How should Jumia, referred to as the “Amazon of Africa,” achieve increased local usage and profitability in Ghana?
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Launched in Nigeria in 2012, Jumia was hailed as the “Amazon of Africa,” with a mission to “leverage technology to improve everyday life in Africa.” By 2020 Jumia Group was the e-commerce market leader in over a dozen countries with its platform offering different verticals including Jumia Travel, Jumia Marketplace, Jumia Food, Jumia Logistics, Jumia Express, Jumia Deals and JumiaPay. Under its single brand identity and what Jumia called its “One Company” approach, the firm aimed to increase efficiencies and achieve long-term viability and success. Yet the company had incurred over $1 billion in losses since its launch, due to its aggressive drive to capture market share above all other metrics.
In January 2020 Diana Owusu-Kyereko was appointed as the first CEO for Jumia Ghana, where Jumia had been online since 2013. Owusu-Kyereko’s top goals were to increase local usage and drive profitable growth in Jumia Ghana. She initially focused her attention on the prospects for growth in Jumia Food, an online food ordering service that had succeeded in key markets but suffered missteps in others. By 2020 Jumia Food was among the top five food apps in Ghana. However, expansion would present its own challenges, with close consideration given to the cultural differences around food and dining habits that had to be taken into consideration. An additional challenge would be how to recruit or realign Jumia Food employees in Ghana where they would be working in a company culture that might otherwise seem distant and unfamiliar. This case describes the African cultural and business landscape in which Jumia operates, and asks students to consider the strategic path forward for Jumia Ghana to add users, increase revenue, and reach profitability by 2021.
Case ID: 230402