EXCLUSIVE: TechLoy interviews Sefik Bagdadioglu, Jumia Market’s MD

In June 2016, Africa Internet Group, a leading Internet platform in Africa, and all its other subsidiaries, were rebranded to Jumia. This of course included Kaymu, which became Jumia Market.

TechLoy recently had an interview with Jumia Market’s MD, Sefik Bagdadioglu to find out how the company has been faring since the rebrand, what the future holds and more.

Happy reading!

TechLoy: Congrats on your new role as MD of Jumia Market. This isn’t new for you though and I’m sure responsibilities are at a new high now. So tell us, how has it been so far on the job?

Sefik: It has been a thrilling journey so far. My role as the MD and our goal – to be the best social online marketplace – remains the same. However – thanks to widely known Jumia name – our reach and domain has expanded. Jumia group of companies have been part of the same family (Africa Internet Group) for a long time and the brand change further formalizes this relationship.

In terms of impact on our community: buyers have access to a greater assortment of products with even better prices (thanks to increased seller base) and sellers have access to more buyers. Win-win. 

TechLoy: The change that brought all of AIG’s subsidiaries under the Jumia brand was really sudden. Though sudden, a lot of thought and planning must have gone into it. Can you comment on when exactly the decision to rebrand was made and when the plans commenced?

Sefik: You are correct, there has been a lot of work done in the background before we shared the plans with the larger audience.  We had to be very meticulous in weighting the cost and benefits of such a change and ensure the impact is positive for our community that is our buyers and sellers.

This brand merger was the most sensible step to offer all the various solution we have under the same brand: Jumia – it’s a bit like Google. You have Gmail, Google Maps, Gdocs, etc, all contributing to improving people’s lives. It’s no different for us, under the Jumia brand we offer various solutions through Jumia Mall, Jumia Market, Jumia Food, Jumia Travel, we focus on improving people’s lives through the power of technology.

TechLoy: OK, Kaymu has changed to Jumia Market. Aside the name, what else has changed about Kaymu?

Sefik: In terms of service delivery and expertise, nothing has changed – our #1 focus is still customer satisfaction. We are still the same horizontal social marketplace that offers the best assortment and prices in a very secure platform.

TechLoy: What happens to Kaymu Village (and other such amazing innovations such as the referral program, affiliate programs, et al)? Will it still be operational?

Sefik: The focus on innovation remains the same, it’s in our DNA (check out the most recent MIT report).  The Kaymu Village is now Jumia Village, and we are working on with our sister ventures to expand the reach to a wider audience – stay tuned for some very exciting developments on this front. I wish I could tell you more as I’m super excited about the future of this concept, but do not want to spoil the surprise.

TechLoy: I remember asking you at Kaymu Village if Kaymu would start selling its own products. Now that Kaymu is now Jumia Market, are you guys still sticking to the old value proposition or there are plans to make a change?

Sefik: We have no plans of selling product as I do not believe that is our value proposition. We want to help SMEs and individual sellers to grow by providing them with a secure platform where they can interact with potential buyers.

For the buyers we want to create a dynamic seller community so they can access a large assortment of products with good prices. That is the democratization of e-commerce and I rather focus on enhancing this ecosystem. 

TechLoy: So how have users reacted to the change? Has usage increased; what’s the user base like at the moment? How about sellers; are they on the increase?

Sefik: It has been very positive thus far. Some initial confusion with where Jumia Market starts and Jumia (Mall) ends, but we have been quite successful in explaining the difference and the complementary nature of our business. We see an increase both in our buyers and sellers.

TechLoy: What are Jumia Market’s plans for the future? Is there anything new?

Sefik: For us the future begins now – that is why we have already started creating ways to improve the way we connect with our customer base.

We recently improved and optimized our services on Opera Mini to help improve customer experience; we have innovations such as Jumia Pay which we will be rolling out soon that would help improve the payment process and we are constantly striking unique partnership that are helping us better our value proposition.

We will continue to focus on strategies that will help us introduce the benefits of e-commerce to otherwise offline communities.

Jumia Market is Nigeria’s largest online marketplace where buyers and sellers meet to make awesome deals. Jumia Market prides itself on having the best prices you can find anywhere online in Nigeria.

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