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[Edited] Here is our Q&A with Courier City’s founder Strive Mazunga: talks inspiration, challenges and feedback from the public

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In our earlier post, we introduced you to Courier City a Zimbabwean owned startup operating from Canada that is looking to disrupt the traditional shipping industry dominated by mega multinational companies like DHL, FedEx, and UPS.

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We were able to get its CEO and Founder Mr. Strive Mazunga to explain the idea behind Courier City, what he’s aiming to achieve and just how it all works. Please find our Q&A with the CEO below:

TZ: What problem are you looking to solve with Courier City?

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SM: As expats, we always want to stay connected with our families back home including being able to access Zimbabwean commodities that are not available in the diaspora (maybe expensive).

Whenever one wants to achieve this there is always the ache of how expensive it is to bring goods over using the typical courier services or how to know if there is someone in the community traveling whom you can use to deliver to or from Zimbabwe.

In this regard, Courier City was born to deliver value to the customers and to create a new shared economy that allows our travelers to earn money

TZ: What inspired you to develop it?

SM: Our inspiration is grounded on using technology to solve problems. We have access to advanced technology which we can utilize as a conduit to develop a new economy that is controlled by the people. Our target is to transform people’s lives and create a new connection channel with no bureaucracy.

TZ: What sort of business model are you using for your service?

SM: We are using a shared economy model where we are only a technology marketplace to connect travelers to customers. Our revenue comes from sharing the customers’ fees with the traveler.

TZ: How much traction have you made in the market so far? 

SM: As we have been building our brand we have raised awareness and people have signed up and shown interest in being either a customer or a travel partner. We have a few hundred people who have signed up and specified their travel dates in 2016. For customers, we have engaged in several marketing campaigns including the Mafikizolo Show Informational Session on Oct 15 which was followed by our Invite Only Pre-Launch & Networking event that we hosted on Oct 28th.

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During all these events we collected a lot of leads that include both travel partners and sending customers. We still have 2 more events that are coming up. We will be partnering with the Tuku Family Gospel Show on November 12th. Early December we are working on a public launch event for our public release of the platform

TZ: What sort of challenges have you faced so far?

SM: It’s been a rough ride from inception. Our biggest challenge that we have faced so far is people not believing in who we are and what we do. We have only had success when we get a chance to engage with people 1-1 and face to face. Because of that, we have planned more community engagement events.

No one will ever take you seriously until they see how serious you are. Technology has been a big challenge because our technical capabilities are very advanced and they have a lot of intricacies. The challenge of getting the right people who can bring “full stack” experience is very important to us as a startup as we have limited funding. We have definitely worked through this challenge and engaged people in our network circles to support us on a secondary or tertiary basis.

Regulation and red tape is something we are working through. Many major insurance companies, corporations, and government bodies are not willing to partner with us because we are still new on the scene with low revenue. These will be growing pains but as we grow our business and understand our market we will be able to command respect and prove our success.

TZ: What has been the feedback from users?

SM: The enthusiasm from the public for our platform is huge and overwhelming. We have a waiting list of customers and travelers are ready to get their hands on our platform to try it out to earn money and send their packages.

Since our market research campaign on social media, a lot of people have been volunteering information to us expressing their interest in being travel partners. I can disclose that for our one week market research campaign on Facebook received 150 leads volunteering their travel information for us to engage them once the platform is ready.

For those that are part of the pilot, we are getting 5-star ratings for user experience, ease of use(usability), the speed of service, pricing, and convenience. Even though the pilot testing is still going we are very encouraged with what the future holds.

-END-

You can find out more on Courier City by checking out its website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Please leave a comment on what you think of this new Zimbabwean owned startup in the comment section below.


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18 thoughts on “[Edited] Here is our Q&A with Courier City’s founder Strive Mazunga: talks inspiration, challenges and feedback from the public

    1. The service can be used for personal packages. Every package goes through security check to make sure we are not handing over illegal items to the traveller.

  1. “….We have access to advanced technology which we can utilize as a conduit to developing a new economy that is controlled by the people…”

    What advanced technology?

    Do they have Intercontinental drones to carry goods to people?

    Do they nuclear powered ships for carrying stuff over oceans?

    Do they have alien planes to zoom from one country to another?

    If you do not explain what exactly you have to move stuff then you are just trying to convince yourselves. Publishing at shows like Tuku and Mafikezolo to half drunk party goers is really a half job, l for one do not have time for those shows, so as most people.

    1. The use of advanced technology like facial recognition, ID authentication, identity masking(for communication between the sender and the traveller) e.t.c.

      As for the shows its all community outreach and not everyone comes to the show drunk or to get drunk.

  2. They call it the ‘crowd shipping’ industry. Its definitely new in zim, but its already been executed elsewhere (this article implies that its some new thing). ‘google it’ mr. author.

    1. This will be a new service for the Zimbabwe market at the present moment as you mentioned!

  3. Just out of curiosity i have the following questions
    1.Have you done a survey to analyse the number of visitors that travel for instance between Canada and Zimbabwe within say a 12 month period.
    2.Insurance is probably a huge factor am glad you are looking into it.Anway in case one loses the documents/packages to be delivered what controls have you put into place to make sure they are fully refunded/compensated for the loss whilst you work on the insurance part.
    3.We have about 3 major airports in Zim(Harare,Bulawayo and Vic Falls).What procedures have you put in place for people who want to receive goods in the other satellite towns like Gweru,Kariba etc assuming say most of the travellers are not based in these areas..

    1. 1. Yes we have done our market research and we have all that data with some assumptions
      2. Insurance has also been considered and thus we are taking a approach of starting with small packages before big high value items. We will offer insurance and compensation based on our limitation of maximum value allowed as we grow and understand the market better
      3. We don’t have anything in place at this moment but we are working on that. We are considering partnerships with local companies to help us cover “last mile” deliveries to satellite towns and remote cities.

  4. My problem with your model is you have already judged that DHL and the likes are expensive when you have not factored in your costs things like insurance etc.
    Have you also factored the additional costs that the traveller might incur to deliver the package.
    What of the costs of maintain your “Advanced Technology” etc.Have all these been factored into your pricing .
    At the end of the day we want you to grow but there are basics that i think your company needs to look at and do future cash/feasibility projections.
    Volumes are really critical in this business remember companies like DHL thrive on ecomies of scale and their pricing considers all these factors,

    1. We are not judging but we did market research and thats what the public is saying including ourselves as customers of the big 3.

      There will be no additional costs for the traveller because all they do is pickup the package from our booth at the departure airport an drop it off at our booth at the destination airport.

      Advanced technology costs have definitely been considered and our pricing model did account for all that and we are flexible enough to revisit the pricing just like any other company if there is a change in operational costs.

  5. I think it’s a great initiative ,I would use it,in fact am already sending parcels through third parties. Dont give up

  6. Crowd-shipping is quite big overseas and its introduction in Zim is good,take a look at startups like packmule and shipizy they are disrupting the parcel business overseas.Maybe if the guys from courier-city can innovate and target routes such us Harare-London,Harare-Jo burg or vice-versa to Bulawayo.Big up Courier City.

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