Prominent businessman, Raphael Afaedor, has been quite busy over the years working for companies such as Monster and Goldman Sachs in addition to creating his own companies including Jumia and Supermart. The Harvard grad is no stranger to hard work, and through speaking six different languages, he has proven that his ability to understand a wide range of business models has been the key to his success.
Afaedor spent his adolescence in typical Nigerian fashion. Showing an interest in technology and business at an early age, he sought out higher education in the United States attending Harvard Business School where he earned a MBA. After obtaining his degree, it wasn’t long before this rock star of business began utilizing his connections to start his very first online superstore.
With his education complete and his dreams just beginning, Raphael Afaedor teamed up with Tunde Kehinde to launch Nigeria’s largest online superstore, Jumia. Jumia was created using a platform similar to Amazon.com, shipping products directly to users across the region. In early 2014, Afaedor left Jumia but wasn’t ready to leave the business world.
Shortly after leaving Jumia, Afaedor looked towards the emerging e-commerce industry in Nigeria and launched another successful and creative business venture, Supermart.ng. Supermart is the largest online grocery provider in Nigeria and provides millions with fresh produce and meat products.
Focusing on Nigeria
Now that Raphael has started up two successful businesses and made quite a name for himself in the professional world, he has turned his eye back to his home country of Nigeria to focus in on the challenges his fellow countrymen face and finding ways to alleviate their daily struggle.
Looking to boost the commitment and participation of Nigerians, Raphael has started recruiting more local businesses and investors stating, “We the stakeholders need to interact more — I’m talking about the entrepreneurs, founders, financiers and others. It’s not even about having business conversations, let’s drink more beer together because as we hang out together, and as we drink beer and chapman together, what we are really doing is due diligence with which other — can I trust this person, can I give my money to this person?”
The Future of Raphael Afaedor
Originally born in Ghana, Afaedor has a pan-African mindset, working towards bringing modern conveniences and technological advancements to all parts of the continent. As he looks towards the future, he also seeks the right people in other countries to join the team stating, “We need to be thinking about where we can find the best people — if they are Nigerians so be it, if they are not Nigerians, let’s try and pool the best talents that we can pool together because what’s most important is to get talents behind the idea to be able to build it. If we can do more and more of that then I think we can go places.”
One thing is clear, Raphael Afaedor has a soft spot for his home, and now that he is back in the cradle of his upbringing, focused on giving the people access to proper food, affordable services, and opportunities never before seen in the area, we can only wait in anticipation as this modern genius continues to build a new platform for the Nigerian and African continent as a whole.