Sim Shagaya, CEO of Konga.com, Nigeria’s major ecommerce platform, as described commerce and business as the force that could help in redeeming a society. He stated this in Lagos, Nigeria while delivering the keynote address at the maiden edition of SME National Conference organized by First Bank of Nigeria.
“Commerce is the most redemptive force for any society; it is not government or any agency, it is the SMEs,” Shagaya said.
He said at the initial stage of the company the company had to change its mandate from being a retailer to a company that also provides logistics due to the high level of distrust it met in the Nigerian market.
“Distrust in the system changed our mandate from being a retailer to a logistics company also,” he said.
Despite the current status of ecommerce in Nigeria, he said the sector is still in its early stage in Nigeria and his company is positioned for the future.
“Ecommerce is going to be like a utility – like water and electricity in the future, and most Nigerians will use the platform. Konga.com is building an engine for commerce in Nigeria.
“Success is not guaranteed but we are seeing some really good signs,” Shagaya said.
He identified several key factors that he said are vital to the success of SMEs in Nigeria.
He said: “Capital is important. You need funds which are seemingly scarce but at the same time like soil – even a small amount can make a difference.
“You also need to build processes and systems. Small businesses need to grow and there is no sentiment in business. As an SME, you must continually build the capacity of your workforce by enlisting them for regular training.”
At the SME National Conference, experts from the sector spoke to thousands of Nigerian SME operators on how they can improve their businesses and avail themselves of available opportunities, resources, funds and support that would facilitate growth and enhance expansion.