The company has increased the number of its service points from 300 to over 3,300 through partnerships with local business owners acting as DHL re-sellers.
These small businesses then receive a commission on all DHL sales and are also able to grow their customer base for being associated with the DHL global brand.
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“It’s really a win-win approach. We having given these small shop owners a unique business opportunity to grow their revenues and gain credibility by aligning themselves with an international brand. If they do well, we do well,” said Sumesh Rahavendra, head of marketing for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa.
“Perhaps most gratifying is the fact that we are empowering business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs across Africa with an additional opportunity to earn money and live better.”
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The company said that all partners are given a branding kit and go through an extensive training programme to ensure compliance with DHL’s requirements and procedures.
Similar partnerships have also been forged with large companies such as mobile network providers, retail centres, supermarkets and fuel retailers.
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DHL said that not only are the partnerships more cost effective than building new branches, but it has been able to simplify pricing and packaging options to suit the needs of customers.
“Through the passion and energy of our 4,000 employees across Sub Saharan Africa, we have changed the perception that DHL only caters for multinationals and big business. Our retail customers no longer have to sit in traffic to send a document or parcel, but can literally find a DHL service point right around the corner,” said Rahavendra.
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“On a continent like Africa where the informal economy rules, a company’s retail strategy cannot revolve around high-end shopping malls, you have to operate on a level where customers can understand, feel and relate to your product. You really need to ensure that your brand connects to the average person on the street.”