Zimpost is set to take advantage of its property portfolio to enter the hospitality sector as part of its diversification and digitalisation strategy that also saw it launch an e-commerce online shop and a mobile financial wallet.
Speaking at the company’s strategic planning workshop in Darwendale in Mashonaland West on Tuesday, Zimpost board chairman Chido Boka-Nyakudya, in a speech read on her behalf by the vice-board chairman, Simbarashe Masuka, said the company had embarked on a turnaround strategy crafted in 2019 to remain viable and relevant in an ever-changing digitalised world.
As part of the strategy, Zimpost consolidated its subsidiaries into one company with partial privatisation and balance sheet restructuring also part of the plan.
“These strategies had been formulated in order to inject new capital in the business to support existing and new business initiatives; and to reduce operational risk emanating from short term sources of finance,” said Boka Nyakudya.
In the past two years Zimpost has launched the ZimbabweMall.post (2020), an online shop in line with the Universal Postal Union Postal Strategy of promoting e-commerce and Postmoney (2021), a mobile financial wallet was launched to ensure financial inclusion as outlined in the UPU strategy.
“In line with its property development initiative Zimpost is riding on its property portfolio to enter the hospitality service sector. These initiatives have set the company off in the right direction to also achieve Vision 2030,” she said.
The company was also seeking assistance to fully exploit the growth in e-commerce through the revision of the term “reserved articles” in its operating licence to include parcels.
In her keynote address, the Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services Tatenda Mavetera urged Zimpost to collaborate with big players in e-commerce to boost the viability of the Zimbabwe Mall. She said her ministry was establishing community information centres to bridge the digital divide between the urban and rural communities and challenged Zimpost to use the centres as a launchpad for the “smart” post office concept expected to change lives in communities through digitally transformed business processes and products.
Boka-Nyakudya had earlier said that Zimpost, as the Designated Postal Operator, was charged with providing universal services to all parts of the country, including where costs could not be recovered hence putting a strain on its limited resources since the remote areas required a huge capital outlay.
However, the minister said the Government was ready to support Zimpost with policies and interventions to make the smart post office a success.