Rwanda is a small country of about 10 million people in East Africa. Its neighbours are Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and Congo.
Rwanda went through the last tragedy of the 20th century with the genocide against the tutsis. However today we are are considered as an economic miracle because 21 years later, the country is classified as:
1) Top 10 in doing business in Africa
2) Top 10 in government efficiency
3) A model in post conflict economic reconstruction
4) A model in leadership
5) One of the safest places on the planet (Top 5 in a 2015 study)
6) IT advancement such as 4G LTE, optic fibre etc...
Today, middle men and importers run the food industry.
Farmers are ripped off of precious income in order to serve the margins of resellers.
Importers fix the prices of products (taking advantage of the fact that Rwanda is a landlocked country).
In the end, due to a lack of time to do his or her own due diligence, the consumer doesn't have the power to shop smartly and make a decision based on the best choices.
Having worked in the energy sector, I was able to travel all around the country to inspect and locate hydropower sites. Through these travels, I found it odd that our driver would come back to Kigali with a lot of produce and tell me:
"Gael, they cost less than half the price in the country side, and they lie to us in Kigali that transport is responsible for the cost increase".
I regularly went to the food market after that and made the observation myself. The resellers at the market and the drivers were colluding to increase the price and could even make more margins depending of the face of the client.
On the other hand, I made the observation that in order to get the freshest products at the most competitive price, the food market remained the best option. However one has to bear with crowded stalls, having to shop early in the morning, and long negotiations.
These two elements led me to try a pilot project consisting of delivering groceries to my relatives. I would have my full time job during the week, and the delivery service during the week end. Hence it was an opportunity for me to reconnect with my country by dealing with BoP markets.
Helping my aunt led me to helping my cousins, then their friends, then their friend's friends. I then realized there was a huge entrepreneurship opportunity.
Therefore I incorporated a company, named it GroceWheels, and while working on the website and other technical aspects in order to improve my business, I kept delivering groceries during weekends to hand picked customers.
This is how it works:
The fact that I was competitive and reliable brought high demand from other businesses (restaurants, boarding schools etc...), which led me to take the company to the next level.
We realized that GroceWheels could be a unique platform for bridging the gap between consumers and producers, to help increase the sales and reduce the prices of one of the basic needs in life: food.
After working hard to increase the quality of the products, we found out that design and presentation would also be a requirement in order to increase our customer base. We then invested a lot of time and attention to the packaging.
Today we want to launch our website and start delivering on a daily basis, we therefore need your help to be able to process hundreds of orders every day while remaining competitive and trustworthy.