Nedbank Business Accelerator: Pargo Speaks about Industry Disrupting PickUp Point Delivery

Lars Veul, one of our co-founders at Pargo was invited to radio station Cape Talk to speak to Kieno Kammies and Pavlo Phitidis about scaling and industry disrupting Pickup Point Delivery. Take a listen here.

Kieno Kammies: Good Morning. And it is feedback week. You know Pavlo has given all the great advice to all these amazing businesses that are ready to scale. The question is did they use it effectively and how they’ve grown. That’s the big question Cape Talk and Nedbank want to help you to make your business more scalable robust and future-proof. It is the feedback week and this morning of course joined by Pavlo Phitidis the business guru. He is not here yet. So what we’ll do is we’ll go to the actual business itself and Lars Veul is the founder and director of Pargo. Pargo received some great advice from Pavlo. So Lars, good morning how are you?

Lars Veul: Good morning Kieno, ja good thanks.

Kieno Kammies: Tell us a bit about Pargo and what it does?

Lars Veul: Thanks, ja. So Pargo is a last mile logistics business. What we do is trying to solve the challenges of deliveries. As you might know, deliveries is quite challenging in South Africa. The post offices don’t always deliver on time or give you enough insight with track and trace and with courier companies, it can be very expensive and challenging to get a parcel anywhere in the country.

So what we have done is to come up with a solution to solve these challenges and allow people to send and receive parcels anywhere in the country at dedicated pickup points that we’ve set up. These pickup points have been set up at existing retail stores. So we’ve partnered with companies like Clicks, TFG, Caltex and many more throughout the country where people can just walk into a store, send a parcel or you know pick up a parcel.

Kieno Kammies: Now that’s phenomenal. You know most of these type of innovations are born out of challenges and the challenges you’ve met right at the beginning. But the other challenge I would imagine for a business such as yours is to be able to scale to take the value that you bring to other markets. So tell me a little bit about the advice that Pavlo Phitidis gave you during the Nedbank business accelerate and whether or not you used that advice.

Lars Veul: Yeah. So we started the business about three and a half years ago. And one of the big challenges we have is indeed to scale. We started with literally 14 small stores you know pickup points in the Western Cape and it’s now grown to over 1500 pickup points throughout the country. And I think what Pavlo said last time was you know focus just on what you’re doing and do more of the same. So don’t try to do too much but make sure that you get your core business right. And I think the big focus has been for us is to make sure that the quality of these pickup points is phenomenal so that if you’re going to a store to drop off or pick up a parcel that you always have the same experience and experience is good and great.

Lars Veul: And I think you see from the last three to four years that it actually has really been picking up not only the network has grown but the results that we now are bringing to a few of our biggest clients are also very promising. I think we are now big enough to have some kind of case studies and some track record and you know the big companies TFG, FNB and insurance companies, big e-commerce companies like Spree, One Day Only – they all make use of our service and what we are now picking up is that it is not just an extra kind of convenience for them. But we are really seeing that these businesses are being able to tap into new markets and to grow their businesses because they can now deliver to those customers that previously were very challenging to service.

Kieno Kammies: So you are going to have Spree and Superbalist now because they have amalgamated.

Lars Veul: So yeah it’s very interesting. I just saw the news last night as well. So let’s see what happens there. It’s very nice and interesting development.

Kieno Kammies: Lars what a wonderful business amazing business indeed. I believe you’ve got a very quick one from Pavlo as it is 10 seconds to 7. We finally managed to get hold of him. Pavlo, great having you on the show. Great story that Lars has to tell here. Hey from 14 to over a 1000 points. That is phenomenal.

Pavlo Phitidis: It is amazing Kieno. In fact, there are two things that have really held back online retail. The first is software and bandwidth and that’s becoming increasingly available. We’ve seen some very very big deals done with Vuma who laid Fibre everywhere making connectivity cheaper and cheaper and cheaper. And then the second thing has been delivery. In other words getting the product from the buyer to the seller at an endpoint moving out that reverse logistics cost and Pargo Point is going to bring that to life. They’re sitting with 1500 distribution points. I see them sitting with 10000 distribution points very very soon and every distribution point should put up a big Pargo sign in their store from Clicks to Cape Union Mart where they already are available. So people know that they can go there and do a one-stop shop. Get everything delivered that they need while picking up the goods that they wanted to go collect in any event. It would be a missed opportunity not to do it.

Kieno Kammies: Absolutely. What a great story – a great South African story. And just remember listening when we showcase the next business owner on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham, the Nedbank Business Accelerator will Cape Talk See Money differently. You can visit business.capetalk.co.za for more information.