Local Company Develops Free Business Directory That’s Accessible Via WhatsApp


If you are looking for a random graphic designer in Zimbabwe naturally you’d just open your browser and search. But what if you don’t have mobile data to “google”, how do you look for the graphic designer?

What if I told you that there’s a cheaper way of doing that? Indeed there is. A local company called Modern Innovations Marketing has developed directory called Ipapo Business Directory which is accessible on WhatsApp. As WhatsApp bundles are cheaper across all networks, the directory can be accessible by many Zimbabweans.

What Modern Innovations did is essentially making the whole site with contacts and addresses accessible via WhatsApp which is quite innovative.


What’s up with the directory?

Using Ipapo Business Directory, one is able to search for local businesses, products/ services and rate a business. On the enterprise side, companies can get listed in the directory so that they are ‘searchable’ on the WhatsApp directory.

Enjoying this service is free for both individuals and businesses. And since many Zimbo’s are well acquainted with WhatsApp I hardly think they will struggle to use this service.

How to get started with Ipapo Business Directory

  • Save have this number: +14155238886
  • Open WhatsApp
  • Send this message to that saved number: join suddenly-shallow
  • The bot (virtual assistant) will ask for a name you’d prefer to be called. Choose any name or nickname you want
  • The bot will ask what you to do. Select your preferred option
  • The bot will then ask you to accept its cookie and privacy policy and terms and conditions. You may select “Agree” after you’ve read the policies and terms
  • Upon agreeing, you will be assigned a user ID which should try to memorize just in case you delete you chats
  • Now you can do the rest as you interact with the bot

If you didn’t understand the steps I’ve just given you, then watch this video and see how to get started:

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Comments 3

one year ago

Good initiative. I have just tried it out. Why am I accepting cookies for a WhatsApp bot? Sending ” join suddenly-shallow” is a bit too much, we should just be sending “hello”. Why a +1 number for a Zim based service? Maybe it’s the way the Twilio API is setup

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one year ago

Why is a user id used to uniquely id me and not my mobile number? They might need to work on the UX as well.

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one year ago

Looks like it’s still in development, why is it running in the Twilio Sandbox?

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