Imagine a world where the Grocery store next door is able to issue you a receipt for products you buy.
A world where you are able to trust someone to run your business without worrying whether they will nip away some coins.
Yes, if you envisage that world, then it is fair to say you share a dream with Emmanuel Emodek, the Chap Chap Africa managing director.
Emodek has had a fair share of trying out his luck in a number of businesses. However, he has had to rethink through a number of things to reach where he is today as he has severally failed.
“The whole idea came about due to failure of my previous businesses and that is why I connected dots and realised that book keeping is a space that has not been handled well and I could do something about it,” he says.
The bad business experience did not dishearten the young entrepreneur but instead opened his mind to an opportunity to pull SMEs into appreciate accountability.
Chap Chap Africa is a digital partnership whose concept was bred in 2013 but came to fruition in 2016.
It is a digital market place that seeks to digitise business accountability through information technology.
The innovation mainly targets SMEs, for which, according to Emodek, the company creates a point of sale by using an application that is operated though a smartphone.
The application has features that allow the users to merchandise different products and services to an audience of more than 40,000 subscribers, out of whom more than 1,000 are merchants.
“By next year, we hope to have 100,000 merchants on the application,” he says.
A value chain can be created from a shopkeeper who hires a delivery person to transport products to clients. Marketing is another service that can be created from the application to promote businesses.
For every transaction of utility embedded in the application, a cash back is given to the entrepreneur, allowing them to earn money.
According to Emodek, Chap Chap embeds the utility payment giving people opportunity to make online transactions through mobile money or online banking. These transactions are also receipted for accountability.
The app has a point of sale feature that allows merchants to display their goods and services for the buyers.
However, according to the 35 year old, the business has not been without challenges as its reliability sometimes is challenged since it is hosted on platforms that the company has no control over.
However, beyond this, funds have also been a problem as Emodek has had to inject more than $2,000 yet it still needs more improvements to make it more efficient. According to Emodek apps come with foreseeable challenges such as upgrades, which in most cases come at a cost.
To close the funding gap, Chap Chap has had to seek grants and it was recently selected as one of the eight recipients of a grant from the Innovation for Poverty Sweden Funding scheme.
The application also makes money through attracting more users, who according to Emodek, boost the app’s value through downloads.
It also makes money through the point of sale where utilities such as airtime and electricity, among others are sold.
“We make our revenue from sale of digital services such as Yaka and water. However, we ensure that we build applications that run beyond Uganda because it through such avenues that we attain the numbers,” he says.
How it works
The phone acts as a bar code reader, to check in the product as inventory in the shop, while those without bar codes are encouraged to directly input the name of the commodity.
“On your phone you are able to scan the product which goes to your cart, where reduction or increase of items to buy can be altered and checked out. Instantly you both get a digital receipt of payment,” he says.
So many apps, no momentums
Since the inception of applications such as Facebook, software developers have been creating applications for different reasons.
However, many of these fail to break even. To answer why, Emodek says the lack of originality with Ugandan apps is the main challenge and failure of such applications.
He believes that if Ugandans sought out a way to create apps that solve local problems instead of replicating others, then they would definitely have breakthroughs.