Spotlight On Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, CEO Of Konga And A Nigerian E-Commerce Competitor For Jumia

Written by Peter Pedroncelli
Prince Nnamdi Ekeh
Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage endorses e-commerce platform Konga as a brand ambassador. Image: Konga Access Flickr

In 2014 he founded an e-commerce platform, Yudala, barely six months after graduating. He scaled that company to become the third-largest e-commerce platform in West Africa within its first year of operation and oversaw its merger with No. 2 player, Konga in 2018. He is now the co-CEO of Konga at 26 years of age.

We’re shining the spotlight on a young e-commerce entrepreneur and executive who is guiding Jumia-competitor Konga — Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, founder of e-commerce and retail platform Yudala.

Entrepreneurship is in Ekeh’s DNA

Entrepreneurship and an affinity for tech is in Ekeh’s blood. His father, Leo Stan Ekeh, is the chairman of the Zinox Group, a conglomerate comprising Zinox Technologies, Technology Distributions Ltd, Task Systems, Zinox Telecom and other companies, according to ThisDay Live.

Ekeh senior was also an e-commerce pioneer. In 2008 he created Buyright Africa, an early e-commerce platform that showed his understanding of online retail’s potential.

Buyright Africa struggled with the lack of credit card and e-payment infrastructure and it shut down in 2013.

That project would be an inspiration for his son, who considers his father a mentor, saying that he is fortunate “to profit from the wise guidance of my father”.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 44: Jewel Burks
Jewel Burks discusses her M&A process when she sold her tech company, Partpic, to Amazon.

Prince Ekeh graduated from Lancaster University in the U.K. with a bachelor of arts degree in economics and politics in 2014. He returned home to Nigeria and began working on Yudala.

The company was an online and retail chain with ambitions of becoming the market leader in trade and commerce in Nigeria and beyond. He launched the company under the Zinox Group umbrella to benefit from his father’s guidance and assistance with funding.

Acquisition discussions began with the Zinox Group and Konga at the end of 2017. Konga was acquired for $10 million in February 2018. A decision was made to merge Yudala with Konga in May 2018.

Ekeh was named co-CEO of Konga alongside Nick Imudia following the merger, and a more robust Konga continued its mission to dominate Africa’s e-commerce landscape.

Online shopping is growing in Africa. The African e-commerce market is expected to be worth $29 billion by 2022, according to Statistica.

With that in mind, being Nigeria and Africa’s biggest e-commerce player is a major goal for Lagos Business School alumnus Ekeh, who used to dream of acquiring both Konga and Jumia at the beginning of his journey with Yudala.

Now he is leading Konga in a battle for market share with Jumia, the largest e-commerce company in Africa, with an online-offline strategy that combines e-commerce with brick-and-mortar stores.

Konga is already the largest truly African e-commerce platform in Nigeria, as Jumia is considered a foreign company operating in Africa, according to TheGuardian.

This is because Jumia, which listed on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this year, is incorporated in Germany, based in Dubai, its central tech team is in Portugal and most of its executives are non-Africans.

Only its markets are African, with Jumia operating in 14 African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco and Egypt.

Konga, in an effort to compete with Jumia, is planning to expand outside of Nigeria to other English-speaking West African countries and launched a travel agency this year.

With Ekeh in the CEO role, Konga can count on young and dynamic leadership in its quest to become the first major Nigerian e-commerce platform to turn profitable in the years to come.