Honey Ogundeyi, founder of Fashpa spoke to Forbes days ago about her career, business and challenges with doing business in Africa. Fashpa is making waves by leveraging on technology to create an online platform that would be a one-stop shop for fashion. Fashpa is vertically integrated; it designs, manufactures and distributes its line of clothing. It retails the clothing online and offers delivery throughout Africa and the World.
Fashpa is just positioned right where it should ne, With a population of 170 million, the fashion ecommerce industry in Nigeria is still underserved, a weak match for the growing internet users in the country.
In the interview with Forbes’ Mfonobong Nsehe, Honey talks about her company, challenges encountered while building a start up in the fashion technology space in Nigeria, and her plans for the future.
‘One of the major challenges is access to capital. Technology investments are seen as quite bold and the wild card option for many Nigerian investors, because just 10 years ago, we did not have mobile phone technology in Nigeria, so it is quite a leap to be able to say to someone- I am going to revolutionise fashion commerce in Nigeria and Africa using the internet. Mostly because no one has built an online fashion brand at scale before in Nigeria or even Africa,’ she said when asked about challenges encountered while doing business in Nigeria.
She added: ‘Strong Infrastructure is necessary for the growth of e-commerce in Africa. In Nigeria and across most of Africa, infrastructural challenges such as lack of power, high cost of internet and quality of internet, lack of good road network/access, low penetration of online payments and lack of logistics network makes it more expensive for ecommerce companies to operate and compete with global counterparts.’
But it is not all bad news, as she revealed that since rebranding the Fashion Tech Start up from it’s original idea revenue has improved. ‘We don’t publicly share our sales data. However since the Fashpa rebrand and by focusing exclusively on our own brand, we have continued to see double digit growth month on month and an increase in our international orders.’
‘There is an undeniably huge opportunity for the market leader in online fashion retail in Africa,’ She concluded.