How do you overcome policy somersaults in Nigeria that continue to affect startups like OPay?
Learn from the super-rich in Nigeria and forget Harvard core competency and domain focus message. The 1% are parallel entrepreneurs with extremely diversified portfolios. One, who owns a bank in Lagos, has 27 companies in his holding empire. There is no government policy that will not benefit one of those 27 firms even as the policy affects others. At the end, the policy impact is neutralized, internally, and wealth is preserved.
No 1% complains of policy changes because those policies typically have cumulative minimal material impacts on them; only the Harvard-style purists, following European and American models, cry. I know it is confusing when you see those many companies under one umbrella. There is a reason: hedging against Abuja.
I watched a modern day entrepreneur boosting how he is razor-focused, and how he would never enter into other areas, as is typical with many Nigerian business people. It was painful when a small change in the government policy knocked him out of the way. People built factories in Aba to serve southern Cameroon; then, one afternoon, that market was gone with border closure. People took loans to invest in Okada business in Lagos, you know the outcome.
Go to the ports, and see how many goods people have abandoned. Those products were on the sea when the government changed policies with NO notice. Nigeria is Naija, no be America or Germany if you permit me to go pidgin.
This is the message; if you can, pursue diversification early, through, at least, vertical integration.
OPay Other Businesses Fail