[Startup Interview] Don Okoth, General Manager, Sendy, Kenya
Don Okoth is General Manager for Kenyan Fulfillment and Logistics startup Sendy. In this interview, he talks about the current state of logistics in Kenya and beyond, including Sendy's role in shaping the industry.
Your first business line Sendy Transport halted its peer-to-peer service last year to focus on supporting businesses. What was the reason for this?
From the onset, Sendy Transport was built to support businesses. Over the years, we have continued to fulfill this need. Our focus remains to impact businesses across the continent using all our solutions, Sendy Transport and Sendy Fulfillment.
Our mission is to support and empower businesses to trade with ease. Therefore we will continue to develop Sendy Transport and other solutions that help to address our business customers' needs. Through our Direct Fulfillment service, we are supporting businesses that require delivery to consumers. We saw the opportunity of offering Sendy Fulfillment, including Direct Fulfillment as a low-hanging fruit that could still enable us to move goods for businesses and support trade across Africa, while keeping the costs low for our customers.
Sendy also paused its Supply service for retailers to focus on Sendy Fulfillment. What has been the uptake of the Fulfillment solution in Kenya.
Businesses face many challenges. accessing reliable, efficient, and affordable logistics and fulfillment services is a key issue. Through our fulfillment solutions, we have seen many businesses thrive owing to our efficiency of service. We are enabling businesses to focus more on growing their ventures while we take care of their logistics and fulfillment needs.
While Supply has been paused, retailers are using the Fulfillment service. We paused Supply so that we could fill the visible gap that we noticed retailers had. they did not have efficient warehouse management, inventory management, fleet management, and documentation. Therefore we doubled down on Sendy Fulfillment to cater for this need.
The uptake has been great, this has further been supported by the growth of digital commerce and the opportunities it has presented. We will continue to facilitate the movement of goods for many businesses across the country. Our goal is to help businesses succeed by providing them with the logistics and fulfillment services they need to grow and thrive in today's competitive marketplace. We are today fulfilling for many businesses including Uncover, Lintons and Centrofood , CIL (Complast Industries Limited), Loiren and many more.
How exactly does Fulfillment work for businesses? What business segments do you work with?
Generally, Sendy provides the easiest way for businesses of any size to move goods, enabling them to drive more efficiency and growth. We do this through diverse fulfillment services: Direct Delivery, Smart Fulfillment, and all-in-one Fulfillment.
All-in-one Fulfillment improves the efficiency of online businesses through picking, packing, storage, and shipping their orders while Direct Fulfillment supports businesses that require delivery to consumers. Smart Fulfillment facilitates e-commerce and B2B companies to pick goods, sort, and deliver them to end customers such as supermarkets retailers and other consumers
We work with suppliers, manufacturers and large consumer brands to support their logistics and fulfillment operations and increase efficiency through route optimization, shrinkage reduction, consolidation, inventory management, GPS tracking, full automation and AI and utilizing data to improve our service.
For example last year we were able to reduce the cost of logistics for CFAO Motors Kenya formerly Toyota Kenya by over 40%
Social commerce has grown exponentially in the country. A lot of businesses are trading using social media platforms. Is there a plan to support such businesses?
Yes, we are already doing that. We are working with many social sellers to fulfill their orders at the lowest possible costs. Using our all in one fulfillment solution. Through the service we are able to pick, pack, and store their consignment at our Fulfillment Center and ship their orders to customers.
You announced an investment from MOL PLUS last year. Other than the funding bit that was undisclosed, what is the broader partnership structure?
Our partnership with MOL was both financial and operational. We want to leverageeach other's strengths to simplify logistics for businesses. MOL Logistics provides integrated logistics and supply chain solutions for businesses across the world, and is a key player in the ecosystem. On the other hand, Sendy has been operational in the continent for 8 years now and can easily navigate the African trade landscape. Through this partnership we will achieve collective value and impact within Africa.
Are there plans to grow your service actively in rural Kenya?
We are already supporting businesses to conduct trade across the country through our national deliveries service. We understand the need to provide logistics and fulfillment services to businesses in all regions and are committed to expanding our reach and making our services more accessible to businesses in all parts of the country.
What is the future for Sendy?
We are constantly exploring new technologies and partnerships to improve our fulfillment services, identify new opportunities and stay ahead of trends. We are confident that our strategic initiatives and commitment to excellence will drive our desire for growth and success for businesses.
We want to provide the easiest way for businesses to move goods. This speaks to our mission to empower people and businesses by making it easier to trade.