Founders Spotlight: Motshidisi Ngaiti(Co-Founder,

Founded during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Ponatshego aims to help local businesses move their businesses online so that they can still be able to operate despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic. In this interview, Motshidisi, the founder of Ponatshego, takes us through the journey of the online marketplace.

In your own words, tell us who Motshidisi Ngaiti is

Born and raised in Gaborone, have two older siblings. My passion for IT grew when my father introduced me to a computer back in 1999. At the time I was 7 yrs old. 

Briefly take us through your journey to a career as a tech entrepreneur

I wanted to study IT but life had other places for me. So I went in and did ACCA in BAC. However, I decided to do short courses in IT as well as some self-studying which lead to the inception of PONATSHEGO.

Please tell us more about your platform, Ponatshego

It is an online marketplace. Its core objective is to allow different sellers to sell their products on the platform. It is easy to use, every product has an explanatory video attached to it. It also has a very easy checkout procedure.

What was the motivation for starting Ponatshego?

Ponatshego was started in July 2020 in the midst of COVID-19 and at the time, many companies were going out of business due to the inability to sell their products via face-to-face contact. To solve this problem, Ponatshego was born.

As an online market platform, what challenges have you come across operating in a country with low internet penetration and logistically challenging like Botswana?

Lack of knowledge and trust in online shopping as many people have been scammed online. High costs of transportation across the country are also another challenge we have experienced in our operations 

How have you been approaching these challenges?

Through our social media platforms, we try to educate our customers about online shopping. We also try to gain customer trust and confidence by working with different social media influencers to get our message across.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth of e-commerce platforms like marketplaces. As Ponatshego, how have you been leveraging this fact for the growth of your platform?

Ponatshego was born and raised in Covid so it knows this environment and how to take advantage of it. 

As the pandemic simmers down, the logical expectation is that online shopping will also slow down as people go back to physical shopping. As an online marketplace, how does Ponatshego plan on maintaining an upward growth trajectory even after the pandemic?  

We have built trust and a culture of online shopping which is quick and efficient. On top of everything, we sell items that are not easily sourced in the country. So even after Covid the benefits of online shopping will still prevail and so will Ponatshego's business model.

Having launched in July last year, Ponatshego is still relatively young compared to other online marketplaces in the country. What is your differentiating point from the competition?

At Ponatshego, we don’t focus on the competition. Rather we focus on the needs of the customers and that is why we are the fastest growing online marketplace around.

You recently launched an Android and iOS app for Ponatshego. Please tell us more about that?

The app essentially is there to give customers better access to our platform and enhance their experience while shopping.

Smartphone usage in Botswana has grown quite rapidly in the past decade. Was this in any way a factor in deciding to launch a mobile app for Ponatshego alongside the web app?

Definitely , yes.

Apart from the app, what else is in the pipeline for Ponatshego in the near future in your quest to increase your market share in the competitive online marketplace scene?

We are planning on embarking on more initiatives to expand our reach.

Ponatshego’s future growth will in one way or another depend on the increase of internet penetration in the country. In your professional opinion, what can be done to improve internet access in the country so that platforms like Ponatshego become the norm?

Data costs should be lowered to allow more people access to the internet so they access and use services like Ponatshego

What advice would you give to local entrepreneurs who are still slow and hesitant to moving their businesses online by availing their products on online marketplaces like Ponatshego?

Moving a business online is beneficial as it decreases overheads costs incurred by a brick and mortar shop or store. And joining an already existing marketplace give you a share of their already existing customer base.

Lastly, please share with our readers where you can be reached if they are interested in getting in touch

  • Cell:73587047
  • LinkedIn: Motshidisi Joseph Ngaiti.
  • Facebook: Motshidisi Joseph Ngaiti
  • Instagram:
NB: Interview has been slightly edited for clarity

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