26 Jan Make a good plan- Ridwan Akande. Founder, Kata Deals
Kata Deals is an e-commerce website established in April 2016 by Ridwan Akande, a 27 year old graduate of Mathematics from Lagos State University (LASU). The site, according to him, is aimed at offering the lowest discount price on variety of products and services to people. This week on Startup Stories, Ridwan shares the background details on his foray into business. Do read and share!
Startup Story of the week
In the past, I worked with several companies, some of them were financial companies and e-commerce companies. While working in these places, I discovered that e-commerce was actually the future of marketing and sales. After putting so much effort into making other people’s companies progress, I realised that I needed to invest all that energy into mine. I developed a plan and tried to get a few people on board but no one was willing to leave their comfort zones to build my dream. I made quite a few mistakes at the beginning, however, the more mistakes I made, the more I learned. Failure was the motivation to continue. In addition, I have always wanted to give more assistance to people, this became an opportunity to contribute my own quota to the society.
Kata Deals was established in April 2016, in Ebute Metta, Lagos, with the objective to offer the lowest discount prices on variety of products and services to the youths in Nigeria. At Kata Deals, we offer all kinds of legitimate and legal products and services ranging from home items, fashion, gadgets, electronics, home appliances, furniture, healthcare, baby products, personal care, food, hotels and more. Our operation is designed to ensure customer satisfaction by offering the cheapest value. We are a customer oriented platform and are simply creating a market without restriction. I basically funded the business from the start but right now the brand is open to investments. The major challenge I had was building a team, it was initially difficult to get someone that actually understood the dream.
Giving up has never been an option for me. If things weren’t working well, I would rather rebrand. An example of such situation was when we had initially focused on prepaid service. We had a very low number of customers and I realised that people weren’t comfortable with carrying out payments online so we switched to accepting post-paid payments. I learned that if the initial plan doesn’t work, it’s best to change the plans not the goal because to achieve a goal, the reason you have outlined that goal should be your major driving force.
I have studied the lives of great minds like Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon; Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay and Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, who was rejected from Harvard University ten times, rejected for a job by KFC and now has the largest e-commerce platform in the world. That also keeps me motivated.
To the young entrepreneur out there, set your goals, make a good plan, initiate the plans no matter what. Also do not procrastinate, no matter how busy you are, always spend at least two hours daily to build and develop yourself, learn new things and seriously pray!
Founder, Kata Deals