“Poor Infrastructure was my largest Obstacle when Launching Konga”- Shola Adekoya, CEO Konga

On CNN’s ‘Marketplace Africa’, host Zain Asher sits down with Shola Adekoya, CEO of Konga, one of Nigeria’s largest e-commerce sites, to talk about the challenges of starting the website and introducing e-commerce to the country.

Adekoya explains that poor infrastructure in Nigeria was one of the largest obstacles he faced when launching Konga. He notes that introducing e-commerce to the country meant that organizing logistics “was a nightmare”. In response to this, Adekoya came up with a simple solution:
“We ended up building our own logistics infrastructure that covers every state in Nigeria.”

Despite building infrastructure across Nigera, Konga parcels sent from sellers across the country must still travel on many poor roads. This means that the company is unable to offer delivery times of less than five days. Adekoya says that this is an ongoing conundrum for the company:

“How do you get to the places the fastest? That’s what we live and breathe every day! It depends where you live [on] the road network. At any given point in time, we do keep to our five day average. We’re trying to bring that down to four days, but it’s really challenging.”
This wasn’t the only issue faced by Adekoya and his team. He explains how many Nigerians were suspicious of online

shopping when Konga began:
“There’s a lot of history around Nigeria and online fraud, so people were already skeptical about putting their card details online [to make] transactions and many people hadn’t even started using things like online banking.”

As a result, launching the online shopping site involved ensuring that the customer felt confident in the company. Adekoya explains:

“In terms of educating people on making payments online and the fact that it’s actually safe, there was a lot of work that needed to be done.”
Adekoya’s company soon launched KongaPay, a pay-on-delivery service which eliminates the need for customers to enter sensitive information online. Customers only complete their payment when their goods are delivered to their satisfaction.

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