SANITATION & HYGIENE Rwanda

E-commerce platform for women’s health and personal care products in Rwanda and Kenya

Kasha is a widely-accessible mobile e-commerce and content platform in Rwanda that sells and delivers women’s health and personal care products such as sanitary pads, contraceptives, soaps and lotions. With TRANSFORM´S support, kasha has expanded to Kenya.

Kasha’s brand is focused on women’s empowerment for health and self-care, providing direct access to quality products and information. Kasha provides a confidential ordering mechanism for the consumer, which is especially important for products and information related to social stigma such as menstruation and contraception. The Kasha platform does not require internet connectivity or a smartphone so it’s accessible to anyone with a basic mobile phone. Kasha also strives to make payment as easy as possible, optimizing for mobile money and cash on delivery which are both the preferred payment methods for consumers in East Africa.

As a technology platform, Kasha offers consumer insight by collecting and analyzing anonymous consumer-level data to deliver market insight on products, brands and preferences. Kasha’s platform reaches consumers digitally through their mobile phones as well as physically through the delivery of packages. This enables Kasha to operate as a retail and advertising channel direct to consumer.

Incentivising consumers to make regular recurring purchases for their health, hygiene and sanitation drives adoption of healthy behaviours which in turn leads to healthy women, families and communities. Since many women’s health products are needed on a monthly basis, Kasha leverages their monthly subscription model to drive regular recurring order.

By Mid-2019, kasha has delivered over 250,000 units of products and totalled over 45,000 unique costumers, with 80% of total orders coming from low- income rural women.

The first phase of TRANSFORM’s support established Kasha’s agent network in Rwanda, which has enabled community-level distribution and improved livelihoods. It has also enabled Kasha to build brand awareness and gained greater learnings in customer acquisition, customer retention and optimising unit economics. The organisation was able to build its capability for last-mile distribution in Rwanda, with over 60 Kasha agents around the country that are paid based on performance for every order delivered.

Building on the success of the first project in Rwanda, TRANSFORM is now helping to scale Kasha’s impact across Kenya to help women overcome barriers to adoption . The second project will look into optimising the distribution and agent network in Kenya, how digital financial inclusion and services can be leveraged, how to reach low-income consumers with social media and digital content, and how best to drive customer acquisition and retention.

Joanna Bichsel, CEO and Co-Founder of Kasha says, “It’s about time we started building technology solutions that optimize for women and serve their needs. Women own the household and are the key decision makers for the home in terms of health and hygiene products. They deserve to be treated better. Kasha works to ensure that all women have access to the products they need to live their best lives. Unilever has been a key partner in helping us to scale and grow Kasha’s impact and business in Rwanda and Kenya.