One Reason Your Business May Not Survive? Communities!

Do you agree that the easiest way to gather data in Nigeria is via communities?

Unfortunately, most of these communities are offline making it hard for us to acquire the data we need from them. How do we make it easier to access these communities? Do we need to take them online? Or are they online individually but not as communities?

Let’s discuss, slide into my DM!

We have several communities as WhatsApp telegram and Facebook groups. I believe we have more on WhatsApp and telegram than we have on Facebook. I could be wrong. How do we make it easier for people to access these communities? How do people get to know about these communities offline?

Do you know why it’s easy of APC and PDP to get so many voters? Communities!

They have communities(associations and groups) all over Nigeria. These communities handle campaigns at local levels and they yield results. Within these communities, members share their needs and these political parties can easily meet them. Money sharing is easier. Campaigns are easier. Converting new members are easier.

How do you think banks give loans to MSMEs?

They create communities and loan communities which then loan their members.

When the banks need to get their money, they meet the leaders of each community and the leaders put pressure on their members. This makes the process less stressful for the banks. It also makes easy for the MSMEs. CBN is using this model.

Let us paint a Scenario:

You build an electric Keke, it’s more efficient and cost-effective. You are faced with a few problems:

  1. How to sell to the Keke drivers
  2. How to provide maintenance services for them
  3. How do they recharge their Keke’s
  4. How do they raise the money to replace their Kekes with yours

For No 4, you might consider discounts, connecting with banks to give loans and stuff. Don’t even try it. People who import Keke already have a strong relationship with these communities. The community leaders will not break their relationships because of your innovation and definitely not because of your money. They are long-standing, sometimes even nepotistic relationships.


What would be the best alternative? Approach the importers and not the Keke communities. Find a way to modify their existing Kekes. Sure they’ll lose a ton of money, but long term they will still make money. Even if you can’t use their engines, what about the tyres and the body of the Kekes? Ensure they don’t lose so much money but most importantly DON’T THREATEN THEIR BUSINESS.

Something you can consider doing is, buying all their already imported Kekes from them at the wholesale value. Convert them to electric Kekes and sell back to them at wholesale value. Split the losses at a ratio that benefits both parties.

We already solve problem 1 using this approach.

What about people who already have the petrol engine based Kekes? This moves us to problem 2, mechanics. You are about to change a system. You need to ensure that every part of the system works perfectly even with your change. Either you build new outlets that can fix your new Kekes or you train existing mechanics.

Funny thing is that these mechanics have their communities and they will fight against your Keke if you THREATEN the larger percentage of them I will personally go with training existing outlets and meeting folks who import parts.

Electric Kekes will make the industry a bit cleaner, making it easier for “educated” folks to move into repairs. Keke drivers will not be able to “jomo” or “manage it like that”. They will need to fix their vehicles else it won’t work. Personally, I’ll have a repair outlet in my hometown if someone does this. It will make the business cleaner and more orderly.

Assuming, everything I’ve said works out, with some changes where necessary, we will have to solve problem 3. Some people argue that electric vehicles will not sell because people need to recharge and we don’t have stable electricity.

Funny! 😂😂😁😃

Do you have stable petrol in your house? Like is there a petrol supply pipe connected to your house? Does the government supply you petrol 24/7 in your house? Nope! You get fuel at filling stations!

Filling stations =Charging stations. Problem solved!

Electricity is the LEAST problem electric vehicles will face! Maintenance will be a bigger problem than Electricity. We will just be adding charging terminals to filling stations and office complexes.



Written by :

Aregbede Ayomide (CEO YipCart)

(Originally published on his medium)