Tshepo Mekoa, founder of Brima Logistics launched a female-led tech division to empower women
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It is often said that empowering women in the workplace requires active lobbying from men who still enjoy a huge dominance over occupying powerful positions in the corporate sector.
This is exactly what drove Tshepo Mekoa, the founder and owner of Brima Logistics, to launch a female-led tech division within his fast-growing enterprise.
Brima Tech, a subsidiary of Brima Logistics, develops tech-based solutions such as applications, software and e-commerce websites to fill the gaps in the global market.
Mokea recently branched Brima out into the e-commerce space after encountering red tape while trying to distribute his first book about his 14-year entrepreneurship journey of starting a courier company from his garage.
Mekoa spoke highly of his female staff members, saying the strongest and most capable individuals on the Brima Tech team were women.
“I believe that irrespective of a male-dominated industry you have to put the right people in the right positions to make it work, and in my case it is women,” Mekoa said.
“I am impressed with how the team has managed even in my absence. The Brima Tech vision has been amplified by the vision that my team has for it.”
Earlier this year, Brima Tech launched an integrated e-commerce marketplace platform - eblackbox - to enable local authors, artisans, and entrepreneurs to directly market their products to customers online.
Eblackbox offers a range of products from independent sellers; from books, office and stationery products, to apparel, health and beauty products, and accessories.
It’s the same path well-trodden by the likes of global tech firms such as eBay, Alibaba and Amazon.com, which have come to dominate the e-commerce space.
Brima Tech’s head of marketing Bareile Jansen said eblackbox, however, aims to reduce the distribution costs by leveraging on Brima Logistics’ warehousing facilities and its distribution network, ensuring that vendors pocket more profits.
Jansen said this niche platform also promises that the end-user gets their delivery within a 24-hour period, beating the usual 3 to 5-days promise given by existing companies on the market.
“We currently have no warehousing costs. The vendors are going to warehouse their products for free for three months,” Jansen said.
“And then the warehousing fees after that will be as little as R100 per pallet, per month. The delivery costs are also taken care of by the consumers.”
Jansen said Brima Tech had embraced gender parity as it had a majority female-led team making up 70 percent of the staff, but it was challenging as more men than women were applying for new vacancies.
“We are finding our feet as we are a small tech company that literally looks to grow big,” she said.
“Keeping the organisation female-led is a goal that we are all looking to achieve, and the bigger we grow the nicer it is to have even more women in our team.”
As for the challenges that have been brought on by the Covid-19 virus on operations, Jansen said the pandemic had, in fact, been a blessing in disguise as it opened more business opportunities for e-blackbox as more people required deliveries due to online shopping pushed by lockdown restrictions.
“I have not seen Covid-19 as a challenge for us, but more as an opportunity and strength.
“We have realised that there are several problems we face as a society that we can solve with technology. These are our projects in the near future such as in-demand courier services and many others.”
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE