Tech start-up: Thumeza
Founder: Gugulethu Siso
Describe your start up in one line.
An online logistics platform providing affordable and accountable delivery solutions provider for FMCG enterprises.
Describe your business model and what makes your business unique?
Our model is based on facilitating delivery solutions for a commission for enterprises in the FMCG and distribution space. This allows us to plan our growth based on current and forecasted clientele. Although there may be similar start-ups that may have elements of our offering, we firmly believe that logistics goes merely beyond moving goods from point A to point B. We strive to provide empathetic solutions that are powered by data for our clients. We have an ability to provide one quote from moving 30 tons of goods from production point all the way down to 1kg to be distributed to the end consumers’ doorstep using one solution.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
Being able to net a retail giant such as TM Pick’n’Pay as a client has been a big win for us. This has validated our solution to the market and given us a foothold to other clients within a similar space.
Describe your funding path
We are primarily revenue funded with cash flow infusions from entrepreneurial competitions we have taken part in e.g. YouthConnket Zimbabwe.
What has made the biggest difference to your start-up?
Being able to build a solid team that is aligned with the vision the company is striding to achieve. Without this fundamental block, we would not be where we are now.
Where would you like your business venture to be in the next three years?
Our mid-term goal is to be actively facilitating trips for enterprises between Zimbabwe and its top 3 trading partners within the SADC region. This is feeding into our long-term vision of providing the data that powers decision making for enterprises primarily within the SADC region.
What is the hardest thing you have ever done as a start up?
Our main challenge has been operating within a sometimes-restrictive environment. Planning ahead as for most companies has been especially challenging. We have adapted a long-term vision with extremely short-term planning and execution tranches i.e OKRs per month-on-month basis. This allows us to appropriately pivot whilst remaining true to our vision.
What has been your biggest business mistake?
Acting too slow to take advantage of business opportunities because of a fear of failure. One would rather fail to execute and gracefully handle the fall out rather than not trying to provide a solution at all.
What is the most common serious mistake you see entrepreneurs make?
Building a product in limbo without consulting your prospective clients and then wondering why uptake is slow.
What is the single most important piece of advice you would offer to a less experienced entrepreneur?
Start where you are and with what you have. The power of having a conversation with prospective clients cannot be overemphasized. It could open avenues for prospective pre-orders that could be the basis for your funding as you start out.