The dawn of digital marketing in Africa.
Founders: Abasiama Idaresit
Age of founder at start: 31
Year of foundation: 2010
Business Type: Digital marketing
Start-up capital: $250
Present staff strength: Over 50
State of origin of founder: Akwa Ibom
Countries present: Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya.
Abasiama was pursuing a degree in Information Systems & Management at the London School of Economics. He had one thing in mind: to see how technology, particularly the internet could help transform the business landscape in Nigeria and indeed Africa.
“I have been very passionate about technology and business, I love the internet and I want to see it change a lot of things in Africa.” So focused, He actually made this the topic of his dissertation.
In2008 Abas returned to Nigeria, resigning from his job and turning down some other offers to pursue this dream of his.
He started peddling but without success.
“For the first eight months I didn’t make a dime,” he recalls.
“People literally chased me out of their offices to the point I started wondering if I would ever get a chance to prove what I can do.”
He never doubted his offering, but to some extent he was concerned about the possibility of getting a chance to prove it. He could even recall a particular case where he had to wait in an office for four good hours, when he eventually got the chance to talk, they were literally dozing.
Baby M was a small business that catered for the needs of new mothers and their babies. It operated out of one store in Ikoyi, Lagos and had a network of sales agents with an average monthly revenue of $1000.
Abas tried to convince Baby M’s proprietor to give him a chance to show how the internet could help her advertise cheaply and find new customers.
Internet advertising was almost unheard of that time. She hadn’t heard of such before and wasn’t keen on losing a dime, until Abas offered her a money-back guarantee, in the event that he failed to fulfil his promise. With nothing to lose, she gave him ₦40,000 (approx $250 then) his debut earning as an internet marketing consultant.
These were early days and the results were absolutely phenomenal, in 3months Baby M’s revenue grew from $1000 a month to $100,000 a month. This feat attracted the attention of Google Inc, which took it up as one of the top 10 global case studies for internet marketing.
*********//// Shortly after Wild Fusion was incorporated and were in three years, on track to hit double digits in millions.
Wild fusion eventually became the first Nigerian and West African company to become a Google Ad words partner, boasting an elite client list of Diamond Bank, Samsung, Pepsi…..
Abas advises Nigerian entrepreneurs
“I think it is very important you discover yourself, it is very important for you to know what it is that you are very passionate about. It is important you find that one thing that you do, even if you’re not been paid. Discover it, do it very well and with time, money will naturally come out of it.”
“How They Started – Innovative Nigerian Brands”
Written by Kachi Ogbonna
Reviewed by JOHN O.E For Hexavia.
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