Hustling against time

Bafana Vumasi
Bafana Vumasi

Realising that time is a scarce commodity, two Salt River-based businessmen have come up with an innovative and time-saving idea to serve their customers and it’s proving to be a winner.

Bafana Vumasi and business partner Sipho Maribo’s MyScooter (Pty) Ltd is an online ordering and delivery service that provides a convenient way to buy goods while supporting local business.

Users or consumers can download the app from Playstore or Appstore, register their details and “voilà, in a few seconds consumers can enjoy the convenience of buying food, beverages, groceries and pharmaceutical products from retailers within a 4 – 5 km radius”.

Vumasi is one of 36 small business owners who received a cash injection and marketing support valued at over R70 000 as part of Shoprite’s Hustle competition. The competition was open to all small business owners with an annual turnover of less than R1m. “We have endless respect for the thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators who work tirelessly to pursue their passions and rise above their circumstances. That’s why we launched Shoprite Hustle – to give these small businesses their big break!” says the retailer in a statement.

In the five months that MyScooter has been operational, Vumasi and Maribo have successfully enlisted 20 scooter drivers who do the deliveries and have partnered with a number of retailers, fast food outlets and bottle stores.

With the boost received from Shoprite, Vumasi says they hope to expand the business by adding more retailers and restaurants and hiring more scooter drivers.

“We believe that we can make our mark by creating jobs and empowering South African women. Innovation in automation – we hope that we have a recipe that will soon make MyScooter a must-have for any smartphone user,” says Vumasi.

He explains: “We have partnered with 20 scooter drivers around Cape Town; they receive orders through a mobile app with all the details like where and what to collect and deliver.”

Originally from Soweto, 35-year-old Vumasi recalls that while he was growing up, his parents ran spaza shops and he believes that was the source of his entrepreneurial spirit. “I have always been involved in the business from a young age, assisting my parents daily. MyScooter was an idea born out of looking at current problems and challenges faced by communities and consumers in general. We realised that time is one scarce commodity and we had to find a way to create more time.”

He came to Cape Town in 2013 to join his wife who was studying here.

He says he found out about the Shoprite competition on Twitter in August and immediately entered.

Asked what it means to be among the chosen 36 business owners countrywide, Vumasi says it is a “humbling” experience. “It is also proof that we have addressed a need and used technology to add value to the business and improve people’s lives.”

He hopes the opportunity will open more doors for the company which is currently facing various challenges. “(MyScooter) is not a known service/product in the market yet, so it makes it slightly challenging to convince retailers to sign up. Marketing and getting consumers to download and use the platform requires a big budget to run promotions and other things. However, people are slowly getting used to it. We are travelling around signing up new customers/retailers, running marketing campaigns and so on.”V Email Vumasi at bafanavumasi@myscooter.co.za.

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