Y! Spotlight: Agiri Ibrahim, the brain behind AjeboMarket

Agiri Ibrahim, CEO/MD of AjeboMarket, an online store for men’s fashion, is a tenacious visionary as well as a diligent dream chaser.

He has with his unwavering desire to create a clear cut niche for himself in the e-commerce industry, despite its growing crowd, transformed AjeboMarket from a budding online store to one of the fastest rising stores within the country with the quality of service rendered at the convenience of its growing customer base.

The e-store, which was launched in July 2013 currently offers services which include sales of male clothing and accessories which upon purchase can be delivered all across the nation at the request of the customer.

There is a seven-day return policy with money back guarantee on each product sold as well as the option of customers paying for purchased products in cash upon delivery.

Agiri, who is a graduate of the University of Lagos was introduced to the potential in the retail market when in a bid to survive through school in his final year, he started selling different products ranging from clothes, computer accessories and just about anything he could sell.

He continued selling even after he graduated and proceeded to join the National Youth Service Corp in a compulsory stint of 1 year where he was further convinced that the e-market space was where he would carve a niche for himself and furthermore help people around him.

Being a bright and smart young man, Agiri ordinarily got lucrative job offers upon completion of his NYSC programme but he did not let the opportunities distract him from the sole purpose of his hard work.

He followed his dream despite the attendant challenges and did not waver even when it did appear that he was making a colossal error by not embracing the job opportunities offered him.

In his own words, “Although I got job offers after NYSC, I turned them down because even though I hadn’t made any profit from the market then, I believed in my dream and wanted to keep going.

“I was determined to carve a space for myself in the market and I also saw it as an opportunity to empower some of the people around me.”

And thus continued the journey of AjeboMarket.

Agiri’s initial plan was to start out as an e-market place but while searching for the appropriate funds to pull off such plans, a bigger player in the e-commerce sector made a switch to the market place system.

As an entrepreneur, he went back to the drawing board to restructure as he understood that with limited resources, his budding establishment could not as of then take on the big players.

He came up with the idea of an online fashion store and went ahead to begin working on its actualization.

He faced quite a few challenges as he meandered his way through the murky waters of a start-up and cemented his feet in the ground in less than 3 years.

He was faced with the acute lack of funds and also the absence of trust from the suppliers of the products to be put up for sale as they were not ready to leave their product for a new company.

For over a year, Agiri had to sell products via different social media channels like Blackberry Messenger, Twitter, Facebook and the likes just to garner the trust of both the customers and the suppliers too. A ploy which worked immensely, as subsequently the portal for AjeboMarket was launched and officially opened for business.

Perhaps, Agiri greatest strength is the ability to evolve around challenges and coming up with viable and working solutions for the smooth running of his business.

In a recent interview, speaking about the challenges he has faced he said “We’ve had different challenges in the business but the most important challenges have been logistics, payments and products.

“Our team, kudos to them, has been able to address some of these challenges effectively to ensure that the quality of our services and delivery is at par with world or international standard.”

Since it’s launch, Agiri’s company has grown quite favorably. From getting an average of just one order in 3 days to having over 100 orders in a day in Lagos only, the company has grown from a single man team to a team of over 20 members of staff.

The success story of Ibrahim Agiri is quite the inspiring one- from selling hand to hand in a Unilag hostel to selling products all across Nigeria.

But it does not stop there however, the young CEO plans to expand his venture across Africa after gaining sufficient national presence in Nigeria. He also plans to have a clothing line and a fashion brand which will export Nigeria to the rest of Africa and the world.

Tall dreams are possible.

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