In most parts of Zimbabwe, a dengu (field basket) has a special place in life, as a historical and contemporary container meant to carry goods or store goods.
Some readers may remember using this form of container at one time or another.
No wonder two gentlemen Sungano Mwarumba and Frank Mushakavanhu based in Cape Town were inspired by the containers uses to form their internet focused company.
The two created Dengu as an online retail shop that primarily delivers grocery items and building materials to Zimbabwe. They also accept orders from anywhere in the world and do same day deliveries.
We derive the name from our own Zimbabwean Dengu (Field Basket). We provide an online platform that provides an easy and affordable way to buy food items, hardware, and livestock feed for your family from the comfort of your home, office or on the go anywhere in the world, said the principals in a recent interview.
Dealing mainly with grocery items, building material, hardware and agricultural inputs has seen the company growing its clients. It has been in operation for just over a year now and it seems with most people going online in recent years, the company is set to grow its market.
Talking about how they got into this kind of business, they said, It was through the accumulation of experience working for various organizations, (Amazon, Serco Global, Mama Money and Mukuru). Given this background, we then tried to mix this experience and tailor-make something for our own folk.
They say they were inspired by work done for entrepreneurs and having the privilege to witness their success stories, as well as the idea of being part of them or following their footsteps.
The other reason for the formation of the company was that they wanted to provide an alternative that gives clients peace of mind, especially considering that some family members or relatives were not honest enough when tasked with the role of delivering funds or goods back home.
So far the company has been well received over the period it has been trading.
We are grateful for the support we have received thus far. That we are still going tells volumes of the support we have received. The initial months were quite challenging owing to the fact this was somehow new to some people and also people being accustomed to their traditional means of sending stuff to Zimbabwe.
Some of the biggest challenges they faced were how to explain the concept of online shopping and the model to new customers. Also reaching to some remote areas in Zim is another challenge.
Further challenges include recruiting the right team members who also are automatically brand ambassadors.
We do face challenges but we are grateful we have found ways to overcome them.”
The two said the most critical elements that clients look for in an online business like theirs encompassed things like quality of service, affordability, trustworthiness, while communication at all stages of an order are quite important to the business and to the customer.
This is quite important as No-one wants to deal with an organisation that is dodgy or one that does not deliver their promises.”
The majority shareholders of Dengu Online are co-founders Mwarumba (CEO) and Mushakavanhu (COO). There also have a private investor who owns a minority stake.
Sungano Mwarumba was born in Chipinge and grew up in between Chipinge, Mutare and Bulawayo while Frank Mushakavanhu was born in Avondale West and grew up in Harare, Mutare and Bulawayo.
Mwarumba who left Zimbabwe in 1988, did his primary school at several schools namely Chipinge Primary, Maphisa Primary(Bulawayo), Rujeko Primary (Mutare), Matika Primary (Mutare) before attending Rusitu High School in Chimanimani and then progressing to UNISA. Mushakavanhu who followed the track to South Africa five years later in July 2013, attended Avondale Primary, St Faiths Boys High School, Nyatsime College and Solusi University.
What do they think of online business in Zimbabwe? It is the future, the market has been a bit slow to accept it partly to the payment systems in place in Zim but with the popularity of mobile money transfers locally and from outside the country the people are warming up to online businesses.”
Potential clients can visit their website www.dengu.co.za or through these numbers +2761 231 5900 / +2721 422 4052.
For anyone who wishes to send groceries to their families back home and who appreciate the kind of service offered, Dengu Online loves to help them.
“Just give us a call with their name and number and we’ll be happy to follow up.