By Shamiso Dzingire
A Zimbabwean entrepreneur based in the United Kingdom (UK) has launched a mobile application that allows individuals to instantly send airtime worldwide.
Mr Takwana Tyaranini from Rimuka suburb in Kadoma co-founded the mobile airtime transfer application called “Senditoo”, with his Guinean business partner Mr Ibrahima Soumano in October 2016.
To date, the application, which is available for download on App Store and Google Play Store, covers 400 mobile networks in 140 countries around the world.In an interview with Business Chronicle, Mr Tyaranini said the name of the application was meant to be unique.
“In a world where every other name is taken, we wanted a name that not only informed our clients but also instructed them so Senditoo was a perfect fit,” he said.
Mr Tyaranini said he was inspired to launch the mobile application after he lost his job.
“I lost my job and found myself never wanting to depend on employment. That’s when my business partner Mr Soumano insisted we form a 50-50 partnership and as they say, the rest is history,” said Mr Tyaranini.
He said the application has been well received by customers around the world, particularly those from the UK.
“Senditoo has essentially taken the UK in particular by storm so much that at one point 70 percent of our transactions were going to Zimbabwe. At the moment more than 30 percent of our top ups go to Zimbabwe,” he said.
The entrepreneurs have also roped in media personality and former radio 2 presenter Mr Ezra Tshisa Sibanda as their brand ambassador.
Mr Tyaranini said the move was paying dividends, with the application proving to be extremely popular amongst the Ndebele community living abroad. He hinted that as Diasporans, they will heed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call to invest in the economy.
“As difficult as things are in the country, foreign investors are intrigued by Zimbabwe so we don’t want a situation where only foreigners reap the benefits of taking a chance on Zimbabwe.
“If a young man from a small township in Kadoma can go to the UK then start a company that’s now worth over £5 million in just 22 weeks, it should be possible for a young man in Luveve to start his own company without having to leave Zimbabwe and that can only happen if Zimbabweans help each other to start businesses,” said Mr Tyaranini.
Senditoo is worth about £5 million pounds. In May 2017, the company scooped the Business of the Year award at the prestigious Zimbabwe Achievers awards. Mr Tyaranini said the award was recognition of the value his company brings to the UK diaspora community through their services.
In the coming months, Mr Tyaranini revealed that they aim to partner with retail outlets to allow them to have an offline presence.
The application is online based. With more mobile phone devices than bank accounts, Mr Tyaranini said Africa will remain the key focus for Senditoo.