Some of us grew up with our mothers holding us tight by the hands as they moved from stall to stall, lifting beef cuts and other items with their bare hands in an attempt to negotiate ‘price’ with the sellers. These visits to the market were usually long and torturous, and we wanted of none of it.
Today, technology has cut down the amount of time Nigerian women spend visiting local food markets. The e-commerce evolution and increase in ‘career-driven’ women has opened doors for innovators like Raphael Afaedor in the online retail market.
Raphael is co-founder and CEO of Supermart.ng, an online grocery and everyday essentials retailer in Nigeria. Before co-founding Supermart.ng, Raphael had co-founded and run Jumia between March 2012 and December 2014.
Afaedor holds three degrees – a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from Czech technical University, Prague; a Masters’ degree in marketing/marketing management from Institut Universitaire Kurt Bosch (IUKB), Switzerland and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Starting out as a software engineer at Monster.com in 2004, Raphael in 2007 moved to Goldman Sachs and worked as an investment manager for three months. Thereafter, he worked at Notore Chemical Industries from 2008 to 2011.
Ghanian-born Raphael speaks French, English, Spanish, Twi, Ewe, Ga and Czech! He believes that kids should be allowed to gain startup experience in college.
If it picks up steam, then you can quit and focus on it, and defer the remaining years of college.
With fellow Harvard MBA alumnus, Tunde Kehinde, Raphael led Nigeria’s e-commerce revolution, building Jumia Nigeria from a handful of employees to a business with staff strength of 500 and 274,000 active customers who made 429,000 transactions with a total transaction value of $34.2 million as reported in June 2014, across various African markets.