The idea for the Lusaka Grocery Delivery company was created as a direct response to the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic. The team behind the website recognized a gap in the online retail market, as only 14% of the economy actively shops online. With the restrictions implemented by the government and the risk of infection, more consumers began to look for alternative methods to purchasing their weekly groceries. The company’s founders built the website overnight and were operational within a day of the initial discussion of starting:
“Lusaka Grocery is a company that was created to serve as a tool to ensure civilians were safe during the Global coronavirus outbreak. Our vision was to help our fellow Zambians follow social distancing precautions, while still being able to get all the supplies they needed in the comfort of their homes. Lusaka Grocery Delivery Company is a service that ensures all its Consumers are provided with a Safe, Diverse and Timely shopping alternative”.
Ngao Mutambo, the CEO and founder, has been fearless in breaking the barriers to women led enterprise in the country. She can easily be regarded as one of the country’s most promising and innovative business minds. Having initially graduated with a degree and masters (with academic honours) from the University of Liverpool, a prestigious MBA then refined her business acumen. After returning home she spent some time working in the microfinance industry, learning more about the needs of the Zambian consumer. She looks to inspire many other young women to take the initiative to be self empowered and aspire to build business empires. When asked what it was like being a young woman in the male dominated world of business:
“People tend to think that in order to start a new business they have to come up with something new and dazzling, but that’s a myth – and it’s often propagated by fear. The companies that I really admire the most are the ones that have a deep visceral understanding of why people use their service, and they figure out ways of making money that are completely consistent with how people are feeling and what they are doing at the time. Understanding this was crucial in becoming relevant as the CEO of Lusaka Grocery Delivery Company. Our vision was to consistently meet consumers needs regardless of the economic, social or environmental obstacles that may come with that! Spearheading this company at a relatively young age, I have 4 key lessons: Entrepreneurship is a marathon, Ensure there’s demand for the product, Understand your target market and Solve a problem. This has helped ground me on how best to effectively navigate this market regardless on how old I am, my age is not the measure of my success but my hard work is!”
One of the main issues with the Zambian e-commerce market is a lack of adequate access to the internet and an understanding of how to use online applications. One of the biggest issues the company has faced is having to educate some customers on how to conduct purchases online. While over 80% of Zambians have phones only 14% admitted to actively using the internet. The remaining 70% stated they did not understand how the internet works. The company has had to look for alternate ways to build a loyal following while maintaining its brand purpose. Having only started in April this year sales are looking to break K100,000 weekly by the end of the year.
The company’s flagship product section is named ‘Proudly Zambian’. This area of the website will exclusively sell goods produced by Zambian owned companies. Part of the offerings will be products which tend not to be available in the local stores as they are being produced by smaller manufacturers. The company will promote a section of exclusively Zambian traditional foods such as Chikanda, Chiwawa and dried fish to name a few. This is an exciting feature as it looks to commercialise key elements of different Zambian traditional foods.
The Zambian Remittance market is valued at nearly $200 million dollars per year with 85% going towards family support. Having noted this trend LGD built its app for the purpose of ensuring members of the diaspora can safely purchase grocery supplies and ensure the money is spent appropriately. Nearly 70% of all clientele is currently based in the diaspora and is vital to the company’s success.
“The strategy to drive up sales in the diaspora market to then trickle down into the domestic target market. This is what energised my team the most. Changing customers habits requires patience so utilising a customer base that are comfortable in using the online shopping market will be a strong factor to future scalability”
The company is perfectly positioned to dominate the remittance market and build a strong brand for years to come. You can visit the website at https://lusakadelivery.com/.