January 14, 2014

German Firms Seed Web Shopping in the Developing World - WSJ

Investing in Africa
It's not just the Chinese and the Japanese that are targeting the African continent for corporate expansion and promising investment returns, the Germans are getting in on the act, too...
From today's Wall Street Journal:
LAGOS, Nigeria—The message from his boss on the phone from Germany was straightforward, recalls Hendrik Harren, a former website manager in Africa: "I want you to build the Amazon of Nigeria for me."
The caller was Oliver Samwer, an Internet tycoon in Berlin who had already cloned American e-commerce businesses for Europe's market. By 2012, his focus was shifting to the developing world.
Mr. Harren found his new assignment daunting. "I had never founded an Amazon," he says.
Two years after the call, Nigerian men on motorbikes ply the streets of the chaotic megacity of Lagos delivering toothpaste, English soccer jerseys and women's wigs in a small and unprofitable, but growing, online shopping business.
To read the entire article, click through here.
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