Africa Chair for IEEE-World Forum on Internet of Things (IoTs), Dr Chris Uwaje has boldly declared that foremost e-Commerce giant, Konga will beat the record for the biggest single day sales in the near future. Uwaje, popularly addressed as the Oracle of the Nigerian Information Technology industry, made this disclosure in an interaction with the media recently.
The Co-founder and former president of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) was reacting to the figure of $38bn set by Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba for its 2019 Singles’ Day sales.
‘One day – very soon – Konga will smash the e-commerce biggest day-sale record. If you follow the strides recorded by Konga within the past 18 months, you will agree with me that it’s only a matter of time before Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sales record is within reach,’ he enthused.
Equally important, Singles’ Day has grown steadily to become a global sales phenomenon.
Launched in 2009, Singles’ Day has become China’s version of U.S. online sale event Cyber Monday; which follows America’s Thanksgiving holiday. Furthermore, analysts monitor sales on Singles’ Day to gauge consumer sentiment in China. This year’s sale was closely followed across the world.
The Chinese shopping festival is held on November 11 and is also referred to as Double Eleven because of the date – incidentally the same day on which Konga flagged off its annual Black Friday sales known as Konga Yakata.
Furthermore, Uwaje, a fellow of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), has credited the management of Konga for creating a thriving brand which all Nigerians should be proud of.
‘The management of the new Konga has created a massive brand out of Africa. Today, Konga Yakata, its version of the globally celebrated Black Friday sales, has become undoubtedly the sales event in the annual shopping calendar in Nigeria.
‘Also, Konga boasts arguably the best brains in technology in Nigeria, even more than any bank in the country. This is due to its cutting-edge team of engineering talent at its disposal.
‘The touching aspect of the Konga miracle is the fact that, if not for the intervention of the Zinox Group which stepped in to acquire the business from its erstwhile owners, Nigeria would have suffered huge brain drain. Although Naspers admittedly made the initial investment in Nigeria, Nigerians are now the beneficiaries of the massive revolution taking place in Konga.
‘Indeed, the Zinox Group’s intervention has not only saved Nigerian a massive loss of some of its best brains, but it has also created confidence in the company, although it spent millions of dollars in the acquisition and offset the debts. Today, Zinox has turned around the business and raised the Konga brand equity over 800% since the acquisition,’ Uwaje intoned.
Continuing, the IT veteran noted that the Konga business model and strategy have set it on the path of greatness.
‘It is not just about acquiring a business but what do you do with it? Presently, the Konga strategy is one that has made it too large to fail. The rollout of multiple warehousing facilities, expansion of its retail presence and launch of new, thriving subsidiaries such as Konga Travels which has grown over 200%, acquired all major airline certifications and opened up multiple new offices within a short space of time is proof of the experience and know-how the new owners have brought to bear on the business.
‘What is critical is that the new owners of Konga understand the country, Certainly, doing business in Nigeria comes with a lot of challenges. But Konga has deployed multiple warehouses nationwide as part of its efforts at resolving some of the logistical challenges faced by players in the sector – a factor that has helped it achieve same day delivery which I have personally experienced even while in Delta State.
‘This shows that Nigerians have the capacity to do great things. However, we seem to give more credence to foreigners who are taking over the country. But no one is complaining. The question is, where will Nigerians work tomorrow? The man who opens a company decides who to employ and there is no bridge on the character of people that are brought into the country,’ he concluded.
Uwaje, a doyen of technology, commands a senior leadership position in the IT professional and industry domain with over four decades of on-the-job IT Practice as Computer Scientist across four continents, namely Europe, Africa, Asia and North America.