Today I had a very exciting interview with the Founder of Done Deal which I consider to be the Ugandan Groupon, I stumbled upon this startup at a tech event in Kampala and due to it’s unique offerings I thought it would be nice to have a chat with it’s Founder.
I always want to start my interviews with a fun question, so if you were an animal what (animal) would you be and why?
Ah, I would be a Lioness not a Lion because since I came to Africa I learnt about how the actual Lion is Lazy and the Lioness that does all the work and gets the food and then the Lion comes in and enjoys, haha but no I think I would be a Lion because my Zodiac sign is Leo and I definitely relate to being strong.
As a Founder, can you tell me a bit about yourself and may be your background?
My name is Iliana and I come from Sweden and I first came to Uganda a bit more than a year and half ago. When I came here I was running the Global Business Labs as the Country Manager and I was here to setup that lab and to recruit startups and coach them and to make sure everything is running smoothly and when I was done, I was supposed to go back to Sweden but I was intrigued by the Ugandan market and Uganda as the country. My background is political science but I also started doing my masters in business management when I wasn’t really the traditional NGO type of person.
What Motivated you to come into the startup business.
Business development has always been a passion of mine. I have small ventures back at home and I was very intrigued by the market here. I could see how quickly it was moving and I have some good exposure of what is happening the online venture and what is done in other countries, I have seen the development in Europe and I can tell the development here is going the same way.
I understand you have a startup called Done Deal, why do you think it’s right startup for Uganda and why did you start it?
There is a lot happening in the eCommerce online and mobile sector in Uganda and in sub Saharan Africa, internet and smartphone penetration are growing rapidly together with the middle income class although it’s a little to early to tap into it. You can see whats been done in different parts of the world and just bring them here. I did some research in the market and how much it would cost us to setup and some of the competition in the eCommerce and we come up with Done Deal which is based on the Groupon Model.
How Does Done Deal Work?
Done Deal gives you discounts on primarily services in Kampala, we negotiate with restaurants, cinemas, beauty Saloons, cleaning services you name it and our value proposition is to attract more customers to these places and if you give us a deal with a really good discount you will attract customers who haven’t been to these place. For example you can get a 2 for 1 Burger deal at Piato restaurant when you visit our site, you go to check out and get voucher because you can’t be able to pay right now but we a integrating that and all you have to do now is show up to the restaurant with your voucher and you will receive your discount.
How Do you benefit from doing this?
Our revenue stream is commissions and we benefit from each deal that goes through our site and from recommending more people to our partners.
How long have you been running this startup and what are some of the challenges you have faced?
We have been in existence for 2 Months now, the main challenge we have had is the tech part of things, I have no tech background and it’s ridiculous how much have learnt through Google different issues like usability . but we have learnt a lo and we are now looking for a long term tech partner because this is really slowing us down because we don’t want to market a site that is not working very well but we are getting there. We are also ridding on the expert wave and that is people who have used similar systems and we still yet to go out and reach out to the local users and teach them how to use our systems and have them as early adopters.
Some last words to our readers.
Done Deal is a really amazing concept and some people think it’s too good to be true but we are really giving good you discounts but my advise to the startups is that there is so much knowledge, team up with business people get out and meet your customer, don’t wait to build a product for 2 years only to find out that you were building the wrong product.