Vusumuzi “Vusi” Mkhwananzi is a serial entrepreneur from Harare, Zimbabwe. His charisma is infectious to say the very least. A conversation with him will certainly inspire you to think about the business opportunity in just about any mundane part of your everyday life.
Vusi’s entrepreneurial story cannot be told without understanding his upbringing. Raised by a single mother, Vusi was used to the the kind of struggle that can either build or break you. His mother worked as a housekeeper, and while her income served the family she was forced to ask her children to work in order to make ends meet.
At age six, Vusi quickly learned that he had to sell to survive. He began selling sweets at the local bus terminal before he even had a chance to start grade school. Little did he know that this particular experience would someday lead him to snatch an opportunity to pitch for up to USD$1 million in investment.
Working at the bus terminal day-in and day-out gave Vusi insight into the system and value-chain that guides the passenger transport industry. “I can now speak buses,” Vusi says. The language of transportation that Vusi has acquired has driven him to build myRunner. The myRunner system is an innovative solution that makes the interaction between bus companies and their passengers a breeze. Through the myRunner system the passenger can easily process their payments and acquire tickets. For the transport companies myRunner offers real time sales reports and customer feedback. Vusi’s app-based solution is accessible on any smart mobile phone making it easy for users to access the system on the go.
The passenger transport industry in Africa leaves a lot to be desired. Most transactions still require cash and for passengers booking seats in advance is almost impossible. Zimbabwe in particular has a transport system marred with complications that leave both passengers and operators frustrated. The myRunner application is solving these frustrations in a big way.
Within just six weeks of launching their operation myRunner has secured 7 paying bus operators , each of whom has an average fleet of 25-100 buses. With a unique scaling strategy Vusi already has his sights on expansion beyond Zimbabwean borders. The company is currently focused on securing clients whose buses cross the border of Zimbabwe into its neighbouring countries. This means that not only are the systems of myRunner required by the transport company’s local Zimbabwean office but they are also needed in South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana and Mozambique, all of which border Zimbabwe. With myRunner reaching throughout the Southern African region Vusi’s company has built scalability directly into their business model and operations. Genius!
The myRunner team recently took first place in the local Seedstars World pitch competition in hosted by Impact Hub Harare. Vusi and his team are now preparing to attend Seedstars regional competition and Mozambique and the global competition in Switzerland next year. Vusi is thrilled that Impact Hub Harare and Seedstars World have opened doors for him to access the capital he needs to rapidly scale his business. We wish the team all the best in Mozambique and Switzerland where they will compete with other local winners for equity investment of up to USD$1,000,000 and be crowned Seedstars World Global Winner.