Jumia is a leading e-commerce platform operating in Africa. The company is based in Nigeria but has a presence in several other African countries, including Ghana, Egypt, and Kenya. In November 2019, Jumia was featured on TechCrunch Disrupt, one of the biggest tech conferences in the world. At the conference, Jumia’s CEO, Sacha Poignonnec, was interviewed by africankeneokafortechcrunch correspondent, Jake Bright. This article will explore the key takeaways from the interview and what they mean for Jumia and e-commerce in Africa.
The interview began with a brief introduction of Jumia, its business model, and its recent IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Sacha Poignonnec explained that Jumia was founded in 2012 as an online marketplace for electronics and has since expanded to other product categories such as fashion, beauty, and groceries. He also mentioned that Jumia has over 4 million active users and more than 80,000 sellers on its platform. The IPO, which took place in April 2019, was a milestone for Jumia and e-commerce in Africa as it was the first African tech startup to go public on a major international stock exchange.
One of the main topics of discussion in the interview was Jumia’s strategy for growth and expansion in Africa. Sacha Poignonnec emphasized the importance of localization and tailoring the platform to the specific needs and preferences of each market. He explained that Jumia has a local team in each country it operates in, which is responsible for understanding the local culture, language, and customer behavior. This local knowledge allows Jumia to customize its marketing and product offerings to better serve the needs of its customers. For example, in Kenya, Jumia launched a service called Jumia Food, which allows customers to order food from local restaurants and have it delivered to their doorstep.
Another important aspect of Jumia’s growth strategy is partnerships with local businesses and organizations. Sacha Poignonnec mentioned that Jumia has partnerships with several major telecom companies in Africa, including MTN and Orange, which provide Jumia with access to their customer base and marketing channels. Jumia also partners with local logistics companies to ensure timely and reliable delivery of products to customers. These partnerships not only help Jumia expand its reach but also contribute to the development of local businesses and economies.
The interview also touched on some of the challenges that Jumia and e-commerce face in Africa. One of the main challenges is the lack of infrastructure and logistics capabilities, which can make it difficult to deliver products to customers in a timely and cost-effective manner. Sacha Poignonnec acknowledged that logistics is one of the biggest challenges for Jumia and that the company is investing heavily in building its own logistics network. He also mentioned that Jumia is experimenting with innovative delivery methods such as drones and autonomous vehicles to overcome the challenges of traditional logistics.
Another challenge is the low level of digital literacy and trust in online transactions among African consumers. Sacha Poignonnec explained that Jumia is addressing this challenge through education and awareness campaigns that aim to educate consumers about the benefits of e-commerce and build trust in online transactions. Jumia also offers several payment options, including cash on delivery, to cater to customers who prefer to pay in cash.
The interview ended with a discussion of Jumia’s plans for the future. Sacha Poignonnec mentioned that Jumia is focused on expanding its product offerings and improving the customer experience on its platform. He also hinted at the possibility of Jumia expanding into new markets outside of Africa in the future.
In conclusion, the interview with Jumia’s CEO Sacha