S I N T

COMMUNICATIONS LTD

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected society on so many different levels.  It has made us wary of a variety of situations that could not just negatively affect our health, but kill us and our relatives and friends.  It has shut down a wide range of businesses, causing loss of income and self-esteem.  It has hindered our ability to interact with each other, share ideas, start or strengthen friendships, learn from one another.  It has closed schools, locking down development of skills, ability and growth as human beings.

For all of the negative consequences of the virus, there have been some opportunities created for society, and particularly certain sectors of society, to adapt.  In some cases adaptation will lead to more profit.  Check out the delivery sector.  In others, solving the current problems will create new products and services that will prove useful in the post COVID-19 world.

Certainly, educational institutions have strong incentives to find short-term solutions.  Students are losing valuable time and knowledge.  Public institutions are losing the impetus to retain staff on full salaries.  Private institutions are losing income, and potentially students to home schooling.  Now is the time to be pro-active, by providing on-line learning opportunities.

Those on-line solutions will not only be useful in the short-term.  They will provide opportunities to serve disabled children better, to help those missing time with sickness to keep pace, to enable children living overseas or in temporary quarters to stay connected to their schools/classes/classmates, to give children that are falling behind a resource to catch up, to provide opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities when transportation is a challenge.  And inevitably there will be other uses for on-line learning platforms to positively impact our children and our community.

While there are quite a few on-line teaching/learning platforms, most do not connect easily and neatly to mobile phones.  The number of smartphones in Africa outpace the number of laptops by at least 20 times.  And many parents are using the family laptops to do their own work.  Kids have phones!

The number of smartphones in Africa is expanding rapidly, as newer models become more and more affordable.  Kenya is the epicenter of this smartphone explosion, with about 20 million (and counting) smartphones spread around the country.  Even in challenging environments like Kibera, Mathare and Kawangware, local residents are banding together to buy wi-fi services to use their mobile devices on.

Now, there are e-learning platforms out there, many developed in the West, where culture and curriculums are often vastly different.  Africa typically succeeds when mapping out its own innovations that fit into our unique circumstances, traditions, values, challenges and creativity.  We should be developing our own Mobile Apps, with specific features that fit specific age groups, income levels, environments and specializations that will help our kids gain knowledge and skills that will benefit them the most after graduation.

Of course, we want to make these fun, so that children will be compelled to engage them.  Make them easy to use, so that parents will join in.  Have them keep track of progress, attendance, relationships, so that parents can keep an eye on who their kids are learning from, who is helping, and who is hindering their development.

But who knows best what we need?  Of course, our African parents…our African educators…our success stories, who know how what they learned has led to their prosperity and achievement.  Africans need to work together with tech companies and innovators to come up with the 2020 ideas that will shape our future and those of our children and grandchildren.

While we can make these Apps available for free, we can also charge subscription or tuition fees, for families to be connected to particular learning institutions.  The quality of teachers, administrators, curriculums, teaching style, fellow students, these all matter and provide value to learners and their families.

Key components of the e-learning apps that are being developed now: Engagement, relate-ability, fun, examples of how knowledge is useful in the real world, extra-curricular activities in the digital space, encouraging creativity, connecting students with their friends and their role models, allowing some individual choices, offering good moral and ethical guidance, opening up the power of the digital space with all of its possibilities for career enhancement and roles.

Africa, we need to move on this now.  We have free time when we are restricted from going to work, meeting with our friends, dining, drinking and dancing.  Let’s look at the space our children are occupying now, and help make it more compelling, more developmental, more fun, and more enriching, so that we don’t stunt our collective growth, but create ways to unleash our children’s intellect and creativity, and help guarantee them a bright future.

Engage us and find out how we can work together to get your education solution done, COST-EFFECTIVELY, for success in the Covid-19 era!

Delivery apps are nothing new. We’ve had them for years. With Covid-19 pandemic, most businesses are leaning towards offering delivery for their products and services. Pioneered by Uber and Air BnB, it is currently one of the most widely used business models, disrupting businesses and redefining customer experiences across a number of industries.

A lot of these apps have their ups and downs. Don’t expect a flawless experience just yet. It’s a growing industry and we are still working out many of the issues. However, despite the difficulties, Uber and other major companies have been facing lately, the on-demand business model remains extremely profitable. That is why understanding the benefits and opportunities that the on-demand economy can offer is becoming increasingly important for any business owner.

There are basically three main aspects to consider while going on-line, whether it’s an on-demand app or an e-commerce store.

1. A seamless, user-friendly platform

The product discovery phase is the best first step you can take to lay a solid foundation for your on-demand delivery app development. It includes a functional specification, UX/UI design, and a visual prototype that will give you a clear vision of the end product. This will guide you in defining the full scope of work and creating a road map for the project, in addition to defining realistic budgets and planning for your resources. In case you have limited resources, start by creating an MVP to test the waters and craft a convincing pitch to raise investment.

The bottom line is creating a superior, easy-to-use app for your customers, giving them the best user experience. Below are some basic features to consider:

 

  • Registration:Every app requires authentication before getting started. You can do it in various ways. Some apps may require your social account details, some will work with your email, and some will log in with a phone number.
  • Placing orders:After selecting the service or product you want to get, the user will either select the preferred service provider or auto-matching will apply. The user will look for price and compare where possible. Once done, the app will require the user to enter his name, address, nearest landmark and contact number (these details should be saved to make the next order as simple and quick as possible).
  • Route Optimization:Based on the address given, the app will look out for the nearest and fastest route, so that the order can be delivered within the shortest time possible.
  • Tracking:The app will also track the order from its dispatch to the final delivery. It will include the estimated time of delivery and distance. It will help the customer to keep track of his
  • Notifications:Through notifications (Push notifications or SMS), the customer is regularly informed of the order status. It gives a sense of personal engagement.
  • Payments: The customer should have as many options as possible. The customer can pay while placing the order or upon There are two major payment modes; Online or Cash. The online mode includes card payment, mobile payment gateways, bank transfer and a few more.
  • Review and rating:Once the product is received, the customer tends to give the feedback and rating for the product and/or service. So, positive feedback on the app will only accelerate the company growth.

 

2. Setting up the delivery personally

This can be achieved by partnering with existing logistics and transport companies, setting up freelance delivery agents, or owning the delivery team. Each of these has its pros and cons, for example, partnering with an existing logistic company may end up raising the cost of service, as there are several parties to share with, but less work in terms of initial set up and control. On the other hand, freelance agents set up might cost you time, and is unreliable at times, especially during the early stages when there is not much traffic. However, this method is cost-effective. Setting up your own team will give you full control over the deliveries, but one may have to part with a very large capital investment, both in terms of assets and payroll.

All in all, you must make sure that the delivery team is set before launch. The worst you can do is to launch a great product without the delivery system in place.

3. Setting up the merchant network or distribution points

This can be achieved through franchise, independent merchants or owned outlets well-distributed in targeted launch areas. Just like the delivery system, this should be in place before launching your on-demand app. Again, it will be suicidal launching the delivery app without the distribution points in place. The purchasing pattern of most users is that they want instant gratification. Delayed or late deliveries will only work against your company and lead to poor rating on the app, affecting your business negatively.

Based on our experience of successfully developing and  launching Uber-like apps, we have a deep understanding of what it takes to build and run a successful on-demand business. Talk to us and let us walk with you. You can as well leave your comment below on any other important consideration that you think I have left out.