Why Nigeria Remains Fertile Business Environment

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E-Commerce: Nigeria Remains A Fertile Business Environment – Uwaje

 

By Pelumi Olaleye
Africa Chair for IEEE World Internet of Things (WIoT), Mr Chris Uwaje disclosed that Nigeria remains a fertile business environment, especially for online-focused ventures such as e-commerce companies.
Uwaje who was speaking recently on the challenges facing the e-commerce sector in the Nigerian market at a stakeholders conference noted that Nigeria is a country with peculiar challenges and a very strong traditional approach to retail which requires a deep sense of local know-how and understanding by players.
“This is one of the biggest hurdles faced by e-commerce start-ups here. Many e-commerce ventures run with foreign concepts and strategies more suited to foreign climes, making it harder for them to survive the difficult terrain that is the Nigerian business space.
“The rise of e-Commerce in Nigeria will accelerate the innovative application and use of Drone Technology to deliver essential goods and services nationwide, facilitate rural community education as well as save critical lives at all levels of national emergencies”.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian e-commerce industry is currently worth over $17 billion, with estimates indicating that the sector could account for over $29 billion by 2022. The industry is strengthened by rapid increase in youth population, expanding consumer power, and increased smartphone penetration.

Konga, one of e-commerce pioneer revolution in Nigeria, acquired by the Zinox Group from erstwhile majority investors – Naspers and AB Kinnevik – in a landmark deal in late 2017.
Also speaking,  Co-Chief Executive Officer, Konga Group, Nick Imudia,  revealed that the company is determined to change the e-commerce sector in Nigeria for good.
“Creating confidence in the marketplace and in the minds of Nigerians of all classes is key to what we are doing. The Konga strategy is attuned towards considering the culture of the people, by providing them multiple platforms. Our intention is to continue to optimize and we certainly will not disappoint the trust reposed in us,” he explained.
Uwaje, further mentioned that the market lies heavily on the approach or business strategy adopted by most players, many of whom fail to situate foreign business models, ideas and strategies within the culture of the people and Nigeria’s existential realities.
According to him, the high failure rate in the sector can be attributed to an absence of reliable knowledge of the nuances and predilections shaping the average Nigerian’s shopping behaviour which local know-how and capacity brings.
Uwaje revealed that  $1million  would be invested in current players, which over ninety percent of a select group of budding tech entrepreneurs he was mentoring had plumped for Konga.
“It came as no surprise because of the local know-how, strong international network, consistent success and decades of experience in the Nigerian technology sector at the disposal of the new owners of Konga. Aligned to this is the quiet way they have gone about in repositioning the business without the usual hype that accompanies most e-commerce ventures in Nigeria.”
He further explained that, “Nigeria remains a fertile business environment, especially for online-focused ventures such as e-commerce companies. It is also a country with peculiar challenges and a very strong traditional approach to retail which requires a deep sense of local know-how and understanding by players. This is one of the biggest hurdles faced by e-commerce start-ups here. Many e-commerce ventures run with foreign concepts and strategies more suited to foreign climes, making it harder for them to survive the difficult terrain that is the Nigerian business space.”
The rise of e-Commerce in Nigeria will accelerate the innovative application and use of Drone Technology to deliver essential goods and services nationwide, facilitate rural community education as well as save critical lives at all levels of national emergencies.
“An e-Commerce platform such as Konga should be viewed as a too-big-to-fail enterprise. E-Commerce has great potential to reduce traffic congestions, infant and maternal mortality, deliver healthy living, wellness and improve meaningful life expectancy. These amongst others are the deep benefits of uplifting Konga as Africa’s foremost e-Commerce Platform,” he concluded.
An e-commerce expert,Wale Ogunfunwa added that logistics remain one of the biggest headaches faced by e-commerce players as “Our transport infrastructure is severely underdeveloped. Worse still, there are no reliable physical addressing system in some major cities,  not to talk of the hinterlands. If you transplant a foreign strategy that works in Europe where delivery and transport infrastructure are highly developed, for instance, but which fails to address these identified gaps here, then you are bound to fail.
“Trust is also a major issue. A customer who has been disappointed the first time is harder to convince. Winning the e-commerce war in Nigeria requires a strong player backed by core local know-how and resources that can build and own its own delivery and supply chain network that will reduce delays to the barest minimum,” he said.

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