Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Chris Folayan.Here’s that interview.
About the interviewee
The son of an American mother and a Nigerian father, Chris Folayan- founder and CEO of MallforAfrica recalls starting his first business in his native Nigeria at the age of seven-and-a-half.
“I reclaimed old tires that were abandoned along the road and re-sold them to vulcanizers who fixed them” says Folayan. “At one point I had about 25 people working for me.”
Folayan’s family sent Chris to the United States to pursue his college education, so he moved to California and attended San Jose State University when he turned 18. Though he acquired his degree in business administration and marketing, Folayan taught himself computer programming and focused on opportunities that combined the emerging digital world with cutting-edge marketing strategies.
Chris now has over 15 years of experience in marketing, technology development, and acquisition roles in various High-Tech companies, and startups. Prior to MallforAfrica Chris was the Founder and CEO of OCFX Inc. a globally recognized, award winning Software and Web Design Agency serving clients such as SONY, LSI, Cisco, HP, EPSON, TYCO, US Government, Visa, BestBuy, CapitalOne Finance, and many other companies. Chris managed global relations with clients in over 50 countries and multi-million dollar projects.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
MallforAfrica is an online platform that enables people in Africa purchase items directly from US and UK eCommerce sites that do not service/deliver to Africa. Our patent pending approach to a seamless shopping experience allows people in Africa for the first time the ability to experience the true meaning of ecommerce without boarders and boundaries. At MallforAfrica we guarantee our partners zero fraud, zero liability, and a simple way to enter into Africa with zero risk. Our goal is to reach every African country and provide everyone with a means of buying from US and UK sites without worrying about if they ship to their local country or not.
Number of full-time employees: 42
·Number of part-time employees: 6
What type and size of companies do you have as clients?
MallforAfrica currently works with 70 U.S. and U.K. retail partners
What comes to mind when you see this topic?
Globalization and Political Climate Changes.
Globalization: As companies see new territories to explore and export their goods and services to exporting the right item gets more complex. Cultures, local habits, even things as simple as word usage and terminologies play a huge role when you consider globalization. Take all of that coupled with the fact that you need local talent, who has a better understand of who your competitors are and how you can best penetrate a new market.
Political Climate Change: We live in an age where foreign markets have a ripple effect all over the word. From political news to business news. Political trends are being monitored globally which leads to decisions being made locally. In turn foreign exchange becomes very volatile which hurts business due to foreign exchange being so volatile.
What are the best practices when it comes to this issue?
1. Find local help when expanding to new countries
2. You will always have a competitor find out who they are and reformulate your value proposition and statement if required for that region.
3. Never assume your ads and marketing collateral will do well abroad.
4. Information is key pay close attention to political climate changes in the news and the effect on foreign exchange and business trade.