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Business News of Monday, 25 April 2022


'We need deliberate collaboration between the government and private sector – Chidera Jonathan Emerenini

Founder of Appi Technologies Chidera Jonathan Emerenini Founder of Appi Technologies Chidera Jonathan Emerenini

Chidera Jonathan Emerenini founded APPI Technologies as a resource to enhance service delivery in Nigeria.

Operating in the agriculture, food & groceries and supply chain sector, Appi leverages technologies to reach its goal in the Nigerian market and is now in an expansion process to other countries.

Could you tell us about your company?

Appi Technologies was started initially with one goal - to bring the best user-experience to customers through innovative software, hardware and services.

We are a customer-centric technology startup on a mission to create easy-to-use, tech-enabled solutions targeted primarily at emerging markets.

Appi is incorporated in Delaware, USA with registered subsidiary operations in Africa. We service the logistics & supply chain industry. Also food & beverage, real estate and Agriculture.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic and the work-from-home trend affected your operations?

Covid-19 had a positive impact on us. We launched our food ordering service Appieatz during the lockdown and saw fast adoption and tremendous growth among local restaurants and food vendors.

Customers were compelled to shift to online ordering due to Covid restrictions. The work from home wasn’t easy at first as the employees had to adapt to new company cultures.

What is Appi’s growth strategy for 2022?

We recently pivoted into last-mile deliveries with the aim to enhance logistics for end-users and businesses.

We plan to double down on last-mile fulfillment services, scaling into more cities as well as rural communities and aggregating more delivery partners considering the huge market opportunity that exists.

We also plan to launch our own payments and real estate concierge services

And what about your long term ambitions as a company?

We plan to scale into more markets - African, US and European markets over the coming years using our unique but competitive business model and leveraging partnerships that we are currently working to solidify.

What government policies can be implemented for companies to thrive in Nigeria?

What early stage startups need is easier access to capital and the right structure in place that enables them to grow. Tax breaks are also welcome. Policies that make this situation a reality are what the Nigerian government should focus on implementing.

Which 3 African countries will perform best in terms of business in 2022?

Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya considering the startups operating in these countries and the amount of external funding they have been able to attract so far.

How will Africa develop as a knowledge economy in 2022 and how can companies contribute?

Africa’s transition into a knowledge-based economy can be accelerated by conscious collaboration between the government and private sector. By investing in technology companies/startups, education & skill acquisition, building of research and development facilities and other relevant infrastructure needed to drive innovation such, our continent will hit the right track towards becoming a knowledge center.

Companies in particular need to invest in technologies to streamline their process and also train their employees on the necessary skill-set needed. This would encourage automation of key processes in major industries as well as increased productivity.

Supply chain is a huge opportunity for agriculture in Africa and tech is the best solution to the problem. Efficient food distribution is one reason for high food prices in African cities.

Use of technology hardware such as drones to apply fertilisers, pesticides and other farm chemicals, renewable energy to power farming functions and operations will cut production time in half and multiply output.

Working together, the private and public sector can achieve this in a few short years.