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Rudo: Is This The Next ‘Uber of Personal Care Services’ in South Africa?

Free State graduate Meranda Nyandane
Free State graduate Meranda Nyandane

Rudo wants to disrupt the personal care services industry in South Africa by providing convenience, safety, and opportunities to the beauty market.

Inspired by Uber, a leader in online marketplaces disruption, Rudo is one of the latest online platform technologies aiming to disrupt specifically in the fashion beauty care industry.

Rudo is an intelligent tool that relieves the burden of booking management to beauty practitioners as well as salons. It is a data-driven tool that markets the right services and products to the right audience.

The new app will also enable hyper-personalisation of direct-to-home beauty services.

In South Africa, hair salons are considered the most significant entrepreneurial endeavours next to shebeens and taverns, especially in the informal sector.

However, with all the rapid growth and transformation of this industry, booking systems remain unchanged and technology use is far behind, especially in the informal sector.

Bookings for a beauty service are ineffective and leave customers frustrated and tired. A lot of time is wasted waiting at salons, even when a client has an appointment.

It is almost impossible or impractical for a client to be assisted with the desired beauty service at the exact time booked.

Technology can and has improved efficiencies in many other industries such as banking.

People are adapting to online banking or technology banking – meaning a physical visit to the bank is no longer necessary.

Free State graduate Meranda Nyandane says she has found a solution that will increase efficiency in the beauty industry.

Nyandane, who was born Giyani in Limpopo Province and specialises in risk analysis, has created a new app named “Rudo“.

How does beauty become less time-consuming?” was one of the questions Nyandane sought to answer when she developed the app last year.

She says Rudo, which is the Shona language word for “love”, is a perfect name for the “Uber of Personal Care Services” app.

“I believe beauty begins when you start loving yourself the way you are, being comfortable in your skin,” says Nyandane.

Rudo app
Rudo app

 

“Enhancing and highlighting that beauty should not be a chore, inconvenient or time-consuming. The Rudo App emphasises loving yourself without inconvenience.”

 

Nyandane says she hopes her app will inspire others to reach for their dreams.

“With this stems the passion to create a platform that not only brings convenience and efficiency to users but also empowers beauticians to build successful businesses for themselves,” says the former Free State University student who studied risk analysis.

“I always wanted to bring my love for numbers and interest in business together,” says Nyandane.

“I believe that personal care can be done anywhere and anytime at the convenience of the client.

“The Rudo app also has security and safety vetting … I think Uber is a good benchmark for any app-based service provider and I think modelling Rudo to them was a good yardstick.”

The Rudo app, which has a dual rating system, is likely to create additional jobs for beauty practitioners.

“This app also allows the unemployed to become entrepreneurs in their own time and space,” says Nyandane.

“All you need is the right skill, great attitude, and determination to better your life … to earn an honest income for you and your family and to be successful at it.”

Rudo is also bringing a cashless payment system to the beauty care industry.

Nyandane says the idea came to her last year after witnessing an armed robbery at a salon. The thieves got away with cash and cell phones.

“It is very vital that we look at some of the factors that drive such crimes,” says Nyandane.

 

“Robbers know that when you are getting beauty treatment you are most likely to carry cash. It is time we eliminate that factor.”

Meranda Nyandane
Meranda Nyandane

The Rudo app will also come handy for saloon owners hard hit by coronavirus pandemic.

“The pandemic has taught business owners to adapt to the digital world. We plan to bring this IP to in-house salons,” says Nyandane.

“And this is not just a booking tool. It is an intelligent booking tool.

“In the long run, salon owners will probably use our platform as a good client retention tool. They can follow their client’s home or to a wedding venue instead of waiting for the client to walk through their doors.” – lourie@techfinancials.co.za

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