Sydney Aigbogun, CEO of Cashbox, an online savings platform, has revealed the strategies he used to survive the first year of business in the face of the pandemic.
Cashbox started in 2019 and according to him, gaining the trust of his customers was critical to keeping the company afloat in the wake of the deadly covid-19 virus.
“People were initially sceptical of the operations of CashBox, especially during our first six months in operation,” he said. “Our online presence is very visible, and they see a lot of reviews from users who have saved with us. These reviews give new customers confidence in us.”
Now with clients all over Nigeria, CashBox supports customers in building wealth as it enables them to save from anywhere in Nigeria as long as clients have a smartphone and internet connection.
BusinessDay understands that the general public has embraced CashBox, also known as Cashboxng. The savings platform has also grown enormously popular in just two years of operation, with the company constantly expanding its services into new areas.
McKinsey listed a youthful population, increasing smartphone penetration, and a focused regulatory drive to increase financial inclusion and cashless payments, are factors creating a thriving fintech sector in Nigeria. Nigeria is now home to over 200 fintech standalone companies, plus a number of fintech solutions offered by banks and mobile network operators as part of their product portfolio.
According to McKinsey, between 2014 and 2019, Nigeria’s bustling fintech scene raised more than $600 million in funding, attracting 25 percent ($122 million) of the $491.6 million raised by African tech startups in 2019 alone—second only to Kenya, which attracted $149 million.
Still, Aigbogun said running a business is very difficult, especially in this part of the world. According to him, the initial challenge in establishing CashBox, like most businesses, was a lack of funds. This is one of the factors that contribute to the demise of businesses, he points out.
“Banks aren’t assisting, the government isn’t doing enough, and it’s much more difficult for someone who doesn’t come from a wealthy family,” he explained. “That’s where ingenuity comes in, the never-say-die attitude.”
Nonetheless, the CashBox CEO believes that any determined entrepreneur can always weather the storms of Nigeria’s difficult business terrain.
He argues that entrepreneurs have to be tougher because problems will always arise, and if they have made the decision not to give up, the problems would not scare them.
In addition, the most important thing is to have a great team, according to him, people who believe in the same vision as you.
“With a great team, it makes the burden easier. I believe that the customer is king; this mindset makes my life as an entrepreneur a lot easier,” he adds.