Zimpost has evolved over time from being a provider of predominantly manual and low technology services to an entity that offers a wide range of technology-driven services.
By Mthandazo Nyoni
In the past year, the quasi-government institution has been opening a new leaf through digitising and migrating its services to the mobile and e-platforms.
Recently, it unveiled its new logo which, according to the company’s acting managing director, Sifundo Moyo (SM), speaks to this new business thrust. NewsDay (ND) business reporter, Mthandazo Nyoni caught up with Moyo during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) to speak on the new business thrust, among other things. Below are excerpts from the interview:
ND: Can you explain the meaning of the new logo, as well as give details of the new products and services that you have launched?
SM: The new logo represents our new identity and what we are saying is that as a post office, we are transforming ourselves from the old post office that was linked with manual processes. We want to create what is called the next generation post office, a post office that is modern, a post office that is using current technologies to deliver services and have services either on the electronic platform or on the mobile platform.
If you look at what is happening globally, people have now adopted various technologies and it was high time Zimpost also made sure that it has a platform where it delivers products and services at the same level that the customers are expecting and we are saying Zimpost delivering possibilities. We are renewing our commitment to the people of Zimbabwe to say we are here to deliver services regardless of whatever obstacles could be there.
We are going to use all the technologies that are necessary for us to deliver services that would delight our customers. If you look at the thrust that we have in terms of transforming ourselves, we have new products, which we were showcasing at ZITF and these are the online shopping. If you go to www.zimpostmall.post, this is the e-shop, where buyers and sellers are interacting and without Zimpost, e-commerce in this country will not go very far because we are the experts in terms of mail and parcel logistics.
What we are saying is that we have not been playing in the space, but now we have gotten capabilities for us to be able to afford our people the chance to buy items from any part of the globe, be it Asia, China, Europe or America, and we want also to go further and ensure that, domestically, people are able to buy goods online and the post office delivers.
ND: How can small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and Zimbabweans in the Diaspora take advantage of this platform?
SM: Yes, we also want to ensure that our SMEs, people who are into basketry, people who are into producing sculptures, they can have their items on our e-shop and those items would be visible to anyone in any part of the world.
In other words, we are promoting SMEs for them to be able to access the global market and we are not only looking at people, who are not in Zimbabwe, we are looking at Zimbabweans, who are out there in the Diaspora.
We are saying, now this is the opportunity for them to be able to buy items for their beloved ones back in Zimbabwe and when they buy those items, we can have them delivered. So what do I mean when I am saying they can buy items in Zimbabwe? What we have is a drive to enrol, to get into partnership with people or organisations that produces or that sell items.
When you go onto our website and we have a partnership, you will be able to see all the goods that are from that partner. If you are interested you can simply click and with a click you can put these items that you are interested in on your card and then confirm the order and make the payment and just wait for Zimpost to deliver.
ND: What is your target in terms of the market share?
SM: In terms of the parcel business, we are around 65%. We want to see ourselves taking up as much as 80% of the business. We do have competition from courier companies, especially international or global players, but Zimbabwe is our backyard, like anyone else we know our backyard better than anyone else and we want to leverage on that. We believe that our solutions are designed with Zimbabweans in mind and our solutions are going to serve the Zimbabwean market in the best way forward.
ND: How much are you talking about in terms of investment into the project?
SM: What we have invested on in terms of the front office and back office system, it’s something in the region of plus or minus $3 million and what this investment would do, it will enable us to migrate the bulk of our services from manual to electronic and in some instances to link with the mobile platform.
ND: In terms of revenue, what is your target?
SM: In terms of revenue that we are making, if you look at the global revenues for e-commerce we are talking of something in the region of $1,3 trillion. I know in Zimbabwe we are far from reaching that even our gross domestic product (GDP). As a company, as long we target 80% of the market share, we are sure to be going home.
ND: Global or local market?
SM: No, the local market in Zimbabwe.
ND: How is the Zipcash facility performing?
SM: Zipcash is doing well, but not very well. Why, because it’s a service that is sitting on the electronic platform, but with the shift in the consumer interests or preferences and tastes, you find that we now need to enhance it and put it on the mobile platform so that people are able to transact without coming to the post office, so that people are able to have a mobile wallet, where if they are sent money they don’t necessarily need to get all of it. They can use that money to make payments for other services and they can keep some of it in the wallet. So work is being done to enable Zipcash to be on the mobile platform.
ND: Your parting shot?
SM: We want to thank the Zimbabwean customers for being patient with us. We have come with the capabilities that make us talk to you at the same level.
As Zimpost, we want to make sure that by 2022 we are a worldclass post office that provides the state-of-the-art services, that are at the same level with any other progressive postal company and we are here to make sure that their needs are satisfied.
If they have any feedback where they want us to improve they should call on us and we will be ready to do that.