Case study: #EntrepreneurIt!

Case study: #EntrepreneurIt!

__Vaya Tractor captures so much of the things I have been teaching you as an entrepreneur!

This week the Vaya Tractor finally launched commercially after more than six months of “pre-commercial” trials. Hundreds of people attended the launch which was also attended by dignitaries, including Zimbabwe’s Minister of Agriculture, the Deputy Minister of ICT, diplomats, donor organizations, farmer organizations, and agri-supply companies. Most importantly, leading farmers from the smallholder sector were also there. Zimbabwe was chosen to be the first country for this new service, which we hope to extend to every African country within a few years. Already requests are going through the roof!

They came to witness a major historic event: We are moving to get rid of the hoe, just as I have always promised!!

Now let’s review its entrepreneurial path:

#1. Problem: What is the problem that we wanted to solve?

Mechanization in agriculture!

I first began to write about this issue more than five years ago, and I have come back to it again and again. We cannot have our mothers and our sisters breaking their backs in fields, using a technology that was invented 5,000 years ago!

But the tractor is expensive!

During the cyclone crisis we bought several tractors, at a cost of $30,000 each!

The minister in his speech this week said the experts had calculated that the country needed 33,000 tractors, and it only has about 6,000!

But 33,000 tractors will cost almost $1bn, nearly 25% of the national budget!

So how do we solve this problem?


In the United States when the government sees a problem, the first thing it does is call in its top entrepreneurs (not its top businessmen, because there is a big difference!)

Whilst we were not exactly called in Zimbabwe, we just took it upon ourselves to try and offer a hand. We saw a challenge that needed a #Solution.

Ours was to use the #SharedEconomy model (or gig economy) that I have talked about so often. Our business Vaya Logistics is the “Uber” of transportation of goods. The team there works to solve logistics problems. It is the same team that developed @Clean City Africa.

This time they were charged with developing a solution to provide full national tillage of 2m hectares with 5,000 tractors, in three months: Using mathematics algorithms, they found that 5,000 tractors is all you need to provide tillage, provided you can incentivize the owners of tractors to bring them to our platform, as well as ensure that fuel supply, and spare parts are available.

#2. Product Development (Solution Development!): taking it to the next level.

Adding a tractor service was not that difficult for Vaya Logistics, which as you will see from the website is an App that already carries about 17 services.

I have always told you that it is important to @Fast Follow, and avoid inventing the wheel. Our team studied all similar solutions around the world. The most intriguing was a startup from Ghana called TroTro. Their solution uses Feature Phones, whilst ours uses Smartphones.

__A lot of smallholder farmers don’t have smartphones, and they are our important customer of this service!

“Invite them to come and partner with you; they can share their solution, and we will teach them about our solution,” I directed our team. So the TroTro team flew from Accra, Ghana to Harare and spent weeks integrating their solution into our platform.

Now Vaya Tractor has what we call a USSD option.

Ghana has been has now been chosen as a priority country for our next full Vaya Logistics launch. The Ghana Ambassador to Zimbabwe attended the launch in Harare!

#AfricaWorks best, when it works together!

__Kick out nationalist xenophobia, tribalism, racism, religious bigotry, and gender inequality Lol!

#3. Process: Listening to the customers

Once we had developed the Vaya App, we began field trials with farmers. We even bought a few tractors of our own. By the time of the launch we had already done over 5,000 hectares. This allowed us to fine-tune the concept.

The farmers were quick to understand the importance of this concept. If you own a tractor, you can actually make more money in the year than from actual production of crops! It will bring in more players including “diaspora investors”.

We have already recruited almost 3,000 tractors, and should have all 5,000 by the end of October, if not sooner. We have now recruited 1m farmers through our Ecofarmer platform!

For a platform like this to really work, it will take close collaboration with all the key stakeholders, including the government, and the farmers.

I believe that if every tractor in the country is brought onto the platform, and fitted with a Vaya tracking device, you can basically use 5,000 tractors to provide full tillage for Zimbabwe. A new industry will emerge in which farmers no longer buy farm machinery, because why stop at tractors?!

As a tractor ploughs the land, you will know exactly where it is, and when it is idle. There will be a full audit trail. Companies that provide contract farming services have already latched onto the new service. Negotiations are taking place with a major agricultural finance bank. Seed and fertilizer companies have become core partners for obvious reasons.

This is exciting!

__#Don’t make perfect the enemy of good!

Now, as an entrepreneur you know it will not be perfect first time around. We now have to double down: Deal with bugs and logistical challenges. Encourage adoption and culture changes. It could be three or four years before it becomes common sense to simply call Vaya Tractor.

This is when entrepreneurship hits the road. We have to be tenacious. We have to raise money. We have to recruit talented people who can run with the vision.


We also have to put up with naysayers who attack you in media, and write lousy comments on your website and App page!


Please comment below, and let me know what you “see” as an entrepreneur.

Maybe it has sparked in you an idea to use this approach to solve another problem. Meanwhile visit the Vaya Africa website, and even download the Vaya App. Do so, with a pen and paper, as an entrepreneur. Share your observation below.


Author:Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.

43 Replies to “Case study: #EntrepreneurIt!”

  1. Afterthought 3.

    As an investor in the diaspora, a service like Vaya offers you an opportunity to become a real partner. Can you see the opportunities?

    __Vaya needs partners who can supply cars, buses, mini buses, waste collection vehicles, tractors, ambulances, water drilling machines, water delivery tankers, trucks of all sizes.

    You can buy any of these and have them make money for you on the platform. You can even monitor your asset from anywhere in the world!

  2. Afterthought 4.

    Vaya Zimbabwe turns one this month. As an entrepreneur have you been following what we have done with it?

    Let me give you some amazing statistics: It has almost 800,000 customers. It has over 25,000 vehicles and drivers. It does almost 100,000 activities per day.

  3. Afterthought 5.

    The focus in the first twelve months was driving product innovation. We moved from one service [Vaya Ride, car service] to 17 service areas today. Which means we were adding a service every month!

    There are still many services we want to launch, and there are so many improvements we need to make. All this has been done in an economy that has been under acute stress, but we have never stopped.

  4. Afterthought 6.

    The temptation to scale to other markets is always there. We do want to get to Nigeria, Ghana, Botswana, and many other countries, but as an entrepreneur you must never rush to scale beyond your border until two things have happened:

    #1. Settle down the business in a core market you understand well.

    #2. Begin to generate P&L.

    Anyone [almost] can have a great entrepreneurial idea. And some of those even go as fast as to develop and launch the actual App, but pushing it to scale, and then generating money from it, that is the “ grown up stuff” of entrepreneurship!

    Learn hard little @Eaglet, because soon you must fly on your own!

    In our group we have operations in many countries, and this allows us to scale into many countries very quickly, but even we have to be very cautious, and we have to keep counting the $cents!

  5. Afterthought 7.

    I believe that if the Vaya Tractor Model is scaled across Africa, we can get rid of the hoe within 15 years.

    The same gig economy model can be applied to so many other things in the agriculture production process, including delivery of water, irrigation, access to land, and storage. For you as [an entrepreneur] you should be almost exploding with excitement.

    This is what #ProfitWithPurpose is all about. Now it’s your turn… Solve problems with purpose

  6. Omoruyi Folarin Osas writes,

    Papa we your little eaglets are learning.

    We must learn how to kill the lion and bear first i.e. Build Capacity before attempting to face Goliath.

    My reply,
    Fantastic response!
    There are so many entrepreneurial lessons for you in this, and that is why I post it.

  7. #Pause:

    Can you make a pitch to sell 10% of Vaya Mobility and Logistics to an international investor?

    Two years moving Vaya from an idea, to an App [product], and then a business employing more than 25,000 partners who provide vehicles [cars, trucks, tractors, motor cycles, water drilling rigs, water bowsers, waste collection vehicles].
    Until now all the capital has been mine.

    Now is about the time I would go and see investors. If I asked you to prepare an investment pitch, would you be able to do it?

    How much do you think I would ask for 10%?

    Let’s see what you have learnt!

    ps: I have already received many enquiries, because this is the point at which serious investors want a piece of the action!

    If you are senior class you know that I will read your comment but I will not comment!
    I have taught you a lot, if you are an entrepreneur!

  8. Mugikuyu Soc writes,

    Hello Sir I am From Nairobi.

    I once brought this idea to you but at the wrong time but i believe its the right topic for this especially with the amaizing growth of Vaya, i ran a Beauty App Called Tausi (Tausimakeapp) and it works just like uber where you dial a beautician straight to where you are and get glammed at your own comfort!
    We have so far around 4000 + Beauticians on our database and we work with them very closely! We recently came up with a simple idea where we allow people to dial a beautician straight through a phone number we offer to them and by just a phonecall you can have a beautician whose closer to your location!
    Sir the beauty industry is a huge market and we were asking If youd consider partnering with us especially on Vaya! We can have VAYA-Beauty and people can request a beautician just the same way they request riders.
    We already have 4000+ beauticians on our sleeves and we can partner with uber like companies across Africa (Uber-Beauty) and we can help create employment to the millions of creative beauticians around the globe!
    We have a well drafted Business plan especially on how to rank quality beauticians and the new ones who just joined, we have the gold ones and the platinum ones who get jobs at the corporate level or media stations to work on anchors etc
    Cassava had planned a meeting to have me in harare last month but plans changed!
    I pray you read this, I would love to hear your thoughts on this! Thank you

    My reply,
    I suggest you take a good look at Technites Africa.
    Also look at Sasai Explore. They can accommodate you App under the Cosmetics and Beauty icon!
    That is why it is there!

  9. Austin Uzim writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa For one whole year you and the team focused on just one P out of the Three Ps, that is, PRODUCT. It makes me wonder, how much time should be dedicated on each P when building a business as big as this one or even as small?

    Looking at what you’ve taught us about the three Ps: I learnt when a business wants to scale, its focus should be on #People and #Process, but not sure if that should take as much time as say 12 months like we have seen in your update. I really would want to know, how much time should go to each P.

    My reply,
    It really depends on the type of business.
    In the case of Vaya, as you can see from its website, this is a Super App, because it houses 17 different services. It is split into two categories:
    #Vaya Mobility;
    #Vaya Logistics.

    Product development began long before the launch of a commercial service.
    Although our plan was to launch many services, we tactically decided to launch with the most familiar service—The Car Hailing.
    But that was not really the main service.
    We used it to start the #Process building part of the business.
    90% of the people are involved in #Process!

    It’s #Process that brings the money.

    In an investment pitch, I would demonstrate #Product, comparing it to services like GoJek in Indonesia.
    I would show the #People working at each stage.

    #Process: marketing, sales, distribution, accounting, IT systems, customer services, supply chain management….and more, much more!

  10. Omoruyi Folarin Osas writes,

    Watching Vaya grow has been a thing of Joy for me sir, because it has taught me a lot of Entrepreneurial lessons on how businesses evolve and are built

    God bless you sir.

    My reply,
    Under normal circumstances, I would never have revealed the process that led to the creation of Vaya.
    But if you go back at least three years, you can actually trace the threads from when the entire concept of #SharedEconomy business models first intrigued me!
    Then I began to go into deeper and deeper studies.
    Every night I was studying about the concept:
    I wanted to know exactly how Uber and Lyft worked at the most technical level. Then I wanted to know the market.
    Step by step I have shared with you!
    Next: I had an actual App built!
    There is no point in just talking, you must TRY SOMETHING!

    I began to explore my own solutions for different things, using the technical solution, and business model.

    We #Scale Up!

    Yes, we have 800,000 customers in one country!

    Tackle another market!

  11. Sithakazelo Sithole writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa tied up Capital for the tractor owners being freed. If a tractor owner uses a tractor just to till his land, he will most probably be done in a day or two depending on the size of his land. The rest of the season the tractor is not being used but if now they partner with VAYA, it frees up that tied capital to generate income.The other benefit is that they will have a faster rate of return for the capital they initially invested to buy the tractors.

    My reply,
    A lovely response!
    #1. We are pooling the available tractors.
    #2. We are creating a new revenue stream for tractor owners. Even someone who is not a farmer can now buy a tractor, and employ a driver, allowing them to make money. You will make more money with a tractor than with a Kombi [keke, Matatu]. Even if you are in the US you will know each day where your tractor is, and what it did!
    #This platform allows us to draw
    investment into Agriculture from citizens outside the country.

  12. #Pause:

    What do you “see”?

    An opportunity for someone in the Diaspora to invest in Agriculture!

    We call those of our friends and relatives who work outside the mother country “Diaspora”.
    Now here is what happened yesterday:

    Someone from Zimbabwe who lives in Australia sends money every year to help his relatives hire tractors, and buy inputs for the planting season. This happens all over Africa, because the “diasporians” fund more agriculture than governments [even though the latter would not like to admit it!]:
    “Why don’t you guys set up a facility whereby I just send money to Vaya, and they take care of everything: you supply the tillage, the seeds, the fertilizer. And my old folks just plant”.
    I laughed:
    “I don’t even want your old folk to do the planting. I want to do everything including supplying the labor, but it will take us another year to get there.
    In fact you will be able to supervise everything from Australia, using your mobile phone. You will know when the tractor is on your field, real time.”
    I went further, “with our Altas AI venture, you will be able to see how well the crop is doing using satellite imaging.
    “Come harvest, we will be back. We will provide transport to storage and market place, using Vaya Food Logistics.”

    Why do you think some of the biggest investors and donors have been calling me..Lol?!

    Can you “see” where this is going @Eaglet?!

    To paraphrase Moses:
    “Oh how I wish all God’s people were entrepreneurs”!

  13. David Umanah writes,

    I feel highly honoured sir. It feels like you are sitting in my front and talking to me sir.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us. Sir you just did a How to build a Business 101 with this response. I just jotted the principles in my notes here.

    Let me share for the sake of others.

    1. Diligently study the Business sector
    2. Next Build something (Even if it’s an MVP). – Move fast and break things.
    3. Explore the Solution (Market X-ray to see if it works.).
    4. Launch and Scale.
    5. Dominate.

    Only then,

    6. Tackle another market.

    Top @Eaglet of the day!

    This is the type of observation, I’m expecting, because this is posted for Entrepreneurs.

    I’m not looking for you to admire me as an entrepreneur or even to give you a business opportunity. I’m trying to pass on vital entrepreneurial insights and skills:
    Let’s fly @Eaglets!

  14. Jabulani Lincoln Nkhata writes,

    “If I where a young entrepreneur I would start with farming” I quote #strive masiyiwa
    …….looking at this sir it prompted me to acquire a piece of Land… Am Young male age 26 from Zambia… Through my savings i acquired 20hectors of land and I have told myself I…”MUST FEED AFRICA “…after getting the land I said to myself I shall not let this farming season just pass by without me contributing anything to my nation….I embarked on a crop that requires less capital, maintenance and doesn’t need much experience to grow and its very resistance to drought and that’s #GROUNDNUTS have told myself to plant groundnuts on a small scale …. Have decided to clear only 10Acre’s and that the space I want to utilize….I am doing so as its one way I want to raise capital as I Plan to utilize the rest of the land…..groundnuts have got ready market in Zambia
    #create employment, feed the nation….

    My reply,
    When Vaya Logistics comes to Zambia [hopefully next year], a young farmer like you will be able to do the following:

    #1. Get technical assistance on how to plant groundnuts through Ecofarmer;
    #. Access inputs through Ecofarmer;
    #. Access a tractor and other farm machinery using the mobile App Vaya Tractor;
    #Get transport of any kind [ including refrigerated trucks] to take produce to market.
    #. Access buyers, and prices!

    This is my vision for you!

  15. #Reflection:

    What will you do with the opportunity of a lifetime?

    The then chairman of one of the largest companies in the world, once told me this story, about a country he once visited:

    His people had selected three countries as a potential locations for a massive factory to manufacture, an iconic vehicle brand.
    So he decided to drop into one of the countries (name withheld):
    “The President agreed to see me. So I landed on my private jet and went to see him.
    The first thing he said to me was to complain about one of our cars, which he personally used. He had a whole of guys explaining to me what was wrong with the car!
    He seemed not to care that I was the chairman of one of the largest companies in the world, and I could change his country.

    I told him I was very sorry, and I offered to send one of my top people to look into it. I then thanked him for the meal and left.
    Later on I had a beautiful new car sent to him, with my apologies. It was so sad, because I could have given him a factory and jobs for 5,000 people.”

    What do you learn from this story?

    If you have the opportunity to meet with Tim Cooke, or Bill Gates, or Aliko Dangote; how would you use it?
    Would you use it to complain about an iPhone, computer bug, or a bag of cement?

    Always try to use every opportunity to get ahead in life. These opportunities will come to you, make sure you choose wisely.

  16. Babu Nyasei
    Only to the extent that you get them right. Your numbers are not correct:
    You would have to be in a very advanced economy to generate $10 per activity!
    Never be careless in the use of numbers, because in business it will be totally fatal.
    If you do decide to look into numbers, then investigate them thoroughly before using them.

    When ever you use numbers to assess a business it is important to do so the way a professional Entrepreneur would:
    In a gig economy business like Uber or Vaya about 80% of the revenue goes to the owner of the vehicle. We don’t measure the size of a business on revenue only, as you have done.

  17. #Reflection:

    How much attention do you pay to #Corporate Structures?

    I have a friend who is a football coach, and when he goes to see a game he sits down with the team sheet, and can almost predict the outcome from knowing where each played is located. For him it is not just a question of 11 good players on the field, but the position of each one matters very much.

    What is the equivalent in business?
    We call it the #Corporate Structure, and within that corporate structure we have the management structures.

    As you grow in your understanding and practice of #Entrepreneurship, I want you to become the equivalent of my soccer coach friend. He is not just shouting and screaming, but keenly watching the game with unique insight, of both strategy and tactics. Then the game becomes “beautiful” as Pele liked to say!

    In Africa, a lot of the business stories are written by journalists who don’t have training in business or finance. Some of the stories remind me of a soccer journalist trying to report on a cricket match!
    We must change this.

  18. #Pause:
    It is inevitable that manufacturing will one day be done using a “gig economy model” [ShareEconomy]:
    I can “see” it:
    Bring together 3D Printing, Robotic manufacturing and AI:
    Someone sitting in a small workshop in Addis, Warri, or Bindura, will be able to manufacture almost anything including even a car!

    Now in the past, I would not have shared what I “see”, I would work towards it, and bang I have a place in a new industry.
    So what do you “ see”?

  19. Tich Mavaz writes,

    I wish there could be similar project in machinery hiring service. A vaya plant hire service for toll manufacturing. This idea of yours works and brilliantly expressed. It brings dreams into reality.

    My reply,
    Why do you “wish”?
    If not you, then who?

    The reason you can “see” such a possibility, is because you are the one either called to make it a reality, or to be part of its realization.
    Don’t be a grasshopper in your own eyes. When you see something, position yourself in it, and not someone else.
    I always feel saddened when someone has a vision to do something, and immediately they start saying to themselves “why can’t Mr Masiyiwa or Mr Dangote do this for us?”
    Mark Zuckerberg never went looking for Bill Gates, even though he was only 20 years old.
    The founders of AirBnB did not go to find Hilton Hotels!

  20. #Pause:

    That vision is for you, not for me!

    When you watch the Netflix movie on Bill Gates, one thing that strikes you about Bill and his then partner Paul Allen, is that they were just kids when they started the company.
    And yet there is something quite profound I want you to observe about most of the greatest entrepreneurs, who started when they were very young:
    They did not succeed by taking their ideas, and ventures to the biggest entrepreneurs and big companies of their day, to get help. Why is that?
    Why didn’t the founders of AirBnB go to a major hotel group, and offer them shares?

    Jeff Bezos [now the richest man in the world] did not rush to Bill Gates, who actually comes from the same town as him!

    Aliko Dangote did not approach Lafarge or Blue Circle, or even Chief Abiola to be his partner in Nigeria.

    These guys had the audacity to believe in themselves!

    Whilst I would not say I’m as great as those guys, but I had exactly the same attitude. I did not mind getting advice from the big guys of my time when I met them but I chased my vision.
    I have told you before the story that I was approached by AT&T from the US, and MTN from SA, when I was starting. We held months of negotiations but I walked away, and said “I can do this!”
    Sometimes we can so want support that it ends up paralyzing us!

    I’m here to tell:
    “You can do it”!
    So just go and get started TODAY!

  21. Austin Uzim writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa

    When I look at my country Nigeria passing 2020 budget of 10 trillion in the following breakdowns:

    federal budget of 10 trillion Naira…
    Debt Servicing takes 2.3 trillion…
    National Assembly takes 1.5 trillion…
    Presidency takes 2.5 trillion…
    Military and the Civil service take 1.3 trillion…

    How much is left for development???

    I’m not complaining, I’m just sad that our present Government has lost all total sense of decency. Where countries like Nigeria fails, Rwanda has got it well economically. We must not look as entrepreneurs on Government recklessness to build Africa we want.

    #YesWeCan and yes, I can!

    My reply,
    You know why I will not comment on your post:
    It’s about national politics. The moment I comment, then I must comment on SA, Botswana, Zambia, Burundi, Kenya …and Zimbabwe.
    Here we have a compact that says, “lets stay out of national politics. We will try our best to work in the conditions and not against the conditions.”
    Now that is not to say we should not discuss these issues, but there are better forums than mine for such a discussion. Also the moment I discuss such issues, the type of person who follows this platform will change almost overnight, and many of the entrepreneurs will be pushed to the side. I need to protect the opportunity of entrepreneurs to engage me.
    For those who don’t agree, remember I seek to follow the path of meekness.

  22. #Breaking News!

    PM of Ethiopia just won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019!
    Wow, wow, wow!
    Congratulations to him, Ethiopia, and Africa!
    This is a big deal and well deserved, as far as I’m concerned:
    #1. Ending the conflict with Eritrea ended the only conflict between two African countries. This conflict cost hundreds of thousands of lives.
    #2. Despite his challenges at home, he brokered the deal over the crisis in Sudan.

  23. #Today!
    You will not persuade me that I’m not Ethiopian!

    Earlier this year whilst traveling with the Former PM of Ethiopia we had an amazing discussion on the biblical references of Ethiopia. We agreed that the Biblical Ethiopia refers to all black people!
    I’m glad we Africans [Ethiopians] have just won the Nobel Peace Prize

    Quick Quiz:

    How many Africans have won the Nobel Peace Prize?
    Please give the names and countries.

  24. Adebimpe Ayodele writes,

    @ sir strive masiyiwa.We have 11Peace Nobel winners so far from Africa.
    Albert John Luthuli South Africa 1960
    Anwar-al -Sadat Egypt 1978
    Desmond Tutu SouthAfrica 1984
    Nelson Mandela South Africa 1993
    F.W De Klerk South Africa 1993
    Kofi Annan Ghana 2001
    Wangari Maathai Kenya 2004
    Ellen Johnson Sir Leaf Liberia 2011
    Leymah Gbowee Liberia 2011
    Denis Mukwege Democratic of Congo 2018
    Aby Ahmed Ethiopia 2019.

    My reply,
    Well done!
    We need more people of peace.

    In every generation there are men and women doing remarkable things to promote peace. Go out and find them, and better still be one of them.

  25. #Reflection:


    My first business was an engineering construction company. My first bank loans were to buy vehicles such as small vans and pick-up trucks. Later I bought a large 7 tonne truck. Tractors that were used on projects.
    Just imagine all those vehicles are available on Vaya’s platform.
    If I had trucks I would have got rid of them immediately and used the money for something else!

    If you are going to succeed as an entrepreneur, you must always be looking for opportunities created by the businesses of others, to expand and grow your own business!

    Tell me; what would you do with the Vaya platform, if I brought it to your market?
    What do you “see” [as an entrepreneur]?

  26. Omoruyi Folarin Osas writes,

    Truth be told sir. Car E-hailing service scares me. I have studied the many of the giants in the sector. (I don’t want to mention names). Their books are in red. This makes me really worried.

    However I know there is always a way.

    My reply,
    Now here is the riddle you must ask yourself:
    These companies have taken in billions of dollars of new capital. This capital has come from some of the most savvy investors in the world.
    What are they “seeing” that you are not seeing?

    Perhaps, just perhaps there is something about investing in technology companies, that you have not yet understood….
    I had the same experience as you, when Amazon was growing. It was making billions of losses, and yet investors poured in even more money!
    I did not get “scared”, I “knowledged-Up”, because I realized that the knowledge I had was not sufficient to understand what was happening!

    Omoruyi, investors are very rationale, and they know where thes companies are headed, even if some of them crash along the way!

  27. Omoruyi Folarin Osas writes,

    Very true sir. I discovered this via experience.

    I personally believe Great Businesses are built via collaboration with other businesses.

    Just here in Lagos, it cost about $1500 to set up one Brand New Dispatch Bike for delivering services. It’s been a long Journey for our startup because we have to bootstrap with the funds we have. It is very capital intensive to setup.

    With a service like Vaya, we would be able to cover more grounds with our deliveries across Nigeria. Also I will list our Bikes with the Vaya partnership service.

    For now, we would keep bootstrapping and working with other startups here.

    My reply,
    You have a deal there!
    Vaya Logistics is planning to launch in Nigeria in the next few months. We already have KariGo, which does big trucks, but the full platform is coming.
    It includes Vaya Express, which does the dispatch bikes.
    Oswald, please work with these guys, when you come to Nigeria. They have my personal recommendation!

  28. Lungisa Mangi Sobhuwa writes,

    Hello Sir,

    I must say I am very impressed with the Sasai App. It’s probably the best app I’ve ever laid my hands on.

    The features are so advanced, I am amazed by the fact that you can access other app services without leaving the app. Well done Sir, you and your team have done an outstanding job.

    Please advise on how we can integrate our own services on the App.

    Thank you in advance Sir.

    My reply,
    You cannot imagine how much this means to me, and my team.

    In answer to your question:
    My vision is actually to populate this App with the best Apps out of Africa itself.
    I realized sometime ago that African developers and content providers had no way to monetize and showcase their creations.

    Over the next few months you will see us pivot to make that happen!
    Thank you

  29. Ekemejero Royce
    Well done Mr Strive Masiyiwa for this great entrepreneurial feat. It’s amazing how innovative technology in Agriculture could help tackle the bottlenecks experienced by our small holder farmers and boost food productivity.

    I see an emerging African economy that will thrive on the potentials of the Shared economy model to bring together resources that was hitherto inaccessible to harness. It will transform our industries.

    I just learned from you that the success of this model lies in collaborative network between key stakeholders. How can a young budding agritech entrepreneur forge this critical link between farmers and interested partners like the government and investors?

    My reply,
    Very Entrepreneurial observation.
    Use these principles to develop your business.

  30. Phil Kandengwa writes,

    It just struck me that the business includes a target market of the subsistence farmers who may not have cash to pay but rather have livestock and are willing to exchange that for services rendered. Will these be excluded or rather be integrated such that a standardised livestock exchange is developed for services rendered. Meaning a livestock trading platform can actually be an offshoot of this business.

    My reply,
    There are two things I have been reminding you of this week:

    (1). The vision is for you and not for me:
    What you are actually seeing is an opportunity for yourself to pursue!
    Don’t write about it, or make suggestions, but run with it for yourself, as an entrepreneur!
    It’s actually a great idea. I’m an investor in TN Cattlebank, and the lend money to farmers using cattle!

    (2). A good entrepreneur learns to build businesses using the businesses of others!
    Vaya is going to launch thousands of businesses, through other entrepreneurs like you!
    That thrills me!
    Now run!

  31. Moddie Sibanda writes,
    Hi Strive am Moddie sibanda a farmer from Lusulu,Binga one of the biggest suppliers of tonnes of maize in Zimbabwe. Lusulu is doing very well in farming but needs vaya tractors.Farmers around this place are struggling ever since DDF Lusulu tillage unit has broken down and its history.we need vaya in lusulu.desperately.
    · 2d

    Tapiwa Mupereki
    Dear Strive

    What is the process for one to buy a tractor or tractors for on-boarding on the Vaya platform? I would like to consider doing so to cover an area in Mashonaland West(Zimbabwe) that has a significant number of small holder farmers. I can be contacted at


    My reply to Moddie snd Tapiwa,
    First of all thank you for validating the service by expressing your own interest to use it. I’m sure this will excite our people on the ground, who are receiving orders every day.

    Now here is something for you and others to always remember:

    This FB platform is for me to help young Entrepreneurs develop their businesses. It is not for me to sell products or respond to customer related requests, otherwise I would be fielding requests from over 50 African countries.
    Econet and Cassava Zimbabwe employ thousands of people, and have offices. It becomes a real burden to me, if I have to also respond to specific customer requests, when I have over 5000 people working full time in Zimbabwe alone.
    Let’s help each other.

  32. #Pause:

    Some key entrepreneurial sights you have picked up from Vaya!

    Last October I asked you to follow the development of Vaya Mobility and Logistics, as my first #SharedEconomy [or “gig”economy].
    You have watched as we have developed the platform from one single service to 17 different services.
    What is your take away?
    (1). “Don’t make perfect the enemy of good”:
    Start where you can and keep innovating incessantly!
    That is what drives tech businesses;
    (2). We have got over 800,000 downloads in just one market, and most of them are active every month. We do almost 100,000 customer related activities per day!

    This is scale!

    It is driven by #People, and #Process.
    Marketing and sales are part of #Process!

    (3). We initially stayed in just one market:
    Even if you have a vision to conquer the world, you always start in one place.

    (4). Customer acquisition is only as good as you have P&L.

    (5). As a first time entrepreneur developing an App you might think,that all I to do is get it on the App Store, and I’m off to make money!
    No sir, developing an idea into a #Product is actually the easy part!

    #Now go to Sasai App, and compare it’s journey with that of Vaya. Sasai is less than 3 months old!
    So, what will it look like 12 months from now?!
    Step, by step; precept by precept!

  33. #Pause:

    Every Vaya Tractor is fitted with a satellite GPS Tracking system. We can see every single tractor on the platform:
    We know where it is EXACTLY!
    Just like an Uber car!
    Our computer algorithms enable us to deploy tractors in such a way, that there is minimal down time.
    We can also move tractors from one part of the country to other other, at a moment’s notice, using Vaya Trucks [we have hundreds of trucks and trailers].

    We do not own tractors, and we do not own trucks. We own a computer platform, driven by complex algorithms.
    Every aspect of the platform was developing by young Africans in Harare, Accra, Nairobi and Joburg!

  34. Goodluck Ojusin writes,

    Brilliant Question Lungisa Mangi Sobhuwa.

    Possibility of smaller young visionary entrepreneurs to Integrate self owned services on the Sasai app.
    Leader has made it clear that this will be made possible in the nearest future since he hold these as a top priority in uplifting determined Africans.

    My reply,
    From 23rd October you will notice three things on Sasai App, that will change Africa:

    #1. Localization of Sasai Explore:
    We will open Sasai Explore platform to African App developers to host their Apps, and also for them to begin to make money more easily for themselves.

    #2. Open the door to digitalization of African commerce:
    Open the door for almost everything to be sold on line.

    #3. Sasai Remittances will be possible to more African countries besides Zimbabwe.
    Sasai will also be linked to mobile money services across Africa, and banks.

    #3. The first 25 African languages will be released on the platform, as well as Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi etc.,

  35. Taurai Washington Nhekairo writes,

    I am waiting for Vaya Harvest…we got maize shellers and combine harvesters etc

    My reply,
    By this time next year every type of AgriTech, that can be shared [for money] will be on Vaya Tractor!
    It is going to be more like “Vaya Farmer”!

  36. Olatunde Victor Adeoluwa writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa

    Sir, one of the most important feature of Sasai, to me is still that of being a super app, a platform for other apps to be explored.

    Going by the fact that the average millennial is concerned so much about storage space on the phone and as such don’t want to install several apps on the phone. This is an answer to that.

    I look forwards to the time I’ll be able to access my accounting app, book reading app and many more on the Explore side of the Sasai App…

    Kudos to you and the team sir.

    Glad to have you trailblazing ahead of us, as we also follow fast.

    My reply,

    #. Anyone with an App that can help people in Africa, will be able to also put it on Sasai App.
    From next week the platform will begin to show some of the most exciting Apps that have been done by people in Africa, and other developing countries!

    #. Sasai App is also creating a platform for African content developers including musicians and comedians. They will be able to open their own “Sasai Channel” and charge for their content.

    #. The problem is storage is being addressed by the Liquid team, and we will announce it in due course. We are currently the largest Cloud company in Africa, but our services are confined to B2B, soon we will extend to B2C!

    #. Free and Cheap Data to enable access to Sasai Explore?
    It’s coming in less than one month:
    Yes, you will be able to go to Sasai and watch anything on Utube, Facebook, and all my Townhalls without paying for Data!
    “Is such a thing possible?” You might ask:
    Believe snd you shall see it!
    [since I’m talking about it to you, it only means one thing!]

  37. Austin Uzim writes,

    Strive Masiyiwa On the 9th of Oct, I had published this post with this except:

    “You’re Sasai Smart if as an entrepreneur you are not just thinking of being a consumer of the services this super app has to offer, but also looking for a way#Pivot your business around it.”
    ~Austin Uzim

    Read full post here:

    My reply,
    “If you wouldst only believe” Sasai App will make some of you, not just USD millionaires but even Billionaires!
    You just have to learn to use it to either develop a new business or to enhance the business you are in.

  38. Tapiwa Mupereki writes,

    Dear Strive

    What is the process for one to buy a tractor or tractors for on-boarding on the Vaya platform? I would like to consider doing so to cover an area in Mashonaland West(Zimbabwe) that has a significant number of small holder farmers. I can be contacted at



    My reply,
    You are not an entrepreneur.
    What you need is to find, or stay in a nice job.
    How can you come to me and ask me to help you find a tractor!
    Come on man!
    No one owes you a living in this world!

  39. #Breaking News on Vaya Tractor!
    Since we announced Vaya Tractor we have been approached by contract farming organizations from right across Africa, donors, and governments for the platform!

    There are large companies across Africa, who grow crops using Outgrowers. For these organizations Vaya Tractor, and Vaya Truck are a “No brainer” [as they say in South Africa]!

    #Donors who help Small Holder Farmers are very excited about this!

    #Governments like it too!

    #Vaya Tractor has a “real time” audit trail. This cuts out corruption.

    #Fertilizer and Seed companies:
    Are now “cross selling” Vaya Tractor and truck service to farmers.

    I smell a Unicorn here?!
    What do you think?
    Maybe I should create “Vaya Digital Farmer”, and put all our farming services under one roof. What do you think?
    Should we go for it?!!

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