With COVID-19 affecting so many businesses in Seychelles, local entrepreneurs are taking a new look at delivering products to clients.
In the agricultural sector, the second-largest contributor to the country’s economy after tourism, farmer Jacques Matombe is delivering a variety basket of vegetables to clients at SCR 250 ($13) each.
Matombe told SNA that he decided to start providing this service because people do not really want to go out into large crowds such as the market place.
“Sales have gone down everywhere, and hence you need to be a little bit more innovative to get products to customers, ensuring that our products are sold at the same time limiting the number of people coming together in one place,” he added.
As with other businesses in Seychelles, Matombe has seen a decrease in sales of his products due to the fall in tourism arrivals.
“Hotels are not taking many products from us. People aren’t going out as they did. Some takeaways are not opening until late, and at the market, sales are not the same as before. There has been a direct impact on the agricultural sector in general,” he said.
The Seychelles Postal Services was given a nudge by the pandemic outbreak to start providing more delivery.
The Postal Services in collaboration with the Seychelles Revenue Commission has recently opened a new Post Office branch at Victoria House building in Victoria for clearing and delivery of parcels/packets. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
The deputy chief executive, Alex Etienne, explained that although the post office was already providing this service, after having noticed the increasing number of companies selling their products online, the Seychelles Postal Services wanted to fill in the delivery gap.
“We realised that some companies will have difficulties with the delivery part. As our mail volume is going down, this was part of our strategy to diversify our services. We thought about partnering with as many companies as possible to offer delivery services for their products,” said Etienne.
The postal services offer different packages for delivery which can be done within 24 hours or up to five days, all depending on the package that the client chooses. The prices range from SCR15 ($0.80) to SCR100 ($5).
“The post office is also working on an e-commerce platform, where people can display what is on sale for which we will also be providing the delivery service. One of the reasons why we are coming forth with the website is to encourage local entrepreneurs to export items through the post office. Just like we are getting a lot of incoming small packages, we are hoping that small packets will also be leaving the country. There are a lot of Seychellois living abroad and they would like to be able to buy local items and products,” said Etienne.
Manzaii – Seychelles’ first online food delivery App Company. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
Another company providing delivery services is Manzaii – Seychelles’ first online food delivery App Company. It was created with the aim of ensuring that food outlets remain profitable and customers can adapt their lifestyle to the new normal.
The company, owned by Seychellois – Wolfgang Germain – is passionate about bringing great tasting food from an array of food choices to people. Seychelles has a variety of incredible food outlets in the form of take-aways and restaurants that should easily be accessible to everyone.
Germain explained that the lockdown was a stimulus for him and his team to invest in this kind of business. Usually around the town area, the delivery costs R20 – R25. He is calling upon the different food outlets to experience the system and see if it works for them.
Manzaii partners with food outlets to ensure that anytime a person feels like eating their food or craves for a particular cuisine, a quick search and placing your order through the company is all it takes.