No immediate growth for Kawena: OK Zim

OK Zimbabwe has admitted that it does not see growth in the near future for its Kawena Brand, although it has changed its model to be more aligned to goods than cash.

By Melody Chikono

Kawena is an electronic way provided by Ok Zimbabwe of transferring goods and services from South Africa to Zimbabwe.

Kawena which failed back in 2013 was re-launched in 2016 riding on Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Diaspora Remittance Scheme (DRIS)

Although the DRIS gives a 5% export incentive, 2% to the service providers and 3% to the recipient, making the idea of remitting money back home through formal channels more realistic, Kawena had become seasonal with diaspora customers finding it more useful during the festive season.

Ok Zimbabwe financial director Brian Muradzikwa told businessdigest on the sidelines of the companies analyst briefing recently , that the source country South Africa was also struggling thus thwarting chances of growth for the product.

“We don’t expect it to grow much because our source South Africa is also struggling there won’t be much growth, but as for how much its contributing to profitability our technical guy would know but generally we don’t compute,” he said.

Muradzikwa said initially Kawena had a mixed type of operation which was cash and goods but now the model was more tilted towards goods owing to cash challenges in the country. He however pointed out that they were looking forward to a better performance of the product during the festive season before a downward trend thereafter.

“Kawena had been mixed initially with the recipients getting goods and some would get cash. We have agreed with authorities that Kawenas cash back be slightly above the normal cash back of US$20 but the performance of the product has become seasonal. But either way we get our money,”’ said Muradzikwa .

Kawena was expected to see OK Zimbabwe tap in from an estimated US$500 million from the diaspora market.

The unavailability of cash had also added to the poor performance with people failing to get their cash form their stores.

Kawena has been having problems with lack of cash backs and system challenges in the processing of goods transactions.

“When there no cash there is no cash..That is why we have adjusted this model to be tilted to goods that goods than cash,”he said.

Ok Zimbabwe’s attempt on remittances is not going well with customers as it charges 30 % on total groceries effectively meaning that it’s taking a big chunk of the customers’ money while on the other hand the transfers take over a week to reflect in the beneficiaries accounts.

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