By Bandana Babu
While most parts of the world engage in e-commerce, African countries were still lagging behind. But African shoppers’ prayers have finally been answered, all thanks to Chris Folayan, the founder and CEO of MallforAfrica.
Many African shoppers faced problems while ordering items from several international online stores since the retailers based in the United States and the United Kingdom did not deliver products to African countries. To bridge the gap between African consumers and Western retailers, Folayan came up with his brilliant idea of MallforAfrica, a million-dollar e-commerce shopping destination acting as the middleman between consumers and retailers for people of the continent.
With the growing demand this site, MallforAfrica is expected to expand soon enough.
The main inspiration behind this project has been the common people of Nigeria, which is where the site was launched. Whenever Folayan traveled, he found himself returning to his home country with the maximum amount of bags filled to the brim with products to fulfill the wish list of his fellow Nigerians. The list kept growing every time, and it was then that it struck Folayan that something was lacking. People knew exactly what kind of U.S. or U.K item they preferred and from which store, but the problem was unavailability. The shops did not have the option of shipping the items to any country of Africa. So from this growing need, the concept of “MallforAfrica” was born.
But a question did arise. The site mainly benefits U.S and U.K businesses, since they can now sell their products in Nigeria and other countries in Africa, but is this strengthening Africa’s economy?
Folayan replied that MallforAfrica is acting as far more than just an e-commerce site providing resources, products and other commodities helping to change the lives of many. For example, a woman was able to start her own sewing business after she purchased a specific type of sewing machine via MallofAfrica that fulfilled her need. The business is not only helping individuals, it is also helping doctors purchase medical equipment, assisting schools with accessing better educational supplies, and so on.
In spite of being an online portal, MallforAfrica has employed over 60 Nigerians with full-time jobs. And with the expansion plans, people can anticipate a major number of job openings.
The ultimate goal for “MallforAfrica” is to bridge the gap between global e-commerce and Africa. It is inching towards becoming the number one zero-risk option for retailers of the U.S. and the U.K. for selling products to Africa and providing full consumer satisfaction. But the best outcome is that Africa can finally shop online.