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Customers are required to create an online profile to use this trending delivery services in Addis Ababa. Phone number, Email and physical address are only essential details making up the online customer profile. A customer may place an order either over the phone or online. As they say, the rest is Telalaki’s job. Soon after, the motor bikers of the company picks the order, track down their customer’s address using GPS and deliverers the food mostly while still hot. A standard delivery time for Telalaki’s motor bikers is less than an hour. But this is not a simple pledge; actually customers are entitled to 50% reduction on the delivery fee if the delivery took more than an hour.
The service covers most of Addis Ababa except the remote areas. In fact, the delivery service is not limited to food. For the price of 60 birr, one can also order drinks like wine and coke, not to mention flowers for loved ones.
Even though this kind of service is well-known in other countries, the idea is relatively new to Ethiopia. These days, coming across a biker wearing a uniform of a certain delivery company is not surprising. Of course, the over a century-old Ethiopian Postal Service and international companies such as DHL have been in the business of fast-track delivery services for long. But recently, the streets of Addis have welcomed personalized delivery service companies and their noisy motorbikes.
Telalaki is basically just a start-up business founded by five like-minded entrepreneurs. They saw the potential market in delivery service and officially launched the company six months ago. Starting the company was not easy, since most people were not familiar with the concept, says Adey Fissahatsion, one of the five founders of Telalaki Delivery Services. She says infrastructure was another challenge.
“The idea is new so the bureaucracy and not knowing what would happen challenged us at first. But, now we are happy with the progress we have made”, she explains.
Presently they are relaying on word-of-mouth to attract new customers. However, they are thinking to promote themselves using different mechanisms - beyond their professional and personal network. She says delivery service makes life easier and the service should expand in the entire country.
According to Adey, they have a plan to expand their service beyond food and flowers to documents, stamps and other materials. “Time is money, and we want to provide logistics of all kinds. But, security is important in delivery; and we can start doing that once we had gained the trust of our customers,” she states.
Although she believes that delivery service is yet to be embraced in Ethiopia, Adey is still satisfied with the customer base Telalaki managed to garner in its short existence, which she says include both foreigners and locals. For Adey, the fact that the idea of delivery service is being customised in Ethiopia is indicative that the service sector is growing and becoming more innovative. In addition to the current market, with blooming online shopping platforms in the capital, she hopes their facility will be in greater demand in future.