JOHANNESBURG – A Thembisa -born BCom Informatics graduate has developed an app to help parents and schools to track scholar transport vehicle in real time.
Tshidi Morabi developed LocTransie to provide parents and schools with SMS notifications of their children’s journey to and from school.
Morabi, who has more than 20-years worth of experience in the IT sector said she developed the app out of frustration of not knowing the whereabouts of her children when transported from home to school and back.
“I chose to develop this app to offer parents peace of mind,”she says. “I identified a niche in the market that needed immediate action.”
LocTransie also allows schools to tick-off when children arrive or depart.
The school transport industry in South Africa is huge and estimated to be worth billions of rands. However, it is often characterised by overloading and accidents.
Morabi says she opted for LocTransie for “locate” and Transie for “transport” in South African township slang.
The app was developed under her own company, Ginini Consulting, an IT business consulting and advisory company she founded in 2014.
Among Ginini clients are accounting firm SekelaXabiso, City of Ekurhuleni, Sage, Institute of Risk Management SA and National Lotteries Commission. “Ginini Consulting will be global brand,” Morabi says.
Morabi saus LocTransie is growing and now expanding to neighbouring Botswana.
Morabi says thousands of parents rush from one school to the next to find a missing child when the drivers do not answer their phones.
She says through a smartphone or tablet, the app keeps parents directly informed of delays or route diversions whilst allowing the driver to privately notify them of emergency events through customised push notifications.
It also minimises the risk of children being swapped without the parent’s knowledge and provides certainty for their whereabouts and safety.
For schools, the app allows for a signing-in and signing-out of children.
However, Morabi says the development was not easy.
“The launch of the app was delayed by a number of weeks to allow the school component to be included. This was based on extensive discussions with schools who wanted to be involved and ‘tick off’ when students arrive or exit their care,” says Morabi.
Morabi explains why she used local talent to develop the app.
“Many local entrepreneurs have been burnt by creating an app very cheaply overseas in India or Bangladesh, only to find it impossible to refine or update the product once it has been launched,” Morabi says.
Morabi is actively canvassing scholar transport companies to sign up and provide this service to their customers. “This is a low-cost solution that is compelling to potential customers. Many scholar transport companies don’t have websites and they will benefit from the increased visibility that will come through being listed on the in-app directory,” says Morabi.
She says she values user friendly and quality solutions for clients.
Morabi is a serial entrepreneur who simply will not give up.
At 16, she started her first business, a hair salon. The business closed down due to non-paying customers. She then opened a juice manufacturing operation delivering to local shops in Tembisa. But this venture also collapsed because it was working at a loss.
“I later opened a laundry,” she says,” it closed down due to more people affording washing machines. Then I opened a video shop opened which closed down due to the introduction of DSTV. I opened the candle manufacturing and arts & craft business which closed due to me shifting focus to my first child.”
Morabi says, through her many business failures, which have become the basis of her recent startup success, she has learned not to repeat mistakes.
“I was born for greatness. I managed to start a successful IT Company without any funding.”
She says it helped her that she grew up in an entrepreneurial household. “At my household we always sold something, cold drinks, ice pops and chips,” she says.
Her wish is that could find their place in entrepreneurship.
“Women must be equally recognised and not to be expected as permanent spectators in IT,” she says.
Her dream is to turn her company into an IT behemoth like Google and Facebook
“I desperately want to go to Silicon Valley in California and visit powerful technology pioneers.”