The story of Thumeza starts with frustration as founder Gugulethu Siso was unable to get medicine to her grandmother in a village close to Bulawayo. Gugu thought of the benefits that could be realised by both the pharmacy and the customer if they could deliver directly to her grandmother or the growth point nearest to her. The rest, as they say, is history, in the making.
Thumeza according to Miss Siso is not a courier company but rather a platform provider which connects businesses with delivery needs to logistics providers. The business commenced operations in April 2018 and has had an interesting year and a half thus far. They have a small staff compliment of 3 with Gugu leading, Webster handling logistics and Timothy handling intracity logistics. Their delivery solutions are comprised of; door to door deliveries, after-hours delivery, return trip deliveries, partial load deliveries and insurance for your trips.
Being a business to business (B2B) company, Thumeza has 10 main clients to date including the.likes of Pick n Pay and Diliva. Providing wider reach to businesses and convenience to their customers are Thumezas key goals and you can see how solutions that provide dual convenience have become a major hallmark of some, if not all, of the startups that are gaining major traction in Zimbabwe. Being a niche market provider has also contributed to the success of Thumeza.
Youth managed business not taken seriously
When I asked about challenges, Gugu singled out the fact that s a youth managed business they were not immediately taken seriously by prospective clients. To overcome this challenge the team at Thumeza have focused a lot of their effort in their client relationships and those have been useful in convincing prospects.
She spoke very fondly of the experience that Thumeza had being a regional winner and among the 10 finalists for the YouthConnekt 2019 competition. She said;
Being a YouthConnekt 2019 regional winner has been an awesome experience. The networks made are invaluable especially as a startup where you value is determined by who you know. Furthermore, as a logistics startup looking to expand to other parts of the country, getting access to these bright minds as well as to institution and companies that are actively looking to promote and assist entrepreneurs is invaluable. I would encourage everyone who qualifies to apply for the 2020 bus!
The story of Thumeza should serve as an inspiration to many who may feel discouraged because there is someone already doing what they intend to do. Logistics is not only a well-developed industry in Zimbabwe but quite a saturated one. However, by finding a specific niche market to serve Thumeza has found its space in the wide field of logistics.
My parting words to any aspiring entrepreneur would be to just start. Start with what you have and where you are and the universe will make a way to avail other resources to you. Other than that, try and have fun whilst working! This is your idea and It is what you say it will be.
You can find Thumeza on their website (undergoing maintenance at the time of publishing), Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We would.like to salute the team on their achievements in the YouthConnekt competition and their business so far and wish them the best going forward.