MYOB: RAPHAEL AFAEDOR

15
168
Raphael Afaedor
is a Ghanaian and entrepreneur at his core. He is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO
Supermart.ng. Prior to this position, he was the
co-founder of Jumia and has featured in several publications such as Forbes and
CNN. Raphael sat with MYOB to discuss his journey from being an employee to a
successful entrepreneur. Enjoy!
 

How did it all
start? Take us back to your story and how Supermart NG came to be
I
have always taken school and academics seriously from high school, university
and my masters in computer science. I joined monster.com for three years where
I rose to become a senior manager in charge of 18 European countries. I moved
to the States to further my education and did an MBA in Harvard Business School
(HBS). Harvard expanded my world view, changed my sense of self and enabled me
apply my God given talent. My desire to make a difference made me come back to
the sub-continent to apply myself. I felt nothing else would make me happier.
Tell us about
your transition to Nigeria after HBS
I
met a Nigerian entrepreneur who was doing his executive MBA in HBS. We spoke
for a bit and he said is should come check out what he was doing in Nigeria.
That was my first time in Lagos in 2008. When I landed, I immediately knew it,
I asked to finish my internship and if offered a full time job I would take it.
I finished in a year and worked with Notore for 16 months where I headed the marketing
and business development for West and Central Africa. I applied myself and
after 16 months, I decided to go out and start something.
Before starting
Supermart.ng, you worked with Jumia, tell us about that
After
Notore, I asked myself the question: “what will be the next best tech venture
to start” and everything around me pointed to the fact that the country was
ready for e-commerce. There was a difficulty getting access to goods coupled
with the traffic situation of moving from one point to another and I could see
from the cars people were driving on the streets that people were willing to
pay. The internet was also in the hands of people with mobile devices and the
cost was dropping. Almost all the factors that needed to come together for this
to work were coming together and so was Interswitch. It was also difficult to
start something like that because you are literarily replicating the entire
supply chain from sourcing, warehousing, distribution etc. and so I decided to
start a coupon business because all you had to do was send people electronic
coupons and have them pick up the items themselves. That was a very good way to
test the market. After one year, I was convinced and contacted the guys in Rocket
computer and we started Jumia from there.
Image Source: Techpoint
Take us to
Supermart.ng. Why did you make that switch to Supermart?
There
is a Yoruba proverb that says 20 children cannot stay together for 20 years. So
we built Jumia for 2 years and thought of the next best things to do. The
company was on its feet and someone could take that and run with it. I saw
grocery delivery as a better way of doing that so I thought why not aggregate
grocery inventory online so within 10 minutes’ customers pick everything they
want and people deliver it to their homes. If you think about it doesn’t make
sense to go to the local market to pick up groceries and be stuck in traffic
for 3-6 hours which can be used for to spend quality time with friends and family.
Also today there is a fuel scarcity and also the deregulation with the 70%
price hike. I believe a service like ours is even more necessary because of
these conditions.
Image Source: Techpoint.ng.
 Founders Supermart.ng Raphael Afaedor and Gbolahan Fagbure
Let’s talk about
the value of research, what it took to understand the market and how it
translated to your success today
You
have to research what you are walking into and to get started. I think one of
the mistakes people make is that they have a product and believe everyone is a
customer for that product. What you want to do is force yourself to tailor your
product to a specific individual. Once you are done with that you have to hit
the road, change things and keep improving gradually
How do you understand
customers and what they want?
For
a business like mine, you have to start with the customer in mind by over
pleasing the customer. Customers also have a demand that you yourself need to
manage. For example, supermart.ng does not have a call centre we just have a
contact centre. You send an email and get a response between 5-10 minutes.
Some
customers want to be able to pick the phone and call and they think that is
customer service. Customer service is however more about solving the problems
of customers. We therefore have to create a world where it is easy for the
customer to communicate with us and we solve the problem the first time a query
is sent. You should understand the problem, tailor your solution to suit the problem
and educate the customers. So you have to ensure that what you are doing
ultimately changes the customers’ world view.
Where are you
taking this business?
Groceries
wholesale and retail are everyday essentials and cover about 70% of the
Nigerian retail space and we believe that for some people that is further broken
down. Some people love to go to the local market, some have the time to go to
different supermarkets while there are some people that really need services
like ours who are urban professionals, experts, reparts, mums, office admins
etc.  Those are people we target.
If you were to go
back 17 years, what are the key lessons you have learnt which you would have
done differently?
I
think the choice of being an entrepreneur is nature and nurture and you need to
find something you are passionate about. For some of us, it’s being out there
building something. You conceptualise the view of what you will want to create.
Part of who I am is creating something that doesn’t exist. For others being an
investment banker or consultant is what they are passionate about. All in all,
you need to find something you are passionate about and invest in it early.
However, as soon you can find that passion I think you should go very hard to
achieve your dreams.
Image: Techpoint.ng
Founders Supermart.ng Raphael Afaedor and Gbolahan Fagbure
What is the value
of education?
I
absolutely value education. I don’t know if it makes sense to do a masters
degree but take your primary, secondary and university education seriously.
What it does is that it provides you a safety net. You can have all the
experience in the world but there are a lot of entrepreneurs and businesses who
value education. As an entrepreneur, when you go to the world you will find
that there’s a lot to learn than when you go into formal employment. Your value
to any employer is enormous because you come in from a CEO’s world/perspective.  The worst you can do to yourself is not have
formal education but experience.
What are some of
the toughest challenges you have faced running a business and how do you
approach them?
Entrepreneurship
is about facing challenges, dealing with them and waiting for the next one to
come. There is never a point where you say it’s all done so it is important to
embrace the challenge. Also, never get too excited or deflated. I don’t let
money affect my demeanor because I remind myself that tomorrow is another day.
To growing entrepreneurs,
what will your big advice be?
Formal
experience is very important. If you don’t have the money to start its either
you worked but didn’t save enough or you haven’t gained any experience at all.
I wouldn’t give money to anyone who hasn’t gained any experience. You should be
able to learn and understand the challenges, structure a presentation etc. A
background is important to know you have actually learnt something.
Three lessons for
entrepreneurs
1.  Passion: Find something you are
passionate about. A lot of people think of entrepreneurship as something you
start for 2 years and leave aside. This is not it. Entrepreneurship is almost
like finding a wife. You start with it and stick to it through thick and thin.
It is almost a journey of 5-10 years plus. You should be able to wake up and be
motivated to get back to what you do
2.   
Patience: You will get your first share
of lucky breaks. I have had experiences of almost closing a deal and the person
is moved from a role. You have to be patient and keep pushing.
3.   
Perseverance: You have to persevere and push
forward. You have to think about it as banging your head against a wall it is
either your head breaks or the wall breaks. You have to keep thinking about
with a smile on your face. I wake up and say a loud good morning to everyone I
see which lifts my mood up. One of the things that can’t happen is for people
who work with you to see you deflated.

      You can listen to the podcast here:

15 COMMENTS

  1. kami sekeluarga tak lupa mengucapkan puji syukur kepada ALLAH S,W,T
    dan terima kasih banyak kepada AKI atas nomor togel.nya yang AKI
    berikan 4 angka ((( 7 5 6 6 ))) alhamdulillah ternyata itu benar2 tembus AKI.
    dan alhamdulillah sekarang saya bisa melunasi semua utan2 saya yang
    ada sama tetangga.dan juga BANK BRI dan bukan hanya itu AKI. insya
    allah saya akan coba untuk membuka usaha sendiri demi mencukupi
    kebutuhan keluarga saya sehari-hari itu semua berkat bantuan AKI..
    sekali lagi makasih banyak ya AKI bagi saudara yang suka main togel
    yang ingin merubah nasib seperti saya silahkan hubungi AKI SOLEH,,DI NO Cll (((082-313-336-747)))
    insya allah anda bisa seperti Saya menang togel 179
    juta, wassalam.

    dijamin 100% jebol saya sudah buktikan…sendiri….

    Apakah anda termasuk dalam kategori di bawah ini !!!!

    1"Dikejar-kejar hutang

    2"Selaluh kalah dalam bermain togel

    3"Barang berharga anda udah habis terjual Buat judi togel

    4"Anda udah kemana-mana tapi tidak menghasilkan solusi yg tepat

    5"Udah banyak Dukun togel yang kamu tempati minta angka jitunya
    tapi tidak ada satupun yang berhasil..

    Solusi yang tepat jangan anda putus asah….AKI SOLEH akan membantu
    anda semua dengan Angka ritwal/GHOIB:
    butuh angka togel 2D 3D 4D SGP / HKG / MALAYSIA / TOTO MAGNUM / dijamin
    100% jebol
    Apabila ada waktu
    silahkan Hub: AKI SOLEH DI NO: Cll (((082-313-336-747)))

    KLIK DISINI ((((( BOCORAN DUKUN TOGEL HARI INI ))))

    angka GHOIB: singapur 2D/3D/4D/

    angka GHOIB: hongkong 2D/3D/4D/

    angka GHOIB; malaysia

    angka GHOIB; toto magnum 4D/5D/6D/

    angka GHOIB; laos

  2. incredible submits. this is terrific content for a blogger who moreover writes invented story, poetry, and many others. I’ve had a feel in my spoil thru fire that the two worlds of walking a weblog and all specific writing had been extra best essay writing service related than they regarded. This submits is spot on in enlightening how some ethics affect to any writing position.

  3. GENUINE LOAN OFFER WITH 3% INTEREST RATE APPLY NOW
    Do you need Personal Loan?
    Business Cash Loan?
    Unsecured Loan
    Fast and Simple Loan?
    Quick Application Process?
    Approvals within 24-72 Hours?
    No Hidden Fees Loan?
    Funding in less than 1 Week?
    Get unsecured working capital?
    Contact Us At : housingfinance247@gmail.com
    Phone number:+919205467093
    Mr. Osman Ibrahim

  4. Jeewangarg is a Leading Digital Marketing Company which is helping your brand to cut through the Digital Clutter with its best SEO Company in Delhi. Our range of Services includes SEO Services, PPC Company in Delhi, Website Designing Services and Social Media Marketing Services. Being a Google Partners Agency we provide our client with 100% satisfaction in every aspect of their marketing goals. So, what are you waiting for Connect to the team of best SEO Expert India, Google Ads Experts, Website Designing Experts, Social Media Experts & more to boost your Digital Presence today with the high quality Digital Marketing Services.

  5. PLEASE READ!!Hello Guys!!! I am Caro I live in Ohio USA I’m 32 Years old, am so happy I got my blank ATM card from Adriano. My blank ATM card can withdraw $4,000 daily. I got it from Him last week and now I have withdrawn about $10,000 for free. The blank ATM withdraws money from any ATM machines and there is no name on it because it is blank just your PIN will be on it, it is not traceable and now I have money for business, shopping and enough money for me and my family to live on.I am really glad and happy i met Adriano because I met Five persons before him and they could not help me. But am happy now Adriano sent the card through DHL and I got it in two days. Get your own card from him right now, he is giving it out for small fee to help people even if it is illegal but it helps a lot and no one ever gets caught or traced. I’m happy and grateful to Adriano because he changed my story all of a sudden. The card works in all countries that is the good news Adriano's email address is adrianohackers01@gmail.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here