Imitate Konga, -Ex Unilag VC Tells Tech Start-ups
By Pelumi Olaleye
Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (Unilag), Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe tasked tech start-up to imitate Konga so as to bring in more investors to improve the economy of the country.
Speaking at a large gsthering to budding entrepreneurs, business owners and other Ph.D. students in Lagos, Obe explained that “The new Konga is a very good case study for tech start-up to emulate as it is obvious that there is a clear plan by the new investors. If we consider their omni channel strategy which is quite expensive, only a few Nigerian banks can match the fusion of online power with the number of stores being rolled out across the country, mostly in Lagos as I have seen.
“What we can learn from this is that, apart from strategy, planning and tact is very critical in the Third World. I am sure the former owners of the business will be amazed at the transformation the business had undergone within the last six months. A company like Konga has proven that Nigerians have the capacity to make things happen and though I am not sure what their figures look like today, I am sure it must have appreciated over 200 per cent”. Adding that
entrepreneurs should indulge in fulfilling their promises and entice investors to plunge in more funds.
“The Konga example shows that African entrepreneurs can hold their own and succeed. It is very important, however, for budding entrepreneurs or startups to go through an incubation period and excite their investors to inject more funds rather than being on negative and still asking for more funds. It has become fashionable for startups to keep looking to raise money without looking at the book balance while unconsciously signing off their equity.
“When entrepreneurs gradually liquidate equity, they must see a bigger future even as they continue to dissolve their shares. Modern investors are very smart and when they see that they are gradually getting a foothold in the business, they can see that you are gradually liquidating and their funds is at risk. This is why there is a high failure rate among startups as investors must, at a point, take a business decision not to put in more money because the owner has reduced his stake substantially that he has nothing to lose anymore.”
Prof. Ibidapo-Obe advised that youths should not be discouraged by the harsh economic situation of the country, and the difficulty in gathering accurate statistics in Nigeria.
“You must not be discouraged by the current economic and political situation in the country. Every country goes through it and Nigeria is no exception. Most importantly is the fact that, the country will emerge stronger from it and young, smart entrepreneurs will own the country in future and will create even more wealth in a short space of time than the present set of entrepreneurs,” he said.
Recall that Konga was acquired by the Zinox group and within the last six months, metamorphosed into one of the pioneers of the e-commerce revolution in Nigeria, and has remained at the forefront of driving higher standards and solutions to improve the customer experience.