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, Konga.com, that he founded just 2 years ago, July 2012.
With his ambitious goal of making Konga.com ’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 (alarina.com), a job placement site (jobclan.com), a classified site (gbogbo.com) and media streaming service (iNollywood.com), “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.