Conrad Mwanawashe : Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S premier logistics concern, CourierConnect’s turnaround strategy has paid dividends with the company posting profits for the first time since its inception about seven years ago. For the year ended December 31, CourierConnect saw its turnaround strategy helping the company record a gross profit of about $1 million.Commenting on the results, CourierConnect board chairman Tafadzwa Musarara said competition has been stiff resulting in the company losing Government and State enterprises business, notably the diplomatic bag and Registrar-General’s Office business to private players.
“The new board, (which came into office last year) tasked management to work on regaining this critical market segment. We came up with an ambitious business plan and in 2016, the company will introduce new products that will compliment the current portfolio,” said Mr Musarara.
The turnaround strategy is based on a 100-day business plan, aimed at positioning the logistics company to compete on the local and international market.
In the advent of significant decline in documents services, CourierConnect introduced a new product range including a virtual restaurant service that receives orders, picks up meals from the selected restaurants and deliver to the ordering publics.
The company is also aiming to facilitate the exportation of agricultural commodities such as meat and horticultural products through the CourierConnect air cargo solution.
Mr Musarara expects the company to perform much better this financial year with the coming on board of other innovative products that he said will anchor performance going forward.
The new products include the Civil Service Travel Bureau, which is offering travel agency services and air travel ticketing service for the civil service, parastatals, quasi-government institutions and local authorities.
The first State-owned travel agency will provide affordable, secure and more convenience to the travelling Government officials.
Apart from offering free visa facilitation services, airport shuttle services and hotel bookings, CSTB is also offering door-to-door ticket deliveries.
It has also set up offices at the country’s airports to facilitate check in and other airport services to its clients.
Government is the single biggest traveler in the country. Mr Musarara believes that internalising the revenue will give CourierConnect an urge over its competitors.
CourierConnect, through CSTB, has also entered into a partnership with the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Housing Association (ZAHA) to offer a combo of products including cheapest possible air travel and cargo services to the sector under a product code named Zimba365.
Mr Musarara said the product came about after a realisation that about 63 percent of frequent fliers are informal traders.
“Informal traders are a very huge constituency. This is a growing industry and we felt we needed to formalise it slowly by providing products tailor-made for them,” said Mr Musarara.
CSBT will also offer expert advice on tax clearance and other customs issues under Zimba365.
The company will move beef to markets such as Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Luanda, Angola.
Other services include the low cost Road Parcel Service targeting Zimbabweans working in South Africa.