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Gokada Promotes Nikhil Goel As New CEO

Goel is to focus on expanding Gokada across Nigeria and beyond

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Nikhil Goel, Gokada new CEO

Gokada, the Nigeria-based last-mile delivery, logistics and transportation start-up has formally unveiled Nikhil Goel as its new CEO.

Gokada continues to evolve from a riding-hailing company to becoming the leading food delivery, parcel delivery, and last-mile eCommerce fulfilment solution in Nigeria.

Nikhil Goel first joined Gokada in 2019, bringing with him extensive experience in the global last-mile logistics space, first in India as General Manager of unicorn food delivery start-up, Zomato, and then as Head of New Verticals at SafeBoda in Kenya.

Goel’s transition to CEO is a natural progression as he has been responsible for leading the company since Gokada tragically lost its founder, Fahim Saleh, in July 2020.

In the past 12-months, Goel has helped Gokada increase its revenue by 10X and grow it’s delivery order volume by 100X, enabling the company to reach profitability.

As Gokada expands into new geographies and verticals, Goel’s strong track record of prior success in the sector is poised to be a big advantage for the company.

Gokada’s business model is a unique one. The company uses a ‘Business-in-a-Box’ approach to empower its drivers to build their own enterprises, which in turn provide key services to the city of Lagos.

This model enables Gokada to contribute to the cycle of business growth and job creation in Nigeria’s largest city. Its impact-oriented approach has been a core facet of the company’s strategy since its founding.

Commenting on Gokada’s current business model, Nikhil Goel said, “Gokada now serves thousands of individuals and businesses across Lagos. Our range of delivery solutions now spans a number of sectors such as food delivery, grocery delivery, parcel delivery, eCommerce fulfilment, and more.

Gokada delivery

“What makes me so proud of Gokada is the company’s Never-Give-Up attitude. Even in the midst of the pandemic which shortly followed the ride-hailing ban, we were able to bring most of our pilots back to jobs while in parallel launching reliable logistics solutions to support businesses in Nigeria, which allowed them to continue to provide their services to their customers.”

While the company began as a ride-hailing service, it has since become a leader in food delivery, parcel delivery, and other “last mile logistics” solutions throughout Lagos.

With a growing fleet of over 1,000 pilots and thousands of SME customers, Gokada plans to expand across other states in Nigeria in 2021.

In the last year, Gokada has had to contend with the Okada ban in Lagos, the untimely death of its founder, COVID-19 restrictions on movement and the ‘EndSars’ protests in October 2020.

The company has tackled each challenge with swift action – leading to accelerated growth.

“It is a real honour to continue Fahim’s legacy as CEO of Gokada.” continued Goel, “Fahim’s passion for entrepreneurship in Nigeria was infectious and inspiring. I was fortunate to have worked very closely with him.

“Together with Fahim’s family and Gokada’s investors, our incredible team here in Nigeria will continue to build the vision Fahim created to make a great impact on businesses and lives in Nigeria and beyond.”

Fahim’s elder sister, Ruby Saleh, who is now a Gokada board member, said: “Nikhil is a natural successor to Fahim as they worked so closely together to set the direction of the company’s current trajectory.

“Nikhil really understands Fahim’s mission in founding Gokada and I am fully confident in his ability to lead the company to great success.

“Fahim had a passion for technology being used to scale access and create a lasting impact and his brilliance lives on in Gokada.

“Nikhil has done an incredible job leading the company since Fahim’s passing and we believe he’ll continue to take Gokada forward, just the way Fahim envisioned.”

 

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Business

Vehicular Traffic: FAAN Advises Passengers To Get To Airports Early

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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) wishes to advise passengers and airport users, particularly those at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja to get to the airport early so as to complete their check-in procedures in good time and avoid the unpleasant experiences associated with missing their flights.

FAAN said Friday morning in a statement signed by Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, General Manager, Corporate Affairs that this advice has become necessary, as passengers are likely to go through a little delay at the entrance to the terminals, due to built-up vehicular traffic occasioned by an increase in passenger traffic being witnessed presently.

“The Authority will like to assure passengers and other airport users that all hands are on deck to ensure swift facilitation and reduce the congestion to the barest minimum,” Yakubu said in the statement.

 

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Africa Data Centres Confirms Building 10MW Data Centre In Lagos

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Even as South Africa is home to the largest concentration of data centres on the African continent, Nigeria has been described as a key African market, with the appeal of West Africa growing, and new developments planned for both Senegal and Nigeria.

Stephane Duproz, CEO of Africa Data Centres said of the West African region, “This region is hungry for digitisation and to pave the way for our hyperscale customers to deploy digitisation solutions to West Africa, Africa Data Centres’ construction of a 10-megawatt data centre in Lagos is well underway.”

The Lagos build marks a significant step forward in Africa Data Centres’ ambitious long-term strategy to digitise Africa.  The Nigerian data centre will form Africa Data Centres’ West African hub.

As interconnection remains a priority, the company will be adding it to its network of data centres, which at present includes Johannesburg, Nairobi, Cape Town, Harare, and Kigali.

“Our expansion into Nigeria marks one aspect of the company’s growth on the continent,” says Duproz. “In response to demand generated by hyper scalers, key cloud operators and multinational enterprises already making use of our data centres, we have purchased the Samrand facility in South Africa and our key build in Midrand is underway.

“These same clients, who have trusted us with their expansions into Kenya and other African territories, have expressed their interest in bringing digitisation at scale to West Africa. Our leadership and best practice in data centre operations have made us the obvious choice in their expansion strategies.”

The creation of a digital hub is the beginning of digital transformation capabilities for the region. Naturally, says Duproz, multinational enterprises will wish to be housed under the same roof as our hyperscaler customers due to the lower latency enjoyed.

As such, the combination of cloud providers and enterprises make these data centres marketplaces of the ecosystem – and, most importantly, he says, the base for the country’s digital and economic development.

Additionally, keeping African data on African soil is another key consideration driving the demand for local data centre facilities. “We are proud to be ensuring that African data stays in Africa,” he says.

Africa Data Centres has indicated that the Lagos build will spur the economy – creating job opportunities in various sectors.

“The stimulus effect to the economy of digitisation is well documented and Nigeria is ready for this technology boon,” says Duproz.

“Furthermore, our construction policy is to uplift the community as far as possible, employing local contractors and creating work opportunities within the communities we enter – so the job creation opportunities are realised at both grass-roots and high-tech levels.”

Having secured premium land in Lagos, Africa Data Centres has designed its latest data centre facility in line with environmental best practice, using grey, or non-potable water for cooling and utilising solar energy to offset its reliance on the grid.

“Digitising the continent at the cost of the environment is not a sacrifice Africa Data Centres is prepared to entertain. Our strategy encompasses empowering and uplifting the people, the environment and the economy,” he says.

In Senegal, the Morocco-based data centre company N+One, has said it is planning to build three data centres in the Senegalese capital Dakar.

Details of size and power density are not yet available, but it is understood that N+One has partnered with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Telecommunications, along with the General Delegation for Rapid Entrepreneurship of Women and Youth (DER/FJ) and the Digital Technologies Park of Senegal (PTN), as part of the country’s Digital Senegal plan.

The Senegal Digital Technology Park in Dakar was first announced in 2015.

Part-funded by the African Development Bank, the 25-hectare site aims to promote the country as a base for international technology companies.

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Network International Names Hany Fekry Regional President, Northern & Sub-Saharan Africa

Appointment of Regional Head will help drive greater digital payments adoption across Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa

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Hany Fekry, New Regional President, Northern & Sub-Saharan Africa, Network International

Network International, the leading enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East and Africa (MEA), has announced the appointment of Egyptian national Hany Fekry as Regional President – Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa.

In his new role, Fekry will be responsible for all aspects of Network’s acquiring and issuing business in Egypt and Nigeria, and for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy to drive Network’s business growth and increase digital payments adoption in Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Fekry joined Network in 2016 as Managing Director for Egypt and Deputy Managing Director for Africa, leading the company’s business development activities across the Northern and Sub-Saharan region.

Previously, he served as the Chief Commercial Officer of Emerging Markets Payments (EMP) Africa, which was acquired by Network International in 2016.

Fekry’s more than 20-year career has included developing business in markets including Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Nandan Mer, Group CEO of Network International, commented: “Building an effective payments infrastructure requires a thorough understanding of the needs of a local merchant and issuer clients to address their pain points and build locally relevant payments solutions.

“Since joining the team in 2016, Fekry’s deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges in digital payments adoption across Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa has been instrumental in helping Network deliver customised and relevant solutions.

“I am confident he is the right person to strengthen our offering to clients, in addition to driving greater inclusion and building a stronger payments infrastructure in these fast-growing markets.”

Hany Fekry, Regional President – Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, added: “This is an incredibly exciting time for Network, with tremendous opportunities to accelerate the positive trends in digital payments across the region and increase financial inclusions.

“I look forward to helping build a best-in-class payment ecosystem that will support local merchants and financial institutions, and positively impact the economies across the Northern and Sub-Saharan African markets.”

 

 

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