Rural Zimbabweans bear the brunt of the social, economic and political climate, with the words “kumusha” and “ekhaya” being synonymous with poverty and underdevelopment. In rural areas people live as clans whose social life is interwoven to the extent that unrelated people live together as family. These areas remain underdeveloped also in terms of communication systems, the roads are an eyesore, with services like transport, hospitals and pharmacies and reliable grocery shops are still quite a long distance away. Supermarkets, tuck shops, clinics and even farmers have the burden of travelling these long distances to stock up their enterprises, buy farming inputs and stock-feed. This is costly in terms of time, money as well as health and safety. Women and children are affected disproportionately; they run many of the operations such as the tuck shops, gardening activities and livestock breeding projects. Waking up at odd early hours to make it into the city in time to order, and returning late at night with heavy loads constantly threatens their health and safety.
This challenge inspired the birth of
Infoseed Grey Solutions Logistics (“IGS Logistics”); aresponsive delivery service that aims to increase access to
essential commodities and services to outlying and remote areas of Zimbabwe. A
truck will be used to pick up and deliver bi-weekly. New orders are submitted
as the truck delivers the previous order. Community assistants will be employed
at each location to ensure efficient running of the service. Orders can be
adjusted by text message 48 hours before delivery; it is effective and
responsive to customer needs. Where possible, goods will be sourced directly
from manufacturers; this, coupled with transportation savings from economies of
scale, will allow supermarkets and clinics to lower their prices and ultimately
benefit the community at large. IGS Logistics will accept all forms of payment
cash, electronic and eventually barter trade.
IGS Logistics will also promote commercial activity, engaging in trade with the community through buying farm produce and livestock from locals as well as providing transportation services.
Each truck that supplies shops, farmers, clinics and buys from locals, will potentially create 20 jobs, majority employees being locals. Stakeholders will save on time, experience health benefits, feed families and access school supplies.
The goal is uplift the community. We are targeting over 100 routes in the long term, as more shops open, we can deliver at a lower cost to the consumer.