far

Only six months into existence MabiboSokoni has managed to reach 100 users not just registered customers regardless the fact that they had no enough capital for advertisement yet it is marked as one greatest achievement.

The response from the customers has been nothing but encouraging, as a startup company we are looking to advancing and therefore we seek open opinion from each and every one of our customers.

Mwanaidi Juma had this say, “I am a house wife and I need to make sure that my children are catered for when it comes to their meals. I get all my products such as soaps, oil and food fromMabiboSokoni. They have actually made my life a lot easier, saved my time and the price is affordable. I get to enjoy the 5000/= discount coupon every time I make an order of things worth 50,000/=.

Fadhili Mustafa said, “I enjoy MabiboSokoni services and it saves my time, I used to go to the market right after office hours and it was challenging. I now get to buy meat, vegetables, tomatoes and other things for affordable prices and they are delivered on my door step.”

I would not necessarily call them regrets because it is not something that I dwell about up to now. I think back and say, maybe we could have started with an app from the very beginning but again I look at the brighter side and see the fact that we started with a website helped us get so many insights of different features that we wanted to add in our upcoming application. This whole experience gave us a learning curve.

Innocent had this to say to the youth entrepreneurs in Tanzania

“To any young adult thinking of being an entrepreneur, know who you are targeting, do a market research and a bit of pilot testing before executing your plan and rolling up your product. Stat with the little that you have and the resources that you have.” , The full interview of Mabibo Sokoni can be found at our you tube channel through this link

To read more about our reports featuring Startups in Tanzania