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Home Startups 23-Year-Old Nigerian Launches Gokool.com.ng to Sell Auto Parts, Construction Materials & Electrical Accessories Online

23-Year-Old Nigerian Launches Gokool.com.ng to Sell Auto Parts, Construction Materials & Electrical Accessories Online

by Sam Wakoba
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gokool1Charles Philip Ukaegbu, a 23 year old final year student of administration at Babcock University, Ilishan Remohas launched Gokool,
an e-commerce firm selling auto parts, building and construction materials and the electrical accessories, at a time when such services are so much needed in the country and the continent as internet penetration hikes.

Ukaegbu told TechMoran that he ventured into tech as a self taught web designer and programmer, fell in love with it and decided to take it up as a career last year August.

The name Gokool was given to him me by his mentor and the concept is basically Go c(k)ool,  no need to rush into trouble purchasing inferior products on these 3 major areas,that he says litter the Nigerian market.
Below is the full interview he had with TechMoran.

 What inspired you?

After I decided to take up tech as a career, I was thinking of the value to add to society with my new found love. I started out by creating a LinkedIn like social network for Nigerians but I later changed into creating a listing site.  After finishing with the design and everything, my horizon widened and I decided to go into e-commerce proper. But then, we already had the likes of Konga.com and Jumia.com.ng already making waves. So I decided to go into something that was missing in the market- an e-commerce store selling auto parts,electrical accessories and building materials.

These sectors have been ravaged with so much fake and imitation products and so Gokool was created to stand in the gap. Shopping with  Gokool, you are guaranteed only genuine products, no need walking around only to fall into wrong hands.
 gokool2 When was it launched?

Gokool was launched precisely on the 28 of August 2013.

 How is the reception since going live?

The reception has been very amazing. In only our few weeks of existence, we have been well received. People from different parts of the country have already called to make inquiries and ask for help on placing orders, which has been really encouraging.

How much did the whole set-up cost as auto parts, electrical and building materials are expensive?

We can’t pin down a particular figure on how much it cost into setting up. Gokool actually has a network of dealers of only GENUINE auto parts,electrical accessories and building materials. That’s how we operate. We have deals with these suppliers who warehouse these goods and we deliver to our customers based on orders.

  At just 23, how are you finding it running the venture?

I have been bolstered by having a mentor who has been in business for over 30 years. Then recently, I have been building a team including marketers and customer care agents.

Any seed funding?

No, there was no seed funding.

Do you deliver across the country or only in Lagos?

Yes, we deliver between1-4 working days, across Nigeria.

Who are your delivery partners?

We have partnered with TRANEX a foremost courier company in Nigeria.

charlesgokoolDo you think Nigeria is ready for e-commerce?

Yes, Nigeria is ready. The reception and acceptance the likes of Jumia and Konga.com have had, shows that Nigerians are now embracing online shopping. So we are also tapping into that.

On funding, do you think there are high-risk/growth stage investors in Nigeria?

Well, from our observation there are there, but they are not in large numbers. That’s the problem prospective entrepreneurs face in the country, trying to get funding for their ventures. The number of high-risk/growth stage investors in the country is not directly proportional to the number of available entrepreneurs seeking funds, that’s why many ideas go under without even seeing the light.

Web or mobile?

Both

Is there just hype or there is real innovation in Africa?

No its not hype, its real innovation. Many young Africans have seen that little or no help is coming from their governments in form of social welfare,jobs and education grants. This has made many to dig deep into their creative abilities to make ends meet and survive in the midst of the current challenges facing them.

Where do you project Gokool will be in the next two years?

By God’s grace and a dint of hard-work, in the next two years, we project Gokool to be the clear leader in its field of e-commerce and amongst the top 4 e-commerce sites in the country.

Do you plan to offer car repair services on Gokool?

We actually offer a do-it-yourself (DIY) package for our customers on every order they make. In the auto parts segment, we will soon be offering car diagnostic and repair services to all our customers.

What problem do you think tech needs to solve, quickly in Africa/Nigeria?

Tech needs to solve a whole lot in Africa particularly education. Tech can be a tool to create mass literacy.

 

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