I wrote an article few days back about how the Generation Z in Nigeria (Africa, maybe) are not making maximum use of technology, and the internet (as the case may be). Adebayo-Oyetoro Anjola, a 19 year old is one of those challenging the argument (though does not make it any less valid).
Anjola, who was a college dropout – though now back to school – founded Offers.ng, a marketplace for the sales and purchase of goods. The marketplace launched barely a month ago, and has had it’s own fair share of users too.
In the midst of the competition?
While speaking with Anjola, I was concerned that with the likes of Olx and Jiji dominating the Nigerian marketplace, how does he intend to break through and grab his own market share. Well, he was less concerned as he had a game plan already.
“We do believe that though there are many existing classifieds platforms, the market is still big enough for everyone. We don’t see competition, we see opportunities.”
“We plan to take it one step after the other with the first being providing a platform people will want to use and would have more reasons to reuse, and evolving into a household name with features that will stand us out.”
“To put our strategy in perspective, we already took a leap in redefining the space by being the first e-commerce site to implement the WhatsApp Seller option in Nigeria (which we introduced some weeks before Konga), and there are more where that came from.”
To further prove his point and let you see reasons why you should use Offers.ng as platform, he confirms that “when you use the platform, you will find that it is truly buying and selling made easy, and it only gets better.”
Security on classifieds platforms.
Here was a question for Anjola – What have you put in place to ensure the security of buyers and sellers alike?
He answered that “Before we launched a beta version of the platform in September, we conducted a market survey to determine currently what are the challenges of users who use classifieds in Nigeria. The findings have really shaped the development of our platform as we found that security issues really ranks high on the list.”
“We have worked on and developed proprietary security measures that we hope will flag too good to be true ads and spams, with machine learning to improve its efficiency over time. We spend a lot of time plugging in security lapses and building a platform where users can trade with some measure of trust.”
“In the early part of 2018, we will roll out some additional features that will redefine how people use classifieds site, introducing extra added layers of security.”
Asides this, they have also been in touch with Eddy from SafeTrade to see how they could integrate their API and are also on the lookout for other platforms to ensure user security and prevent fraud. “Watch our space.”
What do you see as the greatest challenge of the sector you have launched in?
Conversion, not only of the crowd already online but of those currently offline. Whilst the potential is certainly really huge, we do believe that even the heavyweights in the sector have not fully tapped the opportunities in the sector. When people say success online is offline, it is particularly true of this sector.
Let us in on the business model of OffersNG
We have adopted a lean start-up model for our business and product development (which is based on an open source script by the way). We are not unmindful of lessons to learn from the failure of some early entrants into the sector and have taken steps to adopt a viable structure for the long term. We are here to stay.
Tell us about the team behind the venture, or is it just you at the helm?
We have a team of three founders, and a few hands we frequently outsource to. It is a growing team, and it continues to grow. I am only the loud-mouthed co-founder(laughs).
Trust is a pretty important factor in your sector. How do you intend gaining this from the public?
We do have a plan and are currently testing these features. We will keep it under wraps, for now, until roll out.
In 5 years, tell us how big you envisage offers.ng?
We are taking it one day at a time, but in five (5) years we should have redefined the space enough to be a force.
What are your personal recipes for success? Tell us just two.
(laughs) I’m very far from being successful.
If looked at critically Offers NG is my first ‘Successful’ endeavor. At 19, I have been a college drop out and only just returned to school. Ask me this question in 5 years.