The Com World Series team caught up with Olatunde ahead of the NigeriaCom conference and exhibition, taking place at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria, 17-18 September to find out a bit more about his experiences and focus at the event
Com World Series: How is your company positioned in Nigeria and what are its future objectives?
Olatunde Farinde: BrowseDotCom is a leading professional media/IT firm headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria with extension in US and UK respectively. We help business increase exposure, brand awareness and sell products to millions of Internet users while shielding you from all the complexities that come with the web.
Simply put, we help our customers take advantage of technology and the Internet to drive sales, increase brand awareness or reduce operational costs. Our customers range from start-ups, small businesses, large companies and even Governmental agencies. We are known for developing a custom web and mobile solution that assist in meeting our customers’ business objectives at an accelerated pace.
At BrowseDotCom, we make a point of offering services in close correlation with organisational goals. We do this by maintaining a top down approach to web and mobile solutions. First we look at our customers’ high level business objectives and then translate them into hard-working web media and/or mobile solutions with the best ROI achievable.
Com World Series: What do you think are the top 3 major trends that are affecting your business in the region in 2013?
Olatunde Farinde: Faster internet, literacy and e-payment systems.
Nigeria is still a developing country in terms of technology. But looking back at when we started, we have really grown. Gone are the days when the only means of accessing the internet was a public cyber cafe. Today, most people can access the internet from their phones and can take the internet anywhere. However, the larger population needs to be educated. Most people who access the internet only use it for checking emails and facebook and sometimes, watch movies. There is a need for more internet literacy and faster penetration in Nigeria to drive and sustain business. It is for this reason we created the BrowseDotCom Conference last year with partnership with Google Nigeria for the purpose of driving the internet and mobile ecosystem in Nigeria.
Most people are still reluctant to use their ATM card to make payments online because they lack the proper education on how to protect their data and how to play safely online. Our sister company, store.com.ng, an e-commerce site for Nigerians, has this challenge to face. A customer will tell you they prefer to queue at the bank to place an order for a product than to make the payment online.
There are many things that need to be improved. More campaigns need to be done to educate people. But I am certain that Nigeria is almost there!
Com World Series: What are the remaining challenges in terms of connectivity and quality of services in the region and which technologies are most likely to resolve these issues?
Olatunde Farinde: Faster internet and unlimited data plans. I am looking forward to when a time when mobile phone users can subscribe to any network data plan and instead of getting 10mb, 200mb, 2gb etc, they will have access to unlimited data plans for same price and even cheaper.
Com World Series: How are smartphones/tablets and cloud services impacting mobile/internet service providers in Nigeria?
Olatunde Farinde: The introduction of smart phones and tablets has increased internet penetration in Nigeria. Blackberry is the most common smartphone on the market and has the cheapest mobile internet data plans. But like I said earlier, I still hoping for unlimited data plans from the telecoms operator in Nigeria in the near future.
Com World Series: Who are you most looking forward to meeting/hearing from and what do you hope to achieve from taking part in NigeriaCom?
Olatunde Farinde: I regularly attend high calibre events and NigeriaCom is an exciting one for me. Having the opportunity to meet with the Minister of Communications again and networking with other great colleagues, doing great things in the industry is another thing I’m looking forward to.