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7 Feb 2018

Why E-commerce Company, Konga Was Sold

One of the largest online marketplace in Nigeria, Konga has been sold off to another Nigerian company with rumours trailing the decision of the company's management.

Jason Njoku, the founder of Iroko Tv has taken his time to explain why Konga’s founder, Simdul Shagaya had to sell his e-commerce platform to Zinox.

There has been rumours that Konga was sold due to mismanagement, criminality and theft, but Jason disagreed with all these claims. He said it is just time for Sim to throw in the towel and let go of his brainchild.

He said: “One day, Sim will share the true happenings of what really went down at Konga. I know more than most, but it’s not my story to share.”

“For now, let’s leave it to the Twitter economists and experts to rake over the supposed smouldering corpse which is, to many the dreams, of Konga – Nigeria’s online shopping Mall.

“To my mind, he (and Shola after him), did everything they could. Most will never know the pressures they were under. Most would never truly understand the demands and sacrifices they had to make in order to keep Konga alive.”

How Konga got stressed and was eventually sold to Zinox

Jason didn’t fail to remind us how porous Nigerian business environment is and further stressed that Sim and his partner, Shola deployed all means possible to ensure their model works in the country.

He mentioned that goods were sold at an extreme discount and sometimes overspend their budget but the returns from the market are most time poor.

“Nigeria Inc is poorer now in my opinion. When companies in Nigeria fail, it’s usually because of basic criminality and theft. The captain never goes down with the ship. Let me be clear. Sim+Shola ‘went down’ with their ship. I would say 95% of his material wealth was tied up in Konga.”

“As for criminality + theft? That wasn’t the case at Konga. No doubt they had internal and external fraud problems. It’s Nigeria. I’m sure, as I look around at IROKO, someone is trying to steal from me right now. But there was aggressive market development.

“There was overspending on everything because that’s what they felt they needed to do to ‘win this market’. There was no sense of impropriety. They gave it their best and the market, this bleeping horrendously difficult market Nigeria, this market which turns dreams to ashes daily, just wouldn’t yield.”

“It was never about cash. Jumia has cash. All they are doing is burning more of it. The market is pushing back any effort of rationalisation. It may be untameable. I am 100% sure if I hadn’t ignored Nigeria for first 5 years of IROKOtv’s life, we would probably be dead. In fact, IROKOtv should have died in 2015.”

Sim Shagaya’s dream for E-commerce business in Nigeria

Simdul Shagaya is an enthusiastic investor in anything technology driven. Aside Konga, Sim also founded E-motion and DealDey to achieve his dream of developing and opening Nigerian retail business to the world of technology.

Seeing one of his projects going down without achieving its stated goal(s), it is surely a hard time for Sim.

“Sim is heartbroken, I am sure. If there was someone who deeply and truly cares about Nigeria, it is Sim. He came back to make a difference. To build a New New Nigeria through commerce.”

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