[Interview] David Mbuta, CEO, Ubuntu Meal Delivery Services, Zambia
The company offers food delivery services from any restaurant of a customer’s choice, a forte that has seen it grow to now handle over 400 deliveries every month. He explained to Africa Business Communities the growth journey and the ambitions to scale operations by targeting fresh produce farmers with cold storage facilities.
Tell us about Ubuntu Meal Delivery Services Ltd?
Ubuntu Meal Delivery Services Limited is one of fastest growing meal delivery service companies in Lusaka Zambia. Currently, we offer food delivery services from any restaurant of choice to offline and online smartphone and feature phone subscribers who are residents of Lusaka.
Our services will be extending to the storage and delivery of fresh produce from small scale farmers through a horticulture cold storage facility and online e-commerce market place respectively. Our current meal delivery service addresses the need by city residents to have seamless access to a wide array of food without having to spend so much money and time on transport and searching for food during working hours respectively as well as over the weekend.
Our service also addresses the need by established and newly established local restaurants and kitchens to have access to non-walk in clients thereby providing them with a wider revenue base.
Where are you located?
Our Offices are located at No. 404 Kabulonga Road, Kabulonga, Lusaka, Zambia.
When was the company founded and by who?
Ubuntu Meal Delivery Services Limited was founded in August 2015. The current shareholders include David Mbuta and Nkandu Chibuye. Our Board of Advisors is Comprised of Kasaya Siwale, Chuma Shambe and Violette Vanhaften
How is the company funded?
Ubuntu Meal Delivery Services Limited got funding from the Tony Elumelu Foundation. We have also funded the enterprise from savings and personal rental investments from David Mbuta and Nkandu Chibuye
What makes Ubuntu Meal Delivery unique?
As a meal delivery service, we pride ourselves in first class customer service, reliability, speed of delivery and offering personalized services. Through these qualities we have been able to help women who have food related businesses such as cakes and catering with transport logistics which has ensured they to cut down on transport expenses therefore helping their businesses grow.
How has the market responded to your services?
As a new service to city residents, it has been welcomed with a lot of support such that we currently average 400 deliveries per month and are growing month on month.
Who forms your clientele base?
Our clients are segmented into women who in the 20 to 50 age bracket, are married, single, employed and are living in Lusaka. We also work with local small scale farmers looking to grow.
What are the growth plans of the company?
Over the next 24 months we plan to expand on our delivery staff in Lusaka and our services to one more city in Zambia while introducing a new line of service alongside our food delivery service which involves storage and delivery of postharvest fresh produce from small scale farmers which will allow customers to also buy fresh produce directly from our local small scale farmers.
These plans involve increase in staff, increase in machinery, introduction of a new service which will improve the supply chain of fresh produce and give us access to new markets and revenue channels.
This amongst other goals we have for the business has set the tone for the ambitions we have for our company which is international, fostering cross border trade and becoming one of Africa’s wholly owned e-commerce food delivery and storage franchise.
What does your company need to grow and prosper?
Currently our company is seeking additional funding in order to scale up the team as well as operations in order to meet the fast growing demand for our service while maintaining the quality of our service.
What is the latest news from the company?
We have undergone a merger with Deliveries Dlish, which will see two big food delivery services form one which will ensure our customers enjoy wider coverage, more menus, more restaurants, faster deliveries, seamless transactions and further time and cost saving.
Who should contact your company and why?
We are a company that embodies the actions that are defined by the name of our company. The mission of Ubuntu Meal Deliveries alongside its subsidiary Agristore Services limited is to promote quality of life in communities by providing a personalised and unique shopping experience for fresh produce and food of value, quality and health benefits.
We aim to ensure convenience, prevent the disturbance of the natural work flow of institutions and with the addition of our subsidiary Agristore Services Limited we aim to reduce postharvest fresh produce losses.
Our customers should be able to avoid traffic whilst continuing to have a wide variety of food and fresh produce options at affordable prices. Additionally, our small scale farmers should be able to focus on farming and producing quality fresh produce.
We believe a healthy community produces a healthy work force, a prerequisite for the development of countries and the wellbeing of nationals and this can be achieved with access to quality food and affordable produce.
Therefore, if you are a startup restaurant or food franchise or fruit and vegetable farmer who share in our vision of supporting sustainable restaurant growth, after sales revenue self-sustaining farming community, but at the same time are looking for the kind of support that ensures you focus on and continue producing then we are the people to speak to.