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Babajide Duroshola-a former executive of SafeBoda joins M-Kopa

Former Safeboda Country Manager, Babajide Duroshola joins M-KOPA as GM, to lead Nigerian expansion

Less than a month after stepping down from his role as country head at SafeBoda, Babajide Duroshola has been appointed to lead M-Kopa expansion into Nigeria.

“Part of the things that excite me asides from ride-hailing is the credit space. I like asking questions on how to extend credits to people and help them build their digital footprints." Babajide Duroshola

Duroshola's appointment at M-Kopa means this is the third time he is getting a job where he is tasked with scaling the business. First, it was Andela, then in 2019, he became part of SafeBoda.

“My vision as a person and what really typically drives me on a normal day is to help African startups scale and being that person that would help build, set up, get to the point where they’re able to think about their business strategy and how they can plug into the Nigerian space," Duroshola said.

"What I’m looking to build with M-KOPA is a full credit machine. I want it to become a household name within the Nigerian market space where when people are thinking about pay-as-you-go financing for everyday use cases, M-KOPA is what comes to their mind," he added.

Launched in Kenya 10 years ago, M-KOPA is famous for initiating the country's broader pay-as-you-go (PAYG) market. The company, throughout its existence, has scaled its offerings to include televisions, fridges, other electronic appliances and financial services for customers in Kenya and Uganda.

M-KOPA pay-as-you-go financing model allows customers to own a product without making full payment. Customers make an initial deposit followed by flexible and affordable micro-payments.

Earlier this year, M-KOPA ran a pilot test in the Nigerian market by providing customers with its solar systems and smartphone financing options. Smartphone financing had a higher uptake as M-KOPA sold over 20,000 devices in Lagos, its first market. The company considered this a success, and the appointment of Duroshola is seen as a prerequisite for scaling the offering rapidly in Nigeria.

“We’ve been deliberate about finding the right person with a strong track record and in-depth knowledge of the Nigerian tech community to lead our team as we scale up our country operations. And the milestone coincided with Babajide’s appointment as we look to grow and expand into new regions,” Mayur Patel, M-KOPA’s CCO.

M-KOPA is now present in both Lagos and Oyo after expanding to the latter last month. Just as in Kenya, M-KOPA partnered with Samsung, but a different mobile network operator in Airtel, to make its smartphone financing accessible to Nigerian customers.

Nigeria in focus

GDP: $432.294 billion in 2020 compared to $448.12 billion in 2019

Population: 206,139,587 in 2020 compared to 200,963,03 in 2019

GDP per capita: $2,097 in 2020 compared to $2,229 in 2019