IderaOS provides an interconnected ecosystem that helps you create and customize an online store, manage products, inventory, local logistics, local payment, mailing system and sell in multiple places, including web, mobile and local shops. Zumalo.com sits with the co-founder, Ridwan Rasheed to discuss the next phase for the company…
Can you briefly explain the Unique solution IderaOS is bringing to the industry?
IderaOS is a complete e-commerce solution that let you start, grow, manage and scale a business for free.
We are a b2b platform providing an interconnected ecosystem that makes SMEs; create and customize an online store, manage products, inventory, local logistics, local payment, mailing system and sell in multiple places, including web, mobile, social media, online marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations, and also pop up shops.
Can you share a summary of the end to end user experience of merchants on your platform?
Anyone can come to our website to create an account. Once they create an account we will automatically give them access to our powerful suite of e-commerce tools which they can use to create and customize their products, choose the shipping they want and set up how they intend to get paid. When all this is done, they can launch their e-commerce business and start selling all in less than five minutes.
For you and your co-founder, why was building this solution important for you?
The opportunities in the online retail space are obviously massive, but less than 30 percent of Africa’s e-commerce startups are profitable, mostly because Africa does not have the ecosystem to support eCommerce business and that is what IderaOS intends to solve.
Also, Nigeria is currently regarded as the world capital of poverty and unemployment with huge infrastructural deficit resulting in only 20% survival rate of SMEs according to UNIDO in an article titled “Only 20% of SMEs survive in Nigeria” published by Punch in May 25, 2017. SMEs are turning to the internet to get visibility and survive. However, running an online store is even harder with SMEs faced with high cost of setting up a store, high cost of shipping, inefficient logistics, and payment system.
We think E-commerce provides a viable platform for bridging the gap in African economies. However, its adaptability and sustainability become a major concern. Results show that e-commerce has made a positive impact on the African economies but lack of trust on transactions within and from the continent is a major challenge. Therefore, investment in e-commerce infrastructure in Africa (with more emphasis on Nigeria) will lead to rapid economic development within the continent.
Lastly, I personally find the concept of Africapitalism very amusing and it has become the core of our business. Africapitalism is a concept described by Nigeria billionaire and philanthropist Tony Elumelu as the role businesses must play in Africa by making deliberate short and long-term investments in strategic sectors of the economy in a way that creates jobs, economic growth, wealth and local value in order to accelerate and broaden prosperity throughout the continent and around the world. Africapitalism reimagines capitalism as a means to make money and meaning simultaneously helping Africa leapfrogs other models and creates a sustainable economy we can all be proud of.
We believe that once we help SMEs succeed they will employ people, pay taxes and help grow the economy.
What are the major experiences and milestones so far?
We had our first private beta testing in January and we are currently implementing all the feedback we received to iterate more on our products and model. However, we plan to move into public beta at the end of April.
Nigeria has experienced amazing growth in the e-commerce and fintech sector; what is your view on the next stage for the industry?
E-commerce is shifting to a more exciting phase called social commerce which entails doing commerce via social media platforms. You can see some move made by Instagram lately to enable their users to sell and get paid all within the platform. Everywhere you turn to this days there is always someone selling you something on social media and this for us at IderaOS is a massive opportunity to help them sell faster and better.
We are excited as we are already pioneering the market on the African continent. We believe we have more edge in the continent than Instagram or any other global competitors as we understand the culture and market more and as a specialist, we will be able to conveniently outshine competitors who are using a global general market approach.
Can you share a bit about your team?
We have an experienced founding team, a versatile advisory team and a solid technical team. My CoFounder Quadry Ola is a data engineer with an MBA and a bachelors in Software Engineering and as you may have known I have spent the last two years leading one of the best digital agency in the country with clientele base spanning three continents.
What is the next phase for IderaOS and what should we be expecting?
We have several e-commerce tools lined up for launch in our arsenal starting with our revolutionary social commerce product scheduled for launch at the end of April. Our goal is to revolutionize commerce in Africa and give people the power to create the lives and the society they want through building successful multi-million businesses with ease.