The Zulzi app also has a database of clients’ information, including grocery items frequently requested.
Johannesburg - Zulzi, an online delivery platform which allows customers to order from retail stores such as Woolworths, Pick *  Pay, Spar, Dis-Chem and Clicks and have their goods delivered to their doorstep within an hour, is the brainchild of entrepreneur Donald Valoyi.

The Zulzi app also has a database of clients’ information, including grocery items frequently requested. Customers are charged a R45 delivery fee and a 7% charge on the price of groceries bought.

Valoyi said: “The company started in 2012 as an e-commerce platform where we sold books and electronics to students. In 2016 we changed our model by focusing on delivering liquor, restaurant takeaways and groceries. After a year of operating we focused on groceries because they had more potential.”

The 34-year old former software developer admits that starting Zulzi came with challenges.

“The most difficult aspect of starting a company is funding. You start a business to generate money, but along the way you realise you need more capital to take your company to the next level. Families play a key role in supporting you financially and emotionally. So many businesses are funded by families, even though some entrepreneurs don’t come from families with capital,” he said.

Valoyi urged aspiring entrepreneurs to stay fierce and hard-working.

“You just have to start. It is not an easy journey. What you are fighting for has to be big enough for you not to sleep at night. Build a product for the future by finding a niche. Always look to other countries in the First World. Look at what they do differently that side. The world of internet is very connected. Countries like China and India have intelligent entrepreneurs who keep on cracking their own market, so it is difficult for foreigners to break through.”

Zulzi has a staff complement of 70, including 50 personal shoppers.

Team leader Michael Nyathi said: “I enjoy and love my job, even though it comes with challenges because sometimes you find yourself doing multiple orders with limited time, but I eventually make it on time.”

Zulzi is available in Johannesburg and Cape Town and will be launching in Pretoria in August.

The Sunday Independent