MarketForce 360, a product of Nairobi-based Mesozi Group, aims to build the most comprehensive field sales and distribution platform for Africa and emerging markets, is set to launch its operations in Tanzania before the close of this year.
“We are launching in Tanzania in the next quarter. Our five-year plan is to be present in 10 sub-Saharan countries with significant market share. MakertFoce’s Head of Enterprise Sales, Lucrezia Pirani told TechMoran.com.
“We are expanding into new countries, we have new product lines coming up. There are so many manufacturers and distributors who are underserved in markets in Sub-Saharan Africa,” she added. In Tanzania, the firm is hiring teams and setting up physical operations for its Q 4 launch.
Pirani, who joined MarketForce 360 early this year as the head of business development says she moved to Kenya to be part of the mobile tech revolution the world that has put Kenya on the map.
“Europe is developed and there is nothing much I can add to the economy. In Africa, technology has completely revolutionized the economic system,” she told TechMoran.com. “Most people still don’t think of Africa as a cool place to go for your career, while in truth there are many opportunities. But in 20 years Kenya will be the China or the Brazil of Africa and at that point going to work in Kenya will be trendy amongst young Europeans like now it’s trendy to go to South America or East Asia. But I want to be in Kenya at the seed stage and see the radical change that is happening from day one. That is why I decided to come to Kenya and I decided to come now.”
Pirani said she looked at the entire sub-Saharan Africa then looked at East Africa especially Kenya and Tanzania and Kenya stood out. Pirani initially looked at Twiga Foods and also applied for jobs in other startups through her startup connections here in Kenya. However, she fell in love with what Mesozi were creating and everything is history.
“I love what they are creating, she told TechMoran.com. “I immediately fell in love with what MarketForce was doing and fell in love with their mission, vision and goals as an organization.”
Her role at MarketFoce sees her lead the Enterprise sales team which does sales, marketing, customer support, after-sales services, and new feature development in liaison with the product team among others.
MarketFoce provides a mobile app where sales agents record all their sales activities including orders, visits, deliveries, payments and feedback as they happen, giving companies real-time market visibility into the performance of their agents and products in the market. This enables companies to serve customers better by optimizing their sales, distribution and marketing activities and teams based on market trends and consumer purchasing habits.
The firm says it has close to 100 companies and 8,000 daily active sales agents using its solution and processing over $10 million in monthly GMV in the retail distribution of both consumer goods and services through our platform – across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, with a team of about 30.
Pirani says the Software as a Service tool is ideal for enterprise customers or industries who rely on field sales agents such as FMCGs, financial service providers such as banks and micro-credit firms.
MarketForce says its sales force automation tool has seen its customers drastically improve their sales and distribution volumes, with over USD 200 million worth of goods and services moved via the platform.
However, the firm realizes that technology is not everything but just one part of the “last mile distribution” equation. To fully bridge the gap in, MarketForce has launched MarketForce Troops, an on-demand workforce for sales teams to helps firms reach more users with an expectation to impact for over 15 million retailers in Africa.
MarketForce Troops, an on-demand sales force for consumer brands in Africa is being piloted in Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Kilifi, Laikipia, Meru, Nyeri, Machakos and Nakuru with a select group of manufacturers and partners. The firm is also looking to onboard as many partners as possible in the country to utilize its newly signed up troops. MarketForce recently signed a partnership with Ajiry, a Centum-backed and Mastercard funded project to reach more than 24,000 youth in Kenya to reduce unemployment in the country. .
The firm has faith that Troops will help manufacturers and distributors get discovered and sell more, while generating employment to thousands of youth and making essential goods and services available to millions of consumers in Africa.
Through crowdsourcing, MarketForce intends to leverage this community of thousands of young field contributors(troops) that will use our app to collect orders on the ground from consumers and retailers at the shop levels, and get paid through commissions.
The firm is building MarketForce Troops to help FMCGs, banks, insurance companies and other MFIs with the right distribution to sell consumer goods, render digital financial services and capture customer identities via local merchant stores and sales teams. Through this, employment is created for youth and consumers get timely access to essential goods and services. Troops will attract a transactional commission for all orders placed through its platform.