KAMPALA – When RG-Consult started working on the Nakasero Market portal that would allow people to order groceries from the market and have them delivered to their residences, little did they know that it would become popular in a short time.
However, the lockdown that followed the COVID-19 outbreak in Uganda, forcing the government to institute control measures to constrain its spread, was a blessing in disguise for the East African 360 creative, production, experiential marketing, events management and consulting company.
While many business people sulked over the lockdown, RG-Consult was smiling; it was an opportunity to popularize their new platform.
It was an opportunity to fast-track the development of its Nakasero Market portal, an online platform that allows people to buy groceries from the comfort of their homes and have they delivered to them conveniently; especially the government had banned both private and public means of transport.
Bridgette Nisha Ampurira, the RG Consults Team Manager said that while they had planned the App and were already working on the portal, COVID-19 accelerated the development and introduction onto the market.
“This product became much more important and relevant because of the current situation we are in. The website www.nakaseromarket.ug is receiving a lot of traffic. Our App is ready and will be rolled out soon,” Ampurira said.
People ordering groceries can pay through mobile money, Visa Card, or cash on delivery. The company has a fleet of Boda Bodas which do the home deliveries.
Following the success of the Nakasero Market portal, Ampurira said the company has also secured other domains for popular traditional markets, as part of its bigger expansion plan.
The company, which is among the Financial Technology Companies (FinTechs) taking part in the 40-days-40-FinTechs initiative, also offers other products including the sale of tickets for different events, online.
The company has also ventured into organizing online concerts, where people pay for a show and they are provided with a link through which they can access and watch the show live.
It is registered in Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.
The HiPipo CEO Innocent Kawooya said the 40 days 40 fintechs initiative seeks to support innovative FinTechs to ensure that they create more jobs and ensure that more people are financially included.
He, however, expressed concern that despite the technology sector playing a critical role in scaling financial inclusion over the years, the sector has not been given sufficient attention.
“For instance, if a bank today has 150,000 mobile wallets, they praise the bank first before they talk about the person that created the technology.
“For 15 years, HiPipo has been advocating for digital transformation, starting with Music. We wanted to show that you can use technology to change so many lives. About 10 years ago, we took it to financial inclusion; we wanted to ensure that we streamline and get people on board. Our input has played a great part in the amazing growth of mobile financial services you see today,” Kawooya said.
Kawooya said that HiPipo will ensure that FinTechs like RG-Consults are equipped with emerging technologies such as Mojaloop – a financial technology software that will help them design interoperable payment solutions to enable them to cut costs and also serve a wider market, using a shared payment platform.
“Mojaloop will help you create a financial eco-system that can communicate easily with other platforms to enable you to supply products anywhere and get payments seamlessly,” he said.
The 40-days-40 FinTechs initiative is organized by HiPipo under its Include EveryOne program, in partnership with Crosslake Tech, ModusBox, and Mojaloop Foundation.
It seeks to enable FinTechs to innovate solutions that facilitate cross-network financial transactions at minimal risks to enhance access to financial services.
Running for 40 days, the project will see the participating 40 FinTechs acquire interoperable development skills to improve access to financial services, using the Mojaloop open-source software.
Kawooya pledged to offer free consultancy for the participating Fintechs that could be having technological challenges.