Getaneh Shambel (FCCA), CEO and Founder of Kedame Gebeya(KG) tells us about creating a market for the market-less society.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Getaneh Shambel: My family and I are not exceptional, and like most people, we are living by coping up our self with ‘the new normal’ way of life.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Kedame Gebeya.
Getaneh Shambel: I was born and raised in the rural part of Ethiopia, married, and a father of three. I am a fellow Chartered Certified Accountant (UK) with more than 13 years of professional experience.
I was wondering how to improve the efficiency of the existing trading system in Ethiopia, especially to create market access for the market-less society. I started an eCommerce business in 2017 aiming to serve excluded groups in the market.
How does Kedame Gebeya innovate?
Getaneh Shambel: We focus on creating a direct market linkage between producers and end-users through our marketplace website. We receive the order online on our website, a call center, and social media like Telegram, WhatsApp, and Facebook. We want to invest in apps and IVR to make farmers reach and access the central market for their produces
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Getaneh Shambel: The pandemic positively affected our grocery delivery business. After the outbreak news was out in Ethiopia, we got an incredible number of grocery delivery orders from our B2C customers. On the other hand, it was a difficult time for our suppliers to catch their walking customers. We provided an alternative to reach their customers via our platform. We were able to increase our B2C suppliers from 15 to 41 during the pandemic, and still, the number is growing well.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Getaneh Shambel: First, as a Certified Accountant (ACCA), I had an option to get attractive income either by opening an accountancy firm or being an employee for NGO or multinational companies. It was a tough time to decide which way to go. I followed my passion and was ready to pay the painful price and achieve my lifetime goal, creating value to society by opening an alternate market access using the internet as a tool.
What is next for KG?
Getaneh Shambel: We are now working with our partners to enable local producers, manufacturers, SMEs, and farmers to sell their products directly to the end-users through our platform.
Your final thoughts?
Getaneh Shambel: Find your life purpose. Follow your passion, act, and be ready to pay the painful price, then revive!