•The platform is also looking to include Huddah Cosmetics and Fenty Beauty cosmetics by Rihanna.
• Kenya expansion enabled by the logistics industry creating market development, high purchasing power and mobile penetration
Kasha, an East African e-commerce platform dealing in women products has launched in Nairobi.
The platform, kasha.co.ke, will offer diverse products including menstrual hygiene products, sexual health, contraceptives, HIV and pregnancy self-tests, beauty and baby products.
The platform is also looking to include Huddah Cosmetics and Fenty Beauty by Rihanna. The company was first launched in Rwanda three years ago.
According to Kasha chief executive and co-founder Joana Bichsel, the platform targets women because they make or influence 80 per cent of consumer purchases.
It also seeks to provide confidential consultation on the use of the products.
The expansion in Kenya has been enabled greatly by the logistics industry creating market development, high purchasing power and mobile penetration in the country.
Kasha has partnered with warehouses and logistics company including Sendy Limited and distributor Tess Enterprises.
“There is the availability of these local transport agents in Kenya compared to Rwanda where we serve in the whole supply chain. This has helped us concentrate on our core business of partnering with manufacturers for the consistent introduction of products in the platform,” Bichsel said. Their main brand partner is Unilever. Others are Marini Naturals, Zerufi Organics and Mosara.
According to Bichsel, there is a spike in demand for natural or organic products.
“Reputation is a risk that every merchant would want to maintain. Working with manufacturers ensures you get genuine products and best price deal,” Unilever E-commerce Lead Julian Kituma said.
The e-commerce platform serves an express fee for 1-2 hours after order delivery of Sh300, Sh200 for delivery on the same day and delivery on the next days for free.
“The fee is currently on offer but will be evaluated later based on customer feedback. We actually find it less costly to deliver outside Nairobi,” she added.
In the last year to 2018, Kasha has experienced an 800 per cent growth in revenue from both countries.
A report by McKinsey, Africa’s pharmaceutical market is estimated to hit Sh6.57 trillion ($65 billion) in 2020, with beauty and personal care market growing at a compound rate of 8.24 per cent between 2014 and 2019.