The duo, in an interview with Forbes writer, Abisola Owolawi talked about finding their dream, rising against the odds, their challenges and their rise to building Nigeria’s number 1 online retailer.
Afaedor, who is a Ghanaian-born MBA from Havard Business School has had extensive experience in the online services market having worked at one of the world’s largest employment websites, Monster.com where he managed internet product development and marketing across 18 European countries.
Kehinde, also an MBA from Havard Business School who was previously Business Development Manager for multinational beverage company, Diageo is the co-founder of Bandeka.com, an invitation-only dating site for Africans around the world.
If there’s anything that this Rocket Internet duo can be remembered for in the past year, it is their management style and ability to grow a localised version of Amazon in a highly-competitive, risk-prone and logistically-challenged environment, amidst pressure to deliver results from their German employers, the Samwer brothers.
From launching two e-commerce services, Kasuwa and Sabunta, at the same time, to consolidating both operations into one – Jumia — currently the largest e-commerce site in Nigeria (in terms of product catalogue), both co-founders have demonstrated their experience managing internet product development and marketing in the online services market.
In just ten months, the online retail site has grown to become the 5th most visited local content website in Nigeria, surpassing Amazon in terms of visitors from the West African country. Jumia claims to have about 50,000 visits to its site daily with a daily subscriber base of over 150,000 subscribers.
The company has also witnessed growth in all areas of its operations from staff, fleet, warehousing facilities, to more recently the addition of three locations in Warri, Kaduna and Benin, an addition to those existing in Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt.
“Lagos is the prime location to be in. The numbers are here, the banking systems are better developed here and there’s a lot of activity,” says Afaedor in the Forbes interview.