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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

MAX - Adetayo Bamiduro #inthespiritofenterprise

When someone leaves a juicy oil and gas job to go and "prepare" for entrepreneurship in MIT, you know this person ain't playing! Things are changing so fast in the entrepreneurship space in Nigeria. Young people are beginning to take risks and daring to follow their hearts. A few years ago, we had more people going to do MBAs in Ivy league schools just so they could get better jobs with fat salaries.

I met Tayo on one of my volunteer speaking engagements with the generation for societal change, run by some amazing young guys. He took time off work and flew in to Lagos just to be there. We were talking about fulfilling your potential to the final year students of mechanical engineering, Unilag. If you want to know someone who is headed somewhere, look at what they spend their time doing, what they commit to. I knew Tayo was going somewhere right from that time.

He shares his startup story with us in todays #inthespiritofenterprise


Tell us about yourself

My name is Adetayo Bamiduro. I acquired a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science in 2005 at the University of Ibadan. I began my entrepreneurial journey in my final year by building one of Nigeria's first mobile asset tracking and security platforms. 2 years later, I took a detour to explore the corporate world, so I worked for 3 multinationals in quick succession garnering experience in Manufacturing, Consulting and Energy. I then decided to return to my entrepreneurial calling so I chose to first prepare by pursuing a rigorous MBA program at MIT.

At MIT, I acquired skills and relationships that were relevant to my entrepreneurial vision for Africa.
Today, I see a window of opportunity to transform retail in Africa so I'm building a technology driven logistics service that will empower merchants, businesses and consumers to maximize online retail opportunities in Africa.

It is clear logistics is one of Africa's biggest challenges, and it happens to be one of the fields that has seen the least innovation. I'm determined to change this.

Tell us about your business

Business Name: MAX
Founded: 2015
About MAX:
MAX is a local Delivery Service designed for African cities.
MAX offer 3-HOUR, SAME-DAY and NEXT-DAY delivery services to its customers.
MAX leverages On-Demand Dispatch Technology and a high-performance network of Dispatch Riders to fulfill delivery requests at the click of a button.

MBA tins!! hahaha
MAX solves Africa’s most difficult last-mile fulfillment challenges by providing end-to-end pick-up and delivery, operating a point-to-point architecture, motivating Dispatch Riders with exciting career incentives and using state of the art mapping technology to manage navigation

What was your inspiration for starting this business?

There are over 9 million retailers in Nigeria, 99% of which are micro and small retailers. Many of them want to sell online, but they cannot deliver to consumers at the last-mile because they can’t afford a delivery fleet, and also because the major courier services are not interested in serving them.
The informal delivery industry in Nigeria is highly fragmented with hundreds of small players, most of which lack the technology and operations expertise that merchants and consumers need.
The large couriers operate asset heavy models that are expensive to scale. This explains why they cannot serve the huge community of micro and small retailers. This is the problem MAX solves, with its crowdsourced approach and a technology platform that enables it provide ultra-fast and secure local delivery.

How did you get funding for your business?

Family and Friends, Savings, Grants

What opportunities have you been able to leverage on in your business so far?

We've received awards, recognition and grants from the following organizations:

1. MIT Ideas Global Challenge
2. World Economic Forum
3. The MasterCard Foundation
4. The MIT Legatum Center
5. The MIT 100K Entrepreneurship Competition
6. Boston Campus Kudos Pitch Competition

What Challenges have you faced so far and how have you been able to overcome them?

Setting up and growing our customer base has been challenging but we are moving forward.
We've leveraged our extensive relationships in the local eCommerce ecosystem and this has been helpful.

It's also not been easy finding the right kind of talent for complex tasks.
We've done as much as we can by ourselves. We've also hired talented young people locally who are learning fast.

How will you summarize the journey so far?

It's been exciting.
Wouldn't exchange this experience for anything else.
You learn so much in a very short amount of time.
These are early days.
The future is exciting.

Given the Chance, will you do this again?


What lessons have you been able to learn from your journey so far that others should know.

Conviction is critical.
Your team is critical.
Starting is more important than having a fancy business plan.
Talking to real customers is more important than downloading online reports.
Fund-raising is serious business.

How can people connect with you