Kenyan techpreneur Mogaka Mwencha, 34, has defied all odds to create one of the biggest online businesses, valued at more than KSh10 million (approx US$120,000) in a country where online buying is only slowly being adopted.
However, this did not come easily, Mwencha says. He told BusinessdailyAfrica that along with his partners, they had tried the usual model, which requires getting as many products and services online as possible ito get good traffic and in turn draw advertising from large corporates.
“Then we discovered that Kenyans are not comfortable clicking ‘Buy’. They want to see the thing and hold it,” said Mogaka. “And it’s not yet part of our culture where if you’re shopping for something you check online. People would look online and then go away.”
Mogaka said that he and his partners spent 18 months researching and developing Mzoori.com, coined from the Swahili word ‘Mzuri’, meaning ‘good’.
He says that in their research they discovered that Kenyan shoppers usually go online to find goods and services they are interested in but then contact the sellers directly.
Mzoori.com acts as a connection between the buyer and the seller. Sellers list their products on the site, and each time a buyer interested in the products visits the website, the seller is the notified via SMS with the buyer’s details.
Before enlisting a seller onto their database, Mzoori.com first carries out a verification to validate the seller as a means of purging chances of fraud associated with online business.