Getting employment in a country like Nigeria can be a tough exercise. There are numerous people who are gifted or skilled with services to offer with no job. However, a marketplace for such can do a lot connecting them with potential clients thereby providing sources of livelihood without permanent jobs. Innovation Village recently caught up with R.J Musah who in an exclusive interview told us about his online market place that connects freelancers with potential clients.
Can you tell us about Asuqu.com and what it has to offer?
Asuqu is an online marketplace for creative and professional services, which aims to connect freelance professionals to customers across Africa.
Asuqu was founded in mid-2014 but operations started fully in the last quarter of 2015 right after the Incubation at THINK in Rwanda.
What motivated the setting up of Asuqu.com?
Asuqu was born out of passion and pain. The pain of unemployment, the pain of undiscovery of talents in Africa. The only way to empower young adults and drive efficiency among SMEs is through a marketplace like Asuqu that provides collaboration, connection and entrepreneurship without bureaucracy.
What has the traction been like since its launch?
Asuqu has seen an immense growth both in users and transactions on the platform. Since inception Asuqu has been on the cutting edge of innovation. Born out of Asuqu is a new company “The Village” coworking space for freelancers. With 25% growth monthly in users and transactions on the platform.
By 2018, we are driving all our workforce to freelance. This means 85% of our workforce will be powered by freelancers, we have started a pilot of this and our overhead has decreased by 35%. This model will be fully implemented by early 2018.
Our business model has not changed, we only charge freelancers 20% commission of the transaction done on Asuqu.
What is unique about the services the platform has to offer?
Asuqu is the only company that guarantees you 100% satisfaction of money-back. We also take every customer seriously, we do not joke with customer service. This has resulted in our huge comeback from our customers and we also get more referrals.
What are the challenges encountered since Asuqu.com launched?
Education and Adoption. Digital transaction is new in this market, so we need intense education and testimonials for people to understand and adopt the remote model of work. Trust is also another factor, which we have taken keenly to ensure our customers are guarantee quality service for their money.
What advice do you have for prospective entrepreneurs out there?
As cliché as it sounds, just start, never wait for the best time. Entrepreneurs should take away the mind-set of chasing investors, build a solid products, a robust business model, and chase customers not investors.
What are the future plans for Asuqu.com?
Our future plan to continue to build products people need and also keep empowering the community.