One-quarter of Myanmar’s 55 million people live in poverty, and often pay up to 20% more for goods and services because they either can’t afford to buy in bulk or are considered too risky to be provided with reasonably priced credit. These extra costs keep people trapped in poverty. In order to help tackle this challenge, ZigWay started offering a “subscription box” service that allows low-income families to access essential goods and services affordably.
ZigWay piloted its subscription service in 2019, as a platform upon which to provide a wide range of essential goods and services to help people lift themselves out of poverty. It commenced with non-perishable food staples, such as rice and cooking oil, but its ambition was also to include other products and services, such as healthcare, education, financial services, solar panels and clean cookstoves.
Ronak Shah from Octopus Labs went to Myanmar in early 2020 to help ZigWay build a pipeline of potential partnerships with organisations that could contribute goods and services to the subscription box, and to detail how these partnerships might look. He reached out to several businesses in Yangon who could be interested in partnering with ZigWay. As a direct result of Ronak’s project, families who take part in ZigWay’s subscription box now have access to school uniforms which they can pay significantly less for (in most cases more than 30%). In the long-term, some of the potential partnerships could lead to cheaper household goods that families usually spend a lot of their income on, e.g. detergent & cleaning products, essential food items, electrical products, etc.