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Rising Up During Lockdown

Rising Up during lockdown
THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX: Seagile

New Enterprise Offer Home Deliveries

“Initially I thought of selling sanitizers but realised a lot of people are into that already, so instead I decided to be a ‘sterr-boy’.”

When the government announced a 28-day lockdown, Gilbert Promotions spotted potential amid the panic and swiftly applied for an essential service permit to provide grocery home deliveries.

In an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19 – which by Thursday morning had infected over two million people, claiming 136, 666 lives worldwide – government ruled that the public must apply for a permit to leave their homes.

This includes anyone wanting to go to the shops. Indeed, those caught in the streets without a valid permit face a possible P5, 000 fine or even a six-month jail term.

To this end, Sterr-boy offer home deliveries, perfect for those desperate to avoid the dangers of coming into contact with large crowds and the inevitable queues at permit centres.

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The enterprise charges for deliveries in and around Gaborone.

Speaking to Voice Money, Sterr-boy Director, Gilbert Seagile stressed the business will help reduce the movement of people in the capital.

“Thus it contributes towards the government’s efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19,” said Seagile, adding he realised there was a business opportunity after observing the long queues at permits centres.

“Initially I thought of selling sanitizers but realised a lot of people are into that already, so instead I decided to be a ‘sterr-boy’. Growing up, I used to be sent to the shops by neighbours and they would give me their change. So when the lockdown was announced I thought of this business,” explained Seagile, whose company, Gilbert Promotions, deal with artist management and promotions.

“Since there are no social activities, I had to come up with another business idea to pay my employees. Temporary permits are issued for a day so you can imagine the hassle you go through to apply then you go to the shops. We charge P100 for deliveries in Gaborone and P150 in the surrounding areas like Mmopane and Metsimotlhabe,” said Seagile, adding that so far demand for the business was high.

“We have four cars and sometimes even have to outsource to local taxi drivers. We do not encounter any problems at roadblocks because we have the relevant permits.”

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He explained that customers send a list of items they need and the store of their choice via text message or WhatsApp.

“Then we deliver at their doorstep. Clients send money through mobile banking for their groceries or, if they have cash in hand, they pay on delivery.”

As with most new concepts, Seagile’s initiative has not been without its hiccups.

“When we started it was a bit challenging because people thought we were scammers. But social media helped as some of our customers shared their testimonies,” concluded the enterprising businessman happily.

As well as groceries, Sterr-boy also pick-up medication at pharmacies for their clients.

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