So of course you know Jumia, one of Rocket Internet companies in Africa. Synonymous with online retail in some markets especially Nigeria, it is as much a leading player as it has attracted some criticism in the ecosystems across the continent.
We caught up with one of the Managing Directors of Jumia to ask some question as regards the business, from the opportunities, challenges – in 7 questions:
1. Hello there, can you tell us about yourself – your role, team, and more?
Oscar Boré: My name is Oscar Boré, I am the managing Director of JUMIA Kenya with Nick Miller. Our Team is based in Kenya, but with 1000 employees overall in Africa, JUMIA operates in six countries by now. JUMIA is a real cosmopolitan company with a startup culture, which managed to become the leading ecommerce store in Africa.
2. Tell us about your decision to expand to Uganda?
Oscar Boré: JUMIA was launched in five countries in less than one and a half years. After seeing the success JUMIA had in Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, and the Ivory Coast, we see the same potential for the Ugandan market. We are eager to expand our success story here in order to provide every citizen in Uganda with a secure, convenient and stress-free online shopping experience.
3. JUMIA has grown synonymous to online retail in Nigeria, can you share some of your milestones and successes. Is it the same in Uganda?
Oscar Boré: JUMIA in Uganda has just been launched last week, while it was launched two years ago in Nigeria. We hope to follow the same path as JUMIA Nigeria to become the first retailer in the country.
4. What has the business environment been like for JUMIA in Uganda – opportunities, challenges, talent, technology etc.?
Oscar Boré: We see a real opportunity in the growing Ugandan market where the population is looking for new and different products at affordable prices. This is exactly JUMIA’s value proposition: To provide the widest assortment of high quality products at the best prices in the most convenient way. JUMIA works therefore with Daks courier which is a reliable and professional partner, to provide our customers with the best-in-class shopping experience at every step of the way.
5. JUMIA as a Rocket Internet company find itself operating in countries with different technology landscape, what insights have you gotten operating in specific African countries – especially Uganda?
Oscar Boré: East Africa is a really interesting market for JUMIA because of the importance of mobile phones: First as a method of payment, as well as all the useful applications related to it. We are currently working on implementing a wallet linked to each customer account which would simplify purchases at JUMIA even more. Furthermore, there is the importance of Mobile shopping. The number of people using their mobile to shop increases steadily, so we developed dedicated interface and services.
6. The local technology ecosystem is one that JUMIA falls within. Mind sharing your approach to contributing to the growth of ecosystem as a player within the space?
Oscar Boré: I think one of our main contribution is our so called JForce program, a kind of graduate program in Entrepreneurship. The idea is to select motivated people from all kind of backgrounds (with and without degrees) in order to train them on building sustainable and independent businesses through selling goods offline and online – JUMIA is the main supplier of those Freelancers.
7. What should be expecting from JUMIA Uganda (and other African countries) in the near and far future?
Oscar Boré: JUMIA experienced tremendous growth in the past one and a half years, which makes us very happy. We expanded to six countries by now and are a successful retailer, leading the ecommerce market in Africa. This success story motivates us as a team for JUMIA’s development in the future, as we constantly aim on getting the best out of our business to provide the absolute best service to our clients. We will always keep up this mentality and the high expectations to ourselves, to become market leader in every single market we operate in.
[Image Credit: Jumia Uganda]