Essential Things you Need to Establish a ‘Successful’ Tech Startup in Africa
We spoke to some successful Tech Entrepreneurs, including CredPal's Co-founders
As you may well know, success is quite relative. However, in the African tech ecosystem, success can only be demonstrated by the following factors: product marketability, scalability, the ability to attract wide-ranging investors and of course, the overall profitability of the startup. This way, success is visible; seen by all for what it is. This is our opinion on this!
Moving on now to the Main Issue…
At some point in every tech entrepreneur’s journey, this question must be asked –what does it take to establish a successful tech startup? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, we can always take some pointers from already successful tech entrepreneurs. This is why we spoke to a couple of them, asking them to talk about the essential things that are necessary to excel in tech. Let’s get to their recommendations.
To Succeed in Tech, be ready to Solve Problems
This is obviously a no-brainer. Yet, Olorunfemi Jegede, the Co-founder and CFO of CredPal, stressed that it is the very basic foundation to success in tech. He said: “the first thing I would say is necessary is building a good product that will solve a real problem. Have you been able to identify a serious pain point of the people? Do you have innovative ideas around how this problem can be solved? If so, after you’ve identified the problem and come up with a solution for it, then you are good to go.”
Ensure you Have Domain Expertise
Speaking further, Olurunfemi Jegede advised that tech entrepreneurs hoping to succeed must ensure that they have a decent domain expertise in the area they operate. As he explained, it wouldn’t make any sense for him to just wake up one day and decide to go into aviation. The reason is because he does not know anything about the aviation industry. There is a standard rule of business that if you want to venture into any line of business, it should be one that you are quite knowledgeable about. That way, you are going into it with a lot of skill sets which will in turn help you to navigate the business and excel.
The Co-founder and CEO of Edves, Dimeji Falana, made the same point when he told this author that “in order to become a successful edtech entrepreneur, you must be an ‘education person’. And this does not necessarily mean going to school to study education. No. But you must understand the basics of how a school is run, and how the brain functions in the course of learning.”
Be Innovative and ready to Pivot when necessary
While reiterating some of the points that were earlier made by his business partner, the CEO of CredPal, Fehintolu Olaogun, stressed that innovation is very important towards achieving success in tech. He also pointed out that a tech startup that aspires to succeed must be flexible and know when to adapt to changes or pivot. This is important because nothing kills a startup faster than not knowing when to adapt to market.
“One thing that kills a company fast is not knowing when to change. You can start off doing something before you feel that’s the way to go. But in reality, the market will always show you the way to go. Now, if the market reacts to you and you don’t adapt your product, you will likely keep trying to serve customers the same thing and they will not take it. Eventually, the product dies. So, that ability to respond to the market very fast is very important. And like I mentioned earlier, most businesses pivot when they need to. If you read the history of some of the most successful companies in the world today, you will realise that many of them resorted to pivot at some point. Even Facebook was supposed to be something meant for a small university community. But now, it is something that everyone across the world is using without restriction. So, being able to adapt to the market is important. And that comes with having very good instincts. And that’s part of what makes you a good entrepreneur,” Olaogun said.
Be Committed, consistent and willing to Sacrifice
Tobi Asehinde, the Founder and CEO of Digital Marketing Skills Institute (DMSI), said commitment and consistency are essential attributes every tech entrepreneur must have. In his own words, “the first one is commitment. Consistency is also very important in digital marketing because in digital marketing, you don’t go to bed after accomplishing one success. You must be consistent with it just as much as you need to be committed to it. I tell people that in order for you to stay committed and consistent, you must be willing to make some sacrifices. And that’s the third essential attribute every digital entrepreneur must have. You must also be determined and believe that there is ‘gold’ in digital marketing, because there is. You must trust the hustle and be result-driven.”
For more on these tech experts and others young, influential entrepreneurs, click the link below to read our latest magazine edition titled 40 Under 40 Trailblazing African Entrepreneurs. Enjoy.
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