Digitalising Cement Sales in Ethiopia
Dumbulo Shopping Solutions, an Ethiopian e-commerce trading company, has started selling cement online to customers in and around Addis Ababa through its online shopping platform, www.dumbulo.com.
Gemechu Waktolla, a co-founder of Dumbulo Shopping Solutions, revealed that the company was providing a platform through which clients could shop for cement online. According to the Reporter - a local Ethiopian newspaper - Gemechu Waktolla said his company targets end users who face difficulties in purchasing cement from the local market.
Dumbulo Shopping Solutions has begun working not only with cement manufacturers, but also with noteworthy distributors approved by the Federal government. Through the agreements it is establishing with cement manufacturers and distributors, the e-commerce business aims to make cement available throughout Addis Ababa. Dumbulo Shopping Solutions has already established a deal with National Cement, one of the leading cement manufacturers that has a running distribution center in Addis Ababa. The Company is also considering partnerships with four major cement distributors and the Chemical and Construction Inputs Development Institute regarding ways to transform the traditionally unpredictable cement market.
Whilst big investment undertakings and government infrastructure projects are able to purchase cement directly from the manufacturing plants, Gemechu points out that end users such as home builders are suffering. The online shopping platform provided by Dumbulo Shopping Solutions addresses this problem.
Home builders can now login to www.dumbulo.com and purchase cement. The website has a variety of payment methods, including CBE Birr, M-Birr, Hello Cash, and Amolle Wallet.
An added value is that clients purchasing cement on the website can arrange for delivery to their building sites. Home builders can buy the cement online at much lower costs than those available to them in local markets, according to Gemechu. Ministry of Trade and Industry has set a price cap of 360 birrs for a quintal of cement limit. However, clients can purchase a quintal of cement online at www.dumbulo.com for 345 birrs. The entire purpose of e-commerce is for everyone to benefit from lower prices.
By making cement sales available online, Dumbulo Shopping Solutions is undoubtedly revolutionising the cement market. Home builders do not need to roam the city searching for cement, and neither do they have to spend precious time negotiating with merchants.
According to Gemechu, "Home builders should not wonder in the city looking for cement and hassle with brokers. A person should be able to access information about cement while he is at home or in his office. Our purpose is to fill the information gap and stabilize the cement market. Home builders can buy cement online with the price set by the government or less than that."
Dumbulo Shopping Solutions was built by four IT specialists and management consultants three years ago. Since then, consumable products have been made available for purchase on the online trading platform. The company has entered into agreement with nearby local vendors to supply items which are made available for sale on the online platform. There are also plans to sell other construction materials such as reinforcement bars, paints, and ceramics. To facilitate its e-commerce operations, the company established a delivery service provider, Sheger EX, which delivers products bought from www.dumbulo.com.
Photo: Bags of cement and a safety helmet (Lucadp / Dreamstime)