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South Africa: Limpopo app-based business shakes up on-demand delivery space

South Africa: Limpopo app-based business shakes up on-demand delivery space

Zulzi, an on-demand delivery service app established in Limpopo in 2016, has won in the Best Breakthrough Developer category of the MTN Business App of the Year Awards.

The service brings groceries to the doors of customers within an hour.

According to Zulzi, it has in excess of 9 000 active registered users and has delivered 15 000 orders since inception.

Founder and CEO Vutlharhi Valoyi said, "When the opportunity to enter the competition arose, I submitted an entry and got the opportunity to showcase the app to the adjudicators, who were amazed by its ease of use and utility. It is still early days to fully assess the impact of the competition on Zulzi, but since we won in the Best Breakthrough Developer category, there has been a lot of interest from users and potential funders and investors."

After spending three years at the University of the Witwatersrand studying a BSc in Applied Mathematics, Valoyi worked for a software company in Cape Town. He then relocated to Johannesburg where he worked for a number of companies in the information and communications technology sector.

"It was in 2014 that Zulzi was formed as an e-commerce company selling textbooks and electronic equipment to university students online. Our turnaround time for delivery was 24 hours. In the second year of operation, we identified a gap in the market to provide a speedier service and reduced the delivery time to just 60 minutes. The response to this was phenomenal! We immediately saw a 30% spike in demand for our services and a significant increase in market share," says Valoyi.

Says Valoyi: "When members of the public gave us the thumbs up, that was the most rewarding and special experience for me and the team. It was humbling to receive such a significant affirmation from the public. It really meant a lot to us, and provided us with reassurance that we are on the right track."

Responding to questions about other online delivery services by some retailers and online on-demand apps like UberEats, and their impact on his business, Valoyi says he doesn't consider these services as competition.

He attributes this to Zulzi's competitive edge in terms of turnaround times and the wider bouquet of services it offers.

"We don't only deliver food. We also offer grocery delivery services. We have cornered the market and have built a loyal customer base that derives value from the services we offer," he continues.

Looking ahead, Valoyi says he plans to expand Zulzi to other metropolitan areas, including Durban, Pretoria and Cape Town.

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