They’re the WOW guys!

by ‘Damilola Oyedele

The WOW guys are Babatunde Aka-Bashorun and Mark Alastair Slade, the founders of World of Web (WOW) Design Nigeria and UK. They talk about work, life and what gives them the ‘WOW’ factor.

Educational background

Tunde: International School, Lagos and University of Lagos, B.Sc Civil Engineering,

Mark: St Laurence School, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire and Bachelor of Science Degree from Loughborough University in Computer Science and Business Management

How did you get into the ‘world of web design’?

Tunde: In my years doing marketing and advertising, the internet was a frequent research tool for me and I used to come across countless sub-standard Nigerian websites. When Mark broached the idea of setting up the West African arm of his UK design company, I immediately saw the potential of finally having a world class web design company in Nigeria that wouldn’t break anyone’s bank! We registered the company with minimal funds and started sourcing for clients via word of mouth. It wasn’t easy because we only had the UK website as a point of reference and there was a lot of scepticism about dealing with a developer abroad, but we are slowly and surely forging ahead.

Mark: I established the UK arm of World Of Web Design (www.worldofwebdesign.co.uk) in April of 2009 with a view of serving both local and global clients. After a positive year I approached Tunde with the offer of partnership for World Of Web Design Nigeria. We worked together in 2008 for MADE Magazine. After careful preparation, the new West African arm was formed in January 2010.

What do you do when you’re not ‘WOWing’?

Tunde: Football, video games, reading, music and movies.

Mark: Technology. Football (playing both 11 and 5 a side regularly), Tennis. Watching Movies.

The downsides of the work?

Tunde: People underestimating the power of the web and thinking that business will always be done face to face; clients thinking that cheaper is better, and thus trying to drive our fees down because they can get the job done cheaper; clients constantly changing their minds about their design direction, etc.

Upsides?

Tunde: I love the fact that in our own little way, we’re helping the average Nigerian business have a window to the world through the worldwideweb. No matter how small a business or individual is, with a wow website, they can display their products or services to every internet user the world over, with just a click of a mouse

Mark: I love achieving what we set out to do. Gaining requirements and presenting a suitable solution which is designed and developed effectively, ensuring a very happy partner. Gaining genuine leads and working with clients who are prepared for a working partnership to ensure we achieve the perfect deliverable.

What’s your ‘WOW’ factor?

Tunde: We aim to make having a website an indispensable business tool for as many businesses as possible, regardless of the nature of the business. To this end, we want having a WOW website done to be as easy as ordering a meal from a restaurant. This is why we offer our clients ‘bespoke’ web design services with unparalleled quality and simplicity at extremely ‘Naija Friendly’ prices.

What’s the web design industry like right now, locally and globally?

Tunde: Locally, we have a number of Web Consulting companies who’ve been established in Nigeria but due to lack of patronage, we’ve had to diversify and offer other IT and Web related services. We are mainly focused on delivering the very best value for money websites Nigeria has ever seen! Globally, there are opportunities for web design companies in the less developed parts of Europe, Asia, the Middle East and so on.

Mark: Globally (and certainly more commonly for me in the UK) the Web design industry is more varied than any other I’m familiar with. You can pay huge sums of money for high-end services, and at the other extreme, be bombarded with low-end offerings who ‘sell them low and stack them high’. To some extent the industry can be compared to that of double-glazing! It’s very competitive and value can be hard to be perceived. We’re out to make developing partners happy.

Plans for the future of WOW:

Tunde: We aim to develop and grow into a world class company known not only in Nigeria but also spread our reach to the continent and beyond in the future. We hope to positively impact on the economy and be a source of gainful employment to Nigerian youths.

Mark: Company expansion, increasing local staff members, improving customer service and broadening the WOW brand and the potential of rolling out WOW Design to other countries.

What are the prospects for new entrants into the industry?

Tunde: There are always prospects in the service industry in Nigeria and indeed Africa by virtue of the sheer numbers of our population. It’s up to the individual to be sure that he/she has something worth offering the general public.

Advice for fledgling web designers?

Tunde: Make sure your design team is top notch; don’t think of the financial rewards until you’re certain that your service is worth paying ‘extra’ for.

Mark: Web design is a competitive market, a portfolio of work with a WOW factor is advantageous. Be patient with client’s changing requirements and be sure to deliver what you propose to deliver and always communicate with your customers!

Favourite quote?

Tunde: You don’t need a cannon to kill a mosquito

Mark: “When you’re in a race for quality, there is no finish line”

Check them out at www.worldofwebdesign.com.ng

9 Comments

  • Mareeam M. says:

    I was surprised that yu boldly took this bold step to the unknown, which I'm sure yu didn't really believe yu'd have responses like yu're having right now. To say this is impressive, is to understate the obvious. Right at our own doorstep, is this great work of art. Yu've taken this first step, I know yu can do much better than this. In months, or maybe years to come, I hope to be able to say: this ostentatiously, is one of the ''Bestest''(not in dictionary)in the world. WOW Guys, more Kudos.

  • cerrutti says:

    I must say that I am very much indeed impressed.am glad that there are still people that believe in creating platforms where Nigeria can reach and be reached in a positive way…they seem to know what they are doing and rather than copy…they wanna improve on what has been created already and I think that's a plus…am impressed!!

  • O. Oyewo says:

    Great stuff, a step in the right direction. People with talent and quality service in Naij should now dare to have a global stage state of mind. WOW has my best wishes.

  • Yemi A says:

    Interesting piece. wish them all the best. Nigeria is a fresh field when it comes to e-business. plety of potentials to be tapped into.

  • Ahmed T says:

    Interesting piece. These guys seem to know what they saying

  • toksy says:

    Interesting the upsurge in business development in nigeria. It correlates almost directly with the development of technological bridges crossing over communication barriers the country once dealt with. Personalised websites are nothing new but the market is growing exponentially. People need need high value content offering to showcase nigerian business and widen markets. It's a fast paced world. I suppose everyone wants that WOW factor. Well done guys

  • Boto says:

    this is a great idea and creativity,and have seen its future,its going to do a whole lot of good to NAIJA but make sure you see your mission through else "just confirm the closure of the site.

  • Idy says:

    The previous comment just about says it all.
    It is refreshing to read up articles on young, innovative and versatile people pushing boundries and striving to open up Nigerians to the web. As a busy professional I look forward to the day I can buy 'stuff' from Nigerian Stores online hassle free.
    I hope staff in the PR departments of major stores and brands are reading this and getting in touch with WOW. I'm counting on you WOW, make it happen!
    Kool stuff guys, kudos.

  • Toyosi says:

    Am really impressed. Well living in the states, majority of the businesses i patronize are done via online tools, saves me the time of going in to meet face to face. Enabling Nigerian businesses, both small and large scale put their products and services on a website that would be easily accessible by customers is a positive step towards increasing productivity and profitability of those businesses. Good job WOW guys.

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