African countries have seen a rise in mobile penetration and this has been mostly Feature phones. In the recent past, there is a steady growth of the number of people coming online thanks to the raise of smartphones and as you read this 70000 people have gone online. There has never been a time to be optimistic about taking companies online as it is now.
In Uganda today, there is a huge investment in the e-commerce platforms like Kaymu, OLX and HelloFood. If you are an entrepreneur, I want to show you how you can ride on this trend and launch your first Digital Company in Uganda.
My focus is on Digital because I believe once a process is digitized, it becomes ones and zero and in this sense becomes cheap. Users want cheap things, for example in the case of Kaymu, if I want a new pair of shoes I will just go to their website, pick a pair and then order it. A few days later someone will deliver my shoes.
This process saves me the time and inconvenience of going to the market myself to buy this pair of shoes and hence saves me money. The same platform also saves a businessman who might not have been discovered if I went downtown to make a sale.
I always tell my friends that we are living in exciting times. Times when a university student can make a tool kit to diagnose malaria faster, times when a 23 year artist can now fundraise to launch their first music album, times when you can launch your first digital company and make money while you are helping a lot of people.
If this interests you then I want you to copy and paste the following steps somewhere you will be reminded to read them because they might as well change the way you do things.
- Find Frictions:
You need to be working on a noteworthy problem and one way to find this is to look for friction in the way people live their lives and try to develop something that they can really use. If you don’t have a developer or you are not one yourself, you need to hire one.
- Digitize The Process:
Make your solutions ones and zero, bits and bytes and take it to the actual users to try and prove if you are working on something they want. The fate of validating whether you are digitizing the right solution to your problem will lie in the customer feedback you will get so you need to get out of your comfort zone and go talk to your customer.
- Move Fast:
This is a world of fast movers, one of my favorite series is “Halt and Catch Fire” and it’s about the first days of computing and how a halt in releasing your portable computer or breakthrough software would make you extinct, we live in the same challenging times today. You need to do something and you need to do it very fast, you don’t have the luxury of keeping your product to yourself, because guess what!!! 2 Million Ugandans want to try it out, so launch, fail, learn, fix and relaunch.
There is a lot of work that needs to be put in but if you do it right, digitizing processes is the next-big business. As the adoption of smart devices and internet penetrations increase, having a digital business will surely be the way to go and it’s something I think you should be considering.
Leave me a comment to let me know about a business you are digitizing or tweet me your reactions @nickle_las