Davy Uwizera, who graduated from Carnegie Mellon University Africa in Rwanda in 2017 in ICT and Raissa Ingabire Dushime with four years’ experience in business operations are the latest entrants of the local e-commerce sector.
Dubbed “Huzamart “, their application which is available on Google Play was launched in March, 2020 following about one and half a years of plans. The platform allowed buying and selling of different products amid Covid-19 disruption.
The traded goods include food, grocery, gifts, electronics, restaurants and shops, clothes and shoes for men, women and children, make-up products, cosmetics, sanitary materials and others.
The platform, also provides services such electricity services, plumbing among others.
According to Raissa Ingabire Dushime who is theChief Operating Officer of the e-commerce business, the platform can be accessed by both clients in Rwanda and abroad.
“People can shop while they are in Rwanda and abroad. What we do is to supply them after they order. It has a payment system and it has easily linked the Rwandan Diaspora and their relatives when they need to buy them gifts,” she said.
Since launching, she said, the e-commerce platform-in five months- has recorded over 2,000 subscribers.
However, she said that supplying clients abroad who ordered for the products had been disrupted by Covid-19 pandemic outbreak but with flights scheduled to resume in August, they will also resume shipping goods from Rwanda abroad.
“If you buy a product worth over Rwf3, 000 inKigali City, we provide free transport of the good,” she said.
Starting an e-commerce shop, she said, requires passion, taking decision, discipline, commitment, honesty among others.
“In order for clients to have trust in e-commerce operators, it requires such values. We sell trust,” she noted.
The e-commerce business, she said, have provided jobs to actors along the supply chain.
“We take some goods such as fruits and vegetables from rural areas. This has provided jobs to suppliers, farmers, transporters, those who work in call center, technicians, marketing and delivery agents and others,” she said.
Ingabire said that e-commerce platform has enabled the business to operate at over 70 per cent capacity despite Covid-19 lockdown.
E-commerce business operators are already drawing up strategies that will help them sustain the momentum in post Covid-19 Rwanda as one of major lessons drawn from lock-down times.Follow NkurunzizaMiche