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Corporate social responsibility has become a fundamental business practice of our time. Companies are increasingly basing key strategic decisions on issues such as human rights, the community, the environment, and the society in which they operate. In so doing, companies ultimately position themselves to run in an ethical, sustainable and profitable way. Although many businesses are instilling this mindset into their company culture and practices, truly transformational organisations are weaving social responsibility values into the fabric of their business from the outset.
According to Sayjil Magan, Executive Head of Hello Paisa, it is one thing for a company to take an academic interest in social issues, but in order to make a meaningful difference, businesses must make it their mission to solve these issues. “We believe that every company has a responsibility, first and foremost, to promote progress and change throughout the world; generating revenue is just a by-product of this endeavour. Hello Paisa has always operated from the principle of ‘doing well by doing good’. We are solutionists, and the driving force of our business is our passion for problem-solving through technology in order to empower people to realize their true potential.”

Driven by this principle, Hello Paisa identified a dire need in the Zimbabwean community. Citizens in Zimbabwe have limited access to groceries and other goods, due to the inaccessibility of basic commodities, fluctuating exchange rates, and skyrocketing petrol prices. Conversely, Zimbabweans living in South Africa battle daily when sending essentials home, due to the prohibitive expense and the unreliability of other channels. A company keenly attuned to its customers’ needs, Hello Paisa has stepped into the fray with its tech-based solution: Malaicha.com. “As a forward-thinking organisation, we recognised the urgency of the Zimbabwean plight. Our determination to find a solution that would bring immediate relief to the situation gave birth to Malaicha.com”, explains Magan.

“Malaicha” is an isiNdebele word meaning “transporting goods to and from”, a process which has now been revolutionised by Malaicha.com. This easy-to-use app enables digital shopping at one end with same-day availability of goods at the other. Zimbabwean customers in South Africa can now purchase groceries and other goods quickly, conveniently and cost-effectively. Once the orders have been settled, Zimbabwean families on the receiving end have the option of either collecting from Malaicha.com stores (in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare and a new store in Masvingo to open in the coming weeks), or having their orders delivered to them within 24 hours.

This solutionist approach to solving consumers’ basic needs is more than just capitalising on an opportunity; it is tackling a human necessity in an impactful way that is changing thousands of lives every day. Magan concludes, “our business is built on making a tangible difference, and it is my hope that more companies follow suit. The onus is on all of us to improve the human experience. Fundamentally, we are a community-oriented company, focused on empowering people and creating a culture of social enterprise with technology as the catalyst.”