Bukyia – Expand Your Food Brand With Zero Capital.
Consumers in Africa today are fast adapting to technology. They want everything digital, remote, and convenient. Coronavirus accelerated this phenomenon into the now new normal and it’s not going back anymore. According to Mckinsey and Company, E-commerce deliveries were projected to take 10 years to accelerate worldwide but interestingly, it took only 8 weeks, thanks to the Coronavirus. Despite the huge opportunities Coronavirus presented, it widely affected businesses due to lockdowns and restrictions.
UNDP Ghana Covid-19 business tracker identified the food industry to be the one most hit by COVID-19. The sector recorded a 91 percent decrease in sales with 24 percent of food businesses fully closed and the remaining laying-off workers. Beyond the pandemic, issues of compounded regulatory policies, expensive real estate, groceries, logistics, and technologies in such a fragmented market will continue to make food entrepreneurs vulnerable considering the low-margin nature of the business.
Growing food business in Africa, don’t have the resources to assemble technical teams and food aggregator platforms currently available seem expensive especially for local restaurants. Aside from paying 30% commission and weekly fees, restaurants do not own their data, customers, and customer experience.
Hence many food entrepreneurs today are using WhatsApp as their management and distribution channel which is not efficient for an industry whose growth heavily relies on data and targeted campaigns. So, the foundation of Bukyia was just… let’s make food tech more ionized, convenient, and easier for locals!
Bukyia has built an all-in-one social commerce solution that puts suites of transformational digital tools such as order and delivery management, mobile invoicing, payment, records, accounts, bookkeeping, marketing and more in the hands of local and informal restaurants with affordable pricing.
The Bukyia webapp can be used free of charge without attracting any fees or charges. However, brands that require the services of a Bukyia Ninja and other premium features are charged small commissions widely below the industry standard of 30%.
The informal retail market is arguably the backbone of the African economy. In Ghana, 95% of retail transactions worth over $2 billion happen in this market annually with over 90% being women-owned businesses. Despite the huge market, a large percentage of it is fragmented and still remains offline, probably in-person, on phone or on WhatsApp etc. Digital literacy is also an issue. A number of vendors are either digital illiterates or not-too-tech-savvy.
Bukyia has developed an innovative agent network system called Bukyia Ninja. Bukyia Ninjas are trained customer service and digital marketing experts that resell food for informal vendors or any vendor that wants opts for the service on the Bukyia webapp. Driving sales from multiple platforms like tiktok and Instagram through content marketing for a commission. What makes this exciting is the remote nature of it. Ninjas can operate from anywhere right on their phones without having to be on the field.
But that is not just it, the most exciting thing about the Bukyia web app is how it has converged food and community into one. And, Bukyia boost to be the first local tech company to do that. Think of it as Instagram in Glovo, Bolt-Food or Jumia. We are also building data tracking tools on top of WhatsApp to allow vendors to use WhatsApp efficiently.
If you have visited bukyia’s website, you saw a wait-list requesting food businesses to sign up to join a cloud kitchen. Before you get skeptical, the startup claims they are having over 200 brands including very popular restaurants in Accra hoping to join. And the startup is still working behind the scenes to bring the kitchen-for-hire into life for locals to leverage for their restaurant growth and expansion.
Nathaniel Opoku, CEO of the company said he and his colleagues started Bukyia to empower the millions of women who are the backbone of commerce in Ghana. After the bad experiences they encountered ordering food online whilst at the University of Ghana. Bukyia wants to be the reliable ecosystem that offers African food entrepreneurs a single marketplace and dashboard to scale and operate beyond borders; botherless.
‘’ We strongly believe the future of food sits in the cloud and we are committed to building digital and physical infrastructure for this future of commerce in Accra for Africans.’’
In the coming days. Bukyia will be announcing a series of partnerships and several updates – from eat now pay later to amazing functionalities.
According to Clayton Christensen seminal theory on disruptive innovations, a marketplace is set to be disruptive when it brings together individuals or businesses that are constrained in their ability to offer supply in the market (non-producers) and individuals or businesses. Who were previously left out of existing markets (non-consumers) to create new types of transactions. The innovation of Bukyia fits perfectly especially on how it seeks to bring into mainstream local restaurants and catering businesses that have been hard-to-find beyond word of mouth. Giving them access to suites of transformational digital tools and assistance. Perhaps, that might be why they are called Bukyia Innovative Kitchen concepts.
Bukyia says it believes the future of commerce in Africa will be widely defined by how we digitize informal retail today. Technologies that will last will not be too hard to understand, use or deliver. It will be conversational in the sense that it ought to foster organic interactions and it will be empowering locals.
The next time you find yourself feeling so hungry in Accra, take your phone and log onto BUKYIA. Order some rich meals and support the locals. It is simple liadat. Say ‘’No more wahala’’