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Basí­lio Simbine

MOZAMBIQUE - Transport

A Special Delivery

Director General, Portador Diario

Bio

Born in 1968, Basí­lio Inácio Simbine graduated from Eduardo Mondlane University with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. Having worked for BPB bank as a Credit Officer, he subsequently, in partnership with Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (LAM), founded Portador Diário, a courier and cargo company with a nationwide branch network, and offices in Johannesburg and Lisbon. Beyond the business arena, Simbine has a passion for the indigenous arts and culture of his country, particularly the Timbila, a Mozambican xylophone.

What motivated you to establish Portador Diario? I formerly worked in banking, but left that sector during during the global financial crisis. At that time, I was considerıng a wide […]

What motivated you to establish Portador Diario?

I formerly worked in banking, but left that sector during during the global financial crisis. At that time, I was considerıng a wide array of possible careers, but then it occurred to me that many international companies were setting up headquarters in Maputo, only to realize that the postal system was notoriously unreliable. The further thought occurred that there was a market to be created by becoming their mailman, as it were, by establishing a courier company. We opened for business in 2007 with a focus on partnering national airline LAM to be able to distribute nationwide. And today, we hold around an 80% share of the courier market for documents and letters. We have continued our partnership with LAM and are now able to ship throughout Mozambique, as well as to South Africa, and Portugal.

What major projects are you working on?

Currently, we are working with Maputo City Council to set up a PO Box system for the city. Mozambique lacks a postal code system, which presents serious challenges for mail delivery. We will be providing space for the PO Box system and helping to operate it together with the municipality. Ultimately, the service will be extended nationwide.

Logistics is problematic for many companies operating in Mozambique. How do you overcome related challenges to ensure timely delivery?

Mozambique’s infrastructure challenges directly impact our business, in particular the condition of the roads, which is why we work with LAM. There are additional bureaucratic challenges to contend with, as well as educational, commercial, and infrastructural obstacles to clear. The key is to overcome these problems with an overarching strategy; they can only be overcome on a day-to-day basis by developing creative solutions. In fact this day-to-day problem solving remains a sticking point in Mozambique, and one that demands long-term solutions conducive to broader development.

Can you give an example of a creative solution?

Let’s imagine an urgent letter that needs to reach Tete, but that the schedules plane has taken off and the truck has also departed. The customer cannot simply be left to contend with this problem, and we would opt to rent an alternative vehicle. Our advantage lies in being local, which enables us to more effective local solutions than a larger international courier company.

What is your current client profile?

Most international companies prefer to work with international brands, but in contrast our main client base comprises Mozambican SMEs.

What have been your greatest successes and how do you perceive the future of the courier sector?

Our major success lies in assisting local SMEs, a vital segment of the Mozambican economy, to develop. I see the future as being contingent upon by the quality of infrastructure, in which I also include the national education system.

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