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How Covid-19 is accelarating business digitalisation in Angola

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant businesses around the world have had to adjust the way they operate – and for many it has been a challenge.

However, in Angola, the digitalisation of businesses is thriving as a result of coronavirus.

In this episode of Business Angola, Dailyrater meets those behind a couple of the platforms succeeding.

CHANGING HOW PEOPLE CONNECT

Pedro is the CEO of a business called Appy Saúde. It specialises in the health sector, which has completely changed the way patients connect with doctors, hospitals and pharmacies.

“This completely fulfills what is happening now with the Covid situation. Where, not only in Angola but all over the world, there was a lot of stock shortages in different pharmacies, with people running to pharmacies or running to health establishments to try and get aid and access to it, but they could not find it and had to go to different places.

“Now in Angola, with our solution, we were prepared. Because basically, all information is all online. So people don’t need to go to different pharmacies to find a mask, or alcohol or anything related to what they need at that moment,” Pedro explained.

“What we are actually building now is the availability – to connect people to doctors and clinics online, which will make sense with the whole thing integrated, We work with pharmacies, we work with doctors, we work with insurance companies. So we are basically building this ecosystem that allows a patient to have everything in one platform,” he added.

ADAPTING TO THE ‘NEW NORMAL’

Another example of a company helping people adapt to the ‘new normal’ can be seen in Luanda.

Dailyrater spoke to Geraldine Geraldo, the CEO of start-up Roque Online, at a market in the area.

“In this Luanda market, more and more small vendors are using a digital platform to buy and receive their fruit and vegetables. The service has been in existence for several years, but it has grown significantly during the pandemic.

“In 2019, the focus was really connecting the informal markets to their consumers What happened in 2020, which is the pandemic as we all know, accelerated our growth and accelerated the activation of the other segments. We are now doing a lot of work in the supply chain to the markets, which means that we have more informal market vendors actually using our digital platform to be able to connect to their suppliers, to stock up their inventory,” Geraldine explained.

For the vendors, Gerladine’s service saves them time and therefore money, as it is the platform that does the sourcing and takes care of the transport.

One vendor at the market is very happy with the resource.

“We used to go very far to buy our products. and it was very expensive by cab. Today this is no longer the case. We place the order and they deliver directly to us. Good products. And if there is a problem, we can return the products,” market vendor, Engracia Mateus, told Dailyrater.

The system works very well in Luanda but also in other cities in the country. So much so that Géraldine and her team have set up new services, for example through partnerships with the two main commercial banks in Angola.

“We are talking about basics. Bank accounts, We are talking about very basic insurance products and all of the types of financial services that will enable each of these vendors to be able to participate more effectively to the economy, to manage their savings better and have visibility of their business you know,” she said.

Such sustainable growth is an attractive business model to follow as companies continue to learn how to adjust to the ‘new normal’.

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