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Bartit: Sigh of relief for micro businesses

With sky rocketing advertising costs in the local market, a young Motswana man has come up with an electronic classified website Bartit, that will enable small businesses, traders and individuals who do not have any marketing budget to advertise and promote their commodities for free.

The name is essentially ‘barter it’, but according to the owner of the idea the letter ‘e’ was forgotten when the domain was registered hence ‘Bartit’. Speaking from his base in Cape Town where he is studying for his post graduate degree, Parikshit Bohra explained that his initiative was an attempt to provide a free platform of advertisement to the masses on the internet.

“Internet is a sector that is in its primitive stages in Botswana. However internet connectivity is expected to grow exponentially in the near future, the reason being the country is being connected to seacom cables, data prices are expected to decrease further and internet speeds to increase. Therefore internet media will become as important as print media. Vendors and individuals will want online presence,” he said.

The idea, according to him is based on online businesses that have bloomed in other parts of the world. Since Botswana’s online business model is different from the rest of the world with high data rates and small population, Bohra said he was starting an sms services where buyers and sellers can connect to each other without connectivity to the internet.

“This service will be first of its kind in the field of online classifieds. We aim to drive the pillar of an IT literate society with various online with Bartit being our stepping stone,” added Bohra. Bohra who grew up in Botswana after arriving when he was only eight years old went to Galaletsang Primary School, Donga Junior Secondary in Francistown before coming back to Gaborone Secondary School. He then pursued his tertiary at the University of Cape Town where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechatronic Engineering.
“Over the last five years we have continually studied the advertising infrastructure of Botswana, its cost pattern and viewership amongst others.

The outcome of the research was that businesses in Botswana were paying at least 0.19thebe per viewing of one advert whether on a magazine, billboard or newspaper. Whereas they would be paying at most less than that online which is at least 76 percent cheaper,” he said. In 2008, when the research was initiated Bohra said P300million was spent in the Botswana market for advertising. Assuming 30 percent inflation for 2013, he said the cost of advertising would be roughly P390million.

Bohra said the report indicated that even with a mixture of online and offline advertising both private and government sector can save a minimum of 45 percent on advertising which was P175million whilst improving their advertisement effectiveness by 58 percent. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Baleseng Batlotleng

Location : Gaborone

Event : Interview

Date : Sep 01 Sun,2013


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