Mr Sanjay Pathak is the man of the moment. He is a leader in the mobile and technology world having gained incredible experience working in multinational corporations. He is now based in Kenya after working in India for a while and he heads one of Kenya’s fast-rising e-commerce sites, Jamboshop.
I talk to him about his professional background, the challenges he faces especially in a yet to be fully-explored industry and his advice to youngsters working towards joining entrepreneurship. Here is the conversation we had with Sanjay.
Tell us a little bit about your professional background:
My experience in the technology industry spans over 18 years. I have been working in various industries for their e-commerce platforms & products, like Izmocars which used to give Izmofix solution to Yahoo auto, Andale, now part of Alibaba Group for auction management/ product listing/market research & inventory management platforms for eBay, Amazon and other global marketplaces.
Why did you decide to get into e-commerce management?
Since the start, I have always been part of the e-commerce domain. Prior to joining Jamboshop, I was managing products and e-commerce services of India’s oldest portal rediff.com. Kenya e-commerce market is growing at a good pace. The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) estimates the industry to be worth Ksh 4.3 billion. To grow with fast speed various infrastructural changes and support are required which you can see as opportunities for other players to enter this market.
These amongst other reasons is why I joined Jamboshop.
Have you seen growth in the time Jamboshop has been running?
We started operation in mid of Aug and only within 3-4 months operation we are able to attract a few million users and page views as well. This shows a good growth curve and in the coming quarter, we are expecting this to go up even further by at least 10 times.
Do you think your background has come in handy in managing an e-commerce platform or did this feel like a new experience?
Certainly. My background has been extremely crucial in navigating this new challenge. As much as it is a new experience, I should mention that the fundamentals are the same in this industry.
What challenges do you face in the online shopping scene of Kenya?
Logistics reach with COD (cash on delivery) collection and CC/DC (credit card/debit card) payment failures should be the biggest challenge. While the concept of online shopping is a phenomenon that has been rapidly picking up especially in urban areas, these issues remain the biggest challenges for this multi-million industry.
What do you think is the future of online shopping and mobile technology?
Mobile-based e-commerce is the future in Kenya. Currently, more than 75% users are reaching us using a mobile device, plus successful Mpesa as payment method combined, boost mobile e-commerce ecosystem. This is enough testament to the potential of the industry.
If you could change one thing in an instant what would it be?
Improve payment & logistic system, CC/DC success ratio is very poor, especially for high-value transactions.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to get into business especially young people?
E-commerce definitely has a bright future and young people should take an active role and embrace this especially those with AI-based background.
You can make your purchases on Jamboshop here.