• Friday, December 08, 2023
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CEO Forum: 4 takeaways from building platform businesses in frontier markets

CEO Forum: 4 takeaways from building platform businesses in frontier markets

BusinessDay’s CEO Forum which was held at the FourPoint by Sheraton, brought together important dignitaries and businessmen all around the country to drive key changes in the private sector.

Amongst them were, Tosin Sorinola, Director of Artist & Media Relations, Boomplay, Lamide Akinola, head of Q-commerce Africa, Glovo and Massimiliano Spalazzi, CEO Jumia Nigeria and EVP Marketplace, Jumia Group who spoke on lessons on building platforms businesses in frontier markets.

Here are 4 takeaways from the panel session.

Boomplay credits success to closing local content gap

Tosin Sorinola, Director of Artist & Media Relations, Boomplay

Sorinola speaking at the panel said that at the time Boomplay came into Nigeria other streaming services were not focusing on Africa despite the music being a major source of entertainment in the continent.

“We saw the gap in content distribution and imparity has eaten deep into the music streaming sector. We wanted to provide a means where music lovers are able to get access to music that they love at any point in time,” she said.

Giving a brief history, she said that Boomplay formerly called Boom Player was launched in 2015 to support Tecno’s Boom Music series. After launching into the market they discovered there was a huge demand for the app. The younger demographic sought ways to move the app from Tecno phones to other android phone brands, and that made them put the app on Google Play Store in 2016. Over time the app has seen over 100 million installations, 70 million active users, and over 85 million songs on the platform.

Boomplay partners with labels and indies and is the only music streaming platform with an African approach to partnership with these music labels and integration companies.

In terms of localization she said the app is designed to fit the demand and music tastes of every country. An example she gave was the equalizer feature which allows one to listen to music in whatever tune the listener enjoys the most.

Tackling rising cost of smartphones, data tariffs, piracy

On making streaming more efficient for users facing challenges with the rising cost of smartphones and data, Tosin said that Boomplay is working on easing data costs and has partnered with telcos, working with them to create bundles that will be affordable to music lovers. On the hardware side, Tecno, Infinix, and Itel are producing devices affordable in the market.

Read also: BusinessDay set to hold 13th edition of ‘The CEO Forum’

She added that Boomplay is open to working with the government on the issue of piracy as they implement stronger laws on intellectual property to ensure music streaming is legal and generate more revenues for artists on the platforms. According to her music streaming is supposed to be among the top ways artists make their earnings as opposed to what they get from ambassadorship and tours and because of the issues of piracy from websites that leak artist work to the general public, music artists are not getting enough of what they are supposed to earn from streaming.

On the bright side, she mentioned that music streaming is far better because of Covid and that Covid made a lot of people stream more

Jumia is not ruling out Payment Service Bank licence

Massimiliano Spalazzi, CEO Jumia Nigeria and EVP Marketplace, Jumia Group

Talking about Jumia getting their PSSP license last year and if there is a future to become a digital bank and getting a PSB license, Massimiliano Spalazzi, CEO Jumia Nigeria and EVP Marketplace, Jumia Group responded by saying that after success on e-commerce, Jumia food, Jumia pay, logistics, the last part missing was PSSP enabling vendors selling their production apps such as Instagram make easy logistics and easy payment for customers.

Although he didn’t give any direct answers on acquiring PSB, Spalazzi stated “once you start with one pillar (of service), you start touching different pillars around you and you start offering more complimentary services to those that are actors of your market, so might that be the next step? We will see,”

Spalazzi says after 10 years of e-commerce in Nigeria, it is still booming and will continue to boom because a vast majority of Nigerian youths who would start working with purchasing power in the country are plugged into the e-commerce market. Many of them tend to do more of their bank transactions and shopping online as broadband and smartphone penetration keeps on increasing.

How Glovo penetrated the Nigeria e-commerce sector

Lamide Akinola, head of Q-commerce Africa, Glovo.

Glovo, is an online shopping company just entering into the Nigerian e-commerce market. Akinola when asked what Glovo is all about said that they are a tech company that started in Barcelona and has spread to 25 countries. With three main verticals, ‘Restaurants’ where customers come to the app and order food from big restaurants in close proximity to the customers, and ‘Grocery’; where customers can order whatever grocery product they need and have it delivered to them. Glovo also launched in Lagos what they referred to as Darkstores, a digital-first supermarket located in cities and central locations.

The last vertical being ‘Retail’ allows customers to order from their favourite pharmaceutical and beauty stores. Akinola also said the new market currently has 15 million active customers on its platform.

On the issue of the government banning bikes and how it affects online courier companies, Akinola sees it as an opportunity and the company has seen an upward spike in people coming to register as riders, and Glovo making sure that they use the appropriate bikes and use of helmets.