How Nigerian startups can further deliver on value proposition

by | Jul 17, 2017

A few weeks ago, Chioma Ifeanyi – Eze, founder,  took an indigenous route to deliver on value proposition, and reach her target market. She expressed this via a Facebook post.

Here’s a text version of the post below:

A meeting with the Association for Igbo Pharmaceutical importers, inside the dirty streets of the Lagos market, discussing how to automate and track their massive inventory, is held in Igbo language. Practical session and presentation is all done in Igbo. The market is excited that we came.
Yes, I sell accounting in Igbo and Hausa language. Yes, I go to the dirty streets in the market. Yes, they are target market.
Yes, Oyinbo no fit solve Naija problem. Our problems need local solutions.
Yoruba lessons loading!
Small business accounting, we must conquer! (See post on Facebook)

Chioma highlighted some easily ignored points I’d like to hit on. First is not limiting her market. Chioma could have conveniently limited her target audience to startups or SMEs with structure and probably nice offices. But she did get her hands dirty. Unfortunately, a lot of startups are too busy chasing convenience.


Here’s a practical application of what I am conveying. There are lots of creative merchants in Aba, (Abia State, Nigeria) and a commercial has been on lately, showcasing the manufacturing prowess of the city. But from all indications, these merchants haven’t  fully grasped the eCommerce concept. Why has startups in the eCommerce sector not approach them yet? There’s a market potential being ignored here and a lesson to this is, if you are not ready to get your fingers dirty in business, do not get started at all.

Another thing is market relations. Ever wondered why the BBC would hire indigenous broadcasters?  Or why telcos and banks produce commercials in local dialects? If your business isn’t easily relatable or understood by the average person, then there is a flaw. Nigerian startups need to embrace dynamism in delivering on their value proposition. Be flexible enough to go local when you have to.

When Chioma said, “Oyinbo nor fit solve our problem …” which means solutions to Nigeria’s problems can only come from Nigeria, she made salient point. In the bid to “impress”, a lot of startups model after western solutions, the majority of which are futuristic. Nigerian startups need to understand that our needs differ grossly. Drones may be the next big thing for western nations, but people are really hungry here [Nigeria].

An aggressive approach to market domination is necessary if startups want to deliver on their value proposition.

Grace Akinosun
Grace Akinosun

Girl … with a pen. Content Creator.


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