A Strategy for Growing a Fintech Start-Up in Nigeria (1)

For a company kicking off in the desperately competitive industry of FinTech, the approach must be and in fact remain growth; stunting or stagnancy would mean death in an industry where the rules are strictly based on “grow or die”. This explains why a start-up in the FinTech must have growth as important to it as the entity of the company itself; the need for the company to grow is in its products that have the ability to cause an eruption in the FinTech market, and this eruption should bring a lot of contests to the company, and the only means to staying afloat of these contests would be in its constant growth. Also, as much as growth is important to a FinTech, it is also important that the growth is organic too, as this is what would cause it (the growth) to be consistent, original and in fact productive. In the recent years, any kind of growth that is not organic is most probably going to be equal to not growing at all, as such growth can barely produce any result that would cause more growth; this perception remains the same even when the context is about a start-up in FinTech.

For us to be able to have a practical strategy for growing any FinTech in Nigeria, there are five questions that carry answers we must use to guide our strategy to growing the company organically; the discussion of the answers provided to these questions here would be the framework shaping the strategy to recommend for growing a FinTech and growing it organically. These questions are: (1). What are we selling? (2). Who are we selling to? (3). How do we get new patronages? (4). How do we get returning patronages? (5). How do we bring the competition in this industry to our direction? We must bear it in mind that the answers provided to these questions do not necessarily have to be similar in different circumstances, with different people, and at different times.

Since the burst in the use of the internet, the world has experienced developments in virtually every aspect of human life, and these developments have caused industries relating to certain aspects of human life to experience some revolutions that have changed totally how things are done; every unit of these industries also take turn to experience their own revolution too, and the strong ones of them evolved suite. There was when the Web-2 stirred up every industry and made them have to evolve with the new phase of technology as humans evolved with the new phase of technology too (as reflected by their needs and demands), at this time, the telecommunication industry, for instance, experienced the evolvement of the services they offered to match the moving from end-to-end calls and stationary calls to wide-range calls and mobile calls.

To cap this evolution in the telecommunication industry is the widespread of GSM and the advancement of mobile phones to smart phones; these caused the customers of the telecommunication industry to change and increase in number and their needs and demands to change and/or get wider, causing the industry to have to create more units under it, as different units had to answer to different aspects of needs. This same revolution in Web-2 affected every other industry including commerce; the commerce industry went from manual to digital, and from physical commerce to e-commerce, this caused a lot of evolvement in e-commerce later on that a lot of start-up sprang up to meet the commercial needs of the people electronically; year 2010 to year 2020 was the best decade for e-commerce, as the decade marks the entrance of most of the online markets still booming now. As the customers get wider per day, so as their commercial needs they want to meet electronically.

Relating the Web-2 revolution to FinTech, the advancement of banking and payment services from hand-to-hand to account-to-account caused the industry to develop more units too as the range of their customers and their needs got wider. Over the last five years, the world, and Nigeria specifically have experienced the introduction of a couple of payment platforms that changed how people transact, this means the advent of any FinTech now is not to a unit that doesn’t exit. This makes the question of what we are selling have answers that can already be seen as there are already existing sellers of it. On the phase of it, it is normal for any FinTech to believe they are selling what others are selling too—products that enhance transactions and make them more electronic than physical. But to a FinTech that really wants to grow in Nigeria, they must sell products that not only enhance transactions and make it more electronic but also unify all bank and financial accounts of their customers by making it possible for them to have these accounts in one space. In a generation where fear of fraud and distrust can sabotage online deals, they must sell products that allow their customers have their businesses trusted via some vouching system; people don’t want to be the “lab rat”, they want to hear that somebody has patronized a business before and it didn’t blew to their face, they want to have another entity verifying the genuineness of that business, they want that business vouched for. Using some kind of documents verification processes, a FinTech that aims growth in Nigeria must sell these services well.