Former engineer runs an essential service in Sabah 'cowboy town'

Some of the RunEd delivery men preparing to start work in Kota Belud.

KOTA KINABALU: In recent days, about a dozen red-shirted motorcyclists have been zipping in and out of villages in the "cowboy town" of Kota Belud, bringing food and even documents for their customers.

They operate under a new food delivery service app introduced and developed by Azizul Lemin, a 35-year-old native of the coastal north-western town known for its horse-riding in the old days.

This new app RunED, known as Runner Express Delivery, is helping not only locals there earn a living, but also allows for those in the further reaches of the villages to enjoy the food delivery service that others might not be able to do.

“Our app is similar to those of the existing food delivery services but we have another option which provides alternative pricing for consumers who wish to get their food, groceries and even documents delivered to their doorsteps, ” Azizul said.

Though still new, the app has already drawn over 2,000 subscribers in Kota Belud alone.

“We are pushing our market via social media and online platforms, ” said the father-of-three.

The former engineer said that because of budget constraints, they are not able to hire more people but will for now use all the resources available to deal with customers, their queries and get orders sent.

“I want to bring more options for the people here to not only make extra income or, for some, earn a living, but give people more choices when they need to use delivery services, ” he said.

For those living outside the normal delivery range from the participating vendors, they can also order food or ask for grocery or document pick-ups via the app’s freelance runners option.

Azizul said innovative efforts are needed, especially during tough times such as now when there is a pandemic and economic slowdown.

"There are business opportunities and potential in every situation, if one knows how to identify them and bank on them.

"No challenge is too difficult for anyone willing to work hard and strive to make their lives better," he added.

Azizul said he aspires to expand the service outside Kota Belud.

“This will only be done once our finances stabilise and our customer base grows, ” he said.

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