Entrepreneur Spotlight: Reuben Odunze | Co-Founder and CEO of Buywela.com

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Reuben Odunze | Co-Founder and CEO of Buywela.com

Go big or go home. The continent of Africa particularly the country of Nigeria is becoming a hot bed for a lot of things. Technology is becoming one of its fastest growing sector outside of its oil based economy as globalization becomes the norm for many of us. Since most online users are on their mobile phone, navigating through various websites can become cumbersome when performing tasks like online shopping. Nigeria is a sleeping giant whose economic prospect appears to be awakening. Its GDP rose overnight and has shown a steady increase of growth whilst the politics and corruption, many entrepreneurs are taking a chance hoping to strike gold in a country where opportunities are vast and its people are ready for something different.

Companies like Buywela.com aims to aggregate and index data to present different online shopping websites into a single platform that allows shoppers the ease of checking out deals and making purchases quick and easy. While this vision is not new, it is new in Africa. Reuben Odunze, CEO and Co- Founder of Buywela understands this concept, he takes this notion further by innovating on the not so new phenomenon and making it better. Find out more about Reuben in our 15 rapid fire question as he and his colleagues works on striking for gold, creating their legacy and changing how Nigerians buy things online.

Briefly explain what you do and how you do what you do best?

My name is Reuben Odunze, I am the co-founder and the CEO of Buywela.com. Buywela simplifies online shopping, saves time and makes buying anything online as easy as possible by bringing together major e-commerce websites in Nigeria under one platform.

Tell us about the time that you decided to take the leap to follow your dream, passion or your interest?

I have always had this passion for computers and technology right from my childhood. The year 2013 saw an unprecedented increase in the number of online retail stores, springing up like wildfire in Nigeria thus making it stressful to shop from numerous online stores. The passion to solve this challenge gave birth to Buywela.com, making online shopping easier, less frustrating and faster.

Who gave you the inspiration to pursue your dreams? What action did you take after?

The inspiration to pursue my dreams came from God Almighty and passion to make an impact in life. In order to pursue my dreams, I had to keep myself up to date with the latest technology and how it relates to me as a developer.

How has this journey affected the lives of the people around you?

So far by God’s grace people around me have benefited and have been affected positively.

Tell us about what you’re doing now and what you envision to do in five years.

Am currently working on the first phase of Buywela.com with my colleagues Lemuel Okoli and Wisdom Uwaize, which is having a stable platform to collect products and deals from various online retail stores in Nigeria. In five years, my team and I will be adding more features and expanding Buywela.com internationally.

If there is one thing that you can change in your past, what would that be and why?

Socializing and meeting new people. Meeting and exchanging ideas with like-minded people can be a source of motivation.

When dealing with negativity or setbacks, what types of strategies did you use to overcome them?

I tackle negativity and setbacks by drawing up different plans and approaches when a particular plan fails, I will quickly switch to the next and I also seek for God’s directions.

What kind of technology are you using to increase your productivity and how has that impacted your life?

Am always connected to the internet everyday and everywhere I go. With the internet at my disposal, I can do my work effectively and keep myself up to date and that have really given me an edge.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? What changed?

I wanted to be an Engineer when I was growing up. Nothing really changed because building Buywela.com is a big engineering challenge which my team and I has so far been successful at doing.

Where are you currently based out of? What are your plans to spread or expand your reach?

Am in Kaduna but am also looking at exploring and establishing offices in other parts of the world.

Where do you think you see the industry headed to? 

I see the e-commerce industry becoming better and more technology oriented.

What is your morning ritual?

When I wake up in the morning, I say my morning prayers and hook up to Techcrunch.com, Techcabal.com and Flipboard for the latest in Tech.

How do you stay focused throughout your busy day?

I stay connected to the internet.

If there is one person that you have the choice of spending your day with, who would that person be? Why?

The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg because his works inspires me.

Share your parting thoughts to our readers.

There is no reason why you should stop believing in yourself. Whatever you find yourself doing, try doing it well. No idea is new what matters most is who started it and how to make it better.

Categories: E-commerce, Interviews

About Author