Zinox on its way to becoming Africa’s Amazon

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Less than a year after acquiring electronic gadgets retailer, Yes Mobile, Nigeria’s Zinox Group has concluded the acquisition of e-commerce giant, Konga in a deal reported to be worth $10 million.

Zinox, an ICT solutions conglomerate and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), which also owns Yudala, one of Nigeria’s biggest eCommerce platforms is seen as a bold step to reinforce its position as a major player in eCommerce, a market projected to be worth $75 billion by 2025.

The acquisition cuts across all subsidiaries of Konga, including KOS Express, the company’s its logistics arm and KongaPay.

The tech company may have its sights set beyond Konga, with Head of Corporate Communications at the Zinox Group, Gideon Ayogu saying they are interested in another popular eCommerce company.

“We have always had an interest in Konga and another big one you know very well,” Ayogu said, “but our priority was Konga first because of her integrated nature of four quality companies in one.”

“Konga is a world-class, professionally-run company whose landmark strides in the sector have gone a long way in ushering millions of Nigerians into the ease and convenience of online shopping and boosting the conduct of e-commerce in the country.”

Ayogu said Zinox’s goal is to revolutionize e-commerce on the African continent, and Konga will be the tool with which it achieves this.

Konga had last year cut more than 60 percent of its staff and ended the pay-on-delivery option to customers, as it struggles with profitability. Zinox will in the short-term focus on returning Konga to profitability after which it will consider expansion beyond Nigeria, a feat Konga has found impossible to achieve. Its competitor Jumia has presence across 23 African countries.

Amazon of Africa

With Zinox’s tech prowess and focus on acquiring eCommerce assets, Leo Stan Ekeh, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Zinox Technologies Ltd. may be looking to build Africa’s Amazon. The American company which started as an online bookstore is now the largest Internet retailer in the world revenue and market capitalization. It has also over the past two decades diversified into selling video downloads/streaming, MP3 downloads/streaming, audiobook downloads/streaming, software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewelry. The company also produces consumer electronics—Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, Fire TV, and Echo—and is the world’s largest provider of cloud infrastructure services (IaaS and PaaS).

Its business model looks like one Zinox could mirror, localize and be successful.

Like Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, Zinox Technologies Ltd. Ekeh is not short of great ideas and pioneering feats. The 61-year-old founded Buyright Africa Dotcom Limited more than 10 years ago when credit card and e-payment infrastructure were still in infancy. Ekeh had also founded TaskDirect Limited in 1987. He is recorded to have pioneered Desktop publishing and Computer graphics in Nigeria with Task Systems Ltd in 1989. He also pioneered ICT products distributions in West Africa with – Technology Distributions Ltd. Ekeh pioneered the First Nigerian Internationally certified Computer brand, Zinox Computer. His Zinox Group has grown into a 360-degree IT solutions firm and is ready to hold its own on the continent’s technological space.

Ayogu confirmed that Zinox will be unveiling a lot of new initiatives in its new business, including innovations that “will radically reshape the average customer experience of e-commerce in Nigeria and on the continent”, a key focus of Amazon, which has one of the best customer service in the world.

As it ensures excellence in a major growth area that eCommerce is, Zinox will continually devote resources to its Future Visions mandate, to anticipate where the world is headed and be ready with the right products and solutions. “…we have the potential to cause positive global disruption … in Robotics, AI, Healthy Living, Core ICT, IOT Medicine, FMCG, Entertainment, etc.,” Zinox said on its website.

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