Building Konga, Africa's Alibaba: Sim Shagaya (Part One)

Sim Shagaya, Founder & CEO of Konga and DealDey

Chatting with Simdul Shagaya is like an intense, super-charged colloquy on doing business….in Africa.

“We are the custodians of the dreams of the middle-class of Africa,” Shagaya emphasized repeatedly, as he talked about his fast-growing e-commerce company,, that he founded just 2 years ago, July 2012.

With his ambitious goal of making ’the engine of trade and commerce in Africa’, the e-tailer’s dynamic founder and CEO is betting big that Africa is poised to be the next frontier for online retail. Notwithstanding failed attempts with a dating site (, a job placement site (, a classified site ( and media streaming service (, “the timing was wrong. These startups were just way ahead of their time”; the experiences and insights gained from these entrepreneurial endeavors however, would eventually enable the Harvard M.B.A graduate to pioneer the online industry in Nigeria, particularly e-commerce retailing.

“Konga, through hard work, innovation and an all-consuming desire to better the lives of this society through technology, leads the field in Nigeria today in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV),” said Shagaya, who also launched a sprawling e-commerce platform, Konga Marketplace in 2014 with the aim of becoming a provider of e-commerce infrastructure services for all e-commerce market participants.

Read more: Sim Shagaya: On Building The Next Big Thing, Konga, Africa's Version Of Alibaba – Part One.