Nigeria has a young but thriving tech space. The country has been witnessing an explosion of tech startups, aimed at solving common, everyday problems people face in areas such as healthcare, education and services.
Although the ecosystem needed to support these new ventures is not available, the startup culture and support network is helping many youths to establish businesses which could further boost the growing economy.
Repairing of devices when they develop faults can be challenging for users in Nigeria. While some devices have guaranteed after-sales services, most do not. As a result, users face problems such as overbearing costs and poor service quality especially from roadside repairers, most of whom are not professionally inclined. There is also the issue of time and many other inconveniences associated with repairing devices in the country.
To address this challenge, tech startup fixmydevice is revolutionizing the process of device repairs in the country, an exclusive interview with the founder, Emmanuel Adedeji shows.
Ventures Africa (VA): What would be an elevator pitch for someone who does not know about your company and services?
Emmanuel Adedeji (EA): In one word, we are bringing the service of electronic gadgets (phones, laptops, printers) repair to you. We serve as a nexus that connects gadget users who want to fix their damaged device and trained engineers. We make your life easier than you can imagine by getting your devices fixed, whenever and wherever you need it fixed.
VA: What was the identifiable opportunity that led to the founding of FMD?
EA: A number of friends and relatives constantly complain about their smartphones that were inadequately fixed. How the devices got multiple faults after the first fix, how they couldn’t get quick repairs, how they got delayed on spare parts and how it all affects the time and convenience. We saw a problem that needed a solution.
VA: Did you start the venture alone?
EA: No. I have a team of 5 with whom we started and are running the venture now
VA: Knowing that there are several other companies employing new technologies for a service like yours, what makes your platform unique?
EA: Implementation is what defers ideas. We are committed and customer-centric in the sense that we meet our customers’ need at their own comfort. This we are able to do with a network of well-trained engineers and a courier service. Imagine getting your device properly fixed, at an affordable price and without the costs of transportation and other logistics. Imagine having your broken phone repaired without having to disrupt your schedule or miss a day at work, all at a fair price. That is what makes us unique.
VA: How does your startup/company operate?
EA: Our service can be accessed through our website www.fixmydevice.com.ng. You are required to log on to the site, register with personal details and information regarding the device intended to be repaired with the exact fault stated e.g broken screen, a fault in charging etc. We process the information for a few minutes and then get back to the client with an invoice, after which our courier service personnel comes to get the device. Then after fixing, the device is returned within 3-5 business days. The process is that simple.
We primarily operate via the online platform, web and mobile app for now but we are getting a physical office to consolidate administration and also customer experience centre soon.
VA: Being in its early stages, how would you describe your company’s journey so far?
EA: The journey hasn’t been smooth but it is worthwhile. We always knew it won’t be easy but we are ready. In addition to the physical infrastructure challenges, problems encountered so far are those common to several other businesses which are basically funding, marketing and running ad campaigns.
VA: What strategy do you have in place to ensure your platform remains the preferred option for customers?
EA: Our strategy revolves around affordability and convenience while ensuring the quality of service. We focus on our customer and making life convenient for them without having to break their bank.
VA: How do you see your business offerings evolving in the next 5 to 10 years?
EA: The grand vision is evolving into full-time Solution provider in the Internet of Things (IOT) space and solving other human problems with technology. There are also geographical expansion plans. Although operating only in Lagos for now, we plan to extend our services across multiple states in the country, possibly the 36 states.
VA: What are your views about the growth of the technology services industry in Nigeria?
EA: A lot of startups and ventures are springing up as more of us try to solve simple and complex human and business problems, so the space is getting really interesting but we need more investment in physical infrastructure. And then very vital are laws and its enforcement to regulate the ecosystem.