Sure, my OPay piece was tough with some people writing that it is easier to criticize in “hindsight”. First, I do not criticize companies; I share perspectives on companies. If you take it personally, you will simply make your day harder. Many called me today to confirm if I was the person that wrote the Jumia piece. Lol. In response, I shared three more articles where I noted a few months ago that Jumia would rise with its new strategy. Since the Jumia double play redesign, I have come to admire the business. Yes, on a total volume of customers, JumiaPay is one of the biggest fintech companies in Africa!
For OPay, I wrote in Nov 2019, making it clear that it has “no future” unless it changes its model:
“Let me say it here: if OPay’s playbook is to “tax” Nigerians this way, it has no future. It has been proven that Nigerians like FREE things. If you try to ask them to pay, they move in exodus. Yes, provided it is free, you are the best service provider. Any playbook that depends on attracting users with freebies and expecting a paid conversion without a new level of product evolution will fail in Nigeria. So, OPay, you can burn your $50 million war chest, and the day that money runs out, all the users will look for the next deal in town. There is nothing like lock-in in Nigeria because the hardest thing is to get a Nigerian to spend money!”
Yet, this is not to say that I get everything right. If you read me and think everything would be 100% correct, you will be disappointed. Here, I just want visitors to our community to know that we did not start today. Over time, we have come to understand what works in Africa, and we continue to share perspectives to help the ecosystem.
In our Tekedia Mini-MBA LIVE on Saturday, a big time European CEO who signed up to understand African market better, challenged one word I used in a business model. ( I have this habit of branding my insights. Think of One Oasis, Double Play, etc.) By the time we were done, I was able to browse through the 53-page class note, and concluded that my word was confusing. I proposed a new word and the class approved it. One word, and I had to update the class note. We are all co-learning here.---
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