Victor Agina -An Engineer Building On Information Technology

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Mr. Victor Agina is the founder Afia Online.

Lagos, Nigeria - Mediaage NG News – Though, a graduate of Metallurgical and Material Engineering, Nigerian Ikenna Victor Agina has always been inclined towards information technology. He is the founder of Afia Online, which connotes in the Igbo context as ‘market online’.

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“Afia means market. So, it’s market online. The company was founded in 2018. It’s an e-commerce company where we started by selling smart watches, hair products, health products and a couple of others”, he tells Mediaage Focus On Entrepreneurs.

However, in 2021, he decided to change the business model of his company, an idea he got while coming out from church and having evaluated the kind of progress made.

“I don’t want to be known for just a product. So, I decided to go into shoe business in 2021. I got that idea while coming out of church during crossover. I actually used Facebook ads to sell my products. Along the line, I began noticing that the accounts were being disabled by Facebook, maybe, they don’t like stuffs like that”, he said.

That was one of the reasons he concentrated on just selling shoes which some pessimists refer to as just seasonal products that can only have increase in sales during ember months. However, he wasn’t deterred but, began running ads on Facebook on the 6th of January 2022 and surprisingly he said “I’ve sold these shoes from January to December, no break in transmission, people are always buying shoes, sneakers.

“They can have shoes, ten pairs of shoes but they are moved to get another one that they saw and liked. The business is profitable”, he said.

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Born in Nigeria’s commercial hub, Lagos, Agina is from the Igbo tribe in the country.

He described his kind of business as a chain of supply that includes big importers that bring shoes in cartons into the market and also, the wholesalers that buy from the importers. An importer he said could bring a forty feat container of shoes worth 40 or 50 million naira.

From there, a wholesaler can buy in five cartons of the design, while another might decide to buy the whole container to take control of the stock in the market where other wholesalers will buy from him. Though, his business is growing but, how does he cope or compete with these big wholesalers?

“What I started doing is, if I see a particular design, I look for a particular shoe that is available. I set up a pitch on my website and set up a traffic on that pitch to sell shoes. So, when I find out that people are buying the shoes, I buy the carton and keep so that I can take control of my stock” he said. This looks encouraging for many who wish to start up a business but, lack the required funding.

MediaageNG Victor Agina -An Engineer Building On Information Technology Lagos, Nigeria - Mediaage NG News - Though, a graduate of Metallurgical and Material Engineering, Nigerian Ikenna Victor Agina has always been inclined towards information technology. He is the founder of Afia Online, which connotes in the Igbo context as 'market online'.

“Sometime in August 2022, I had people reaching out to me through my blog – vitoragina.com.ng saying Mr. Victor I want to start a business but, I don’t have all the money in the world. I need something I can do that does not request much capital”, he revealed.

This made him to create a shipping group as a way of empowering others, where he sells at a little profit teach people how to sell on Facebook, Instagram. He said through that platform, they sold and took majority of the profit. This he said was a means of helping them get an alternative source of income.

He said “I have a couple of persons who are working and still doing this stuff and about 554 persons in the community right now.

“For these persons, it’s simple. The only thing they need to do is repost those shoes I post on the group on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts or wherever they find space to. They add their own profit, collect money from their customers, plus the delivery fee and when they do that, they take out their profit and send the money including the delivery fee to me. I will package the shoe and send back to their customers”.

According to Victor, it’s an easy way for people who want to work to start up their own shoe business without owning a shop. The whole idea he said is to enable them to start without investing a lot of money, or having an inventory.

An average shop in Lagos he said goes for as high as three million Naira and it depends on the location.

“In recent times, how many persons would have that kind of money to cough out”? He asked.

“Another thing is, when you do that, you are going to have your money piled up. But, with this model(affiliate marketing), you don’t need to store anything. Your job is just to advertise them and when you get them, you take your money”, he added.

The Big Picture

His aim is to expand his community and have an affiliate platform to keep lots of stocks.

“Where I am right now is, I’m looking at expanding the community and having an affiliate website where I have a lot of stocks. Let’s say for instance, I import twenty cartons of a particular design and sell at N30,000. An affiliate can sign on the website and is given a unique URL that they can use to promote.

MediaageNG Victor Agina -An Engineer Building On Information Technology Lagos, Nigeria - Mediaage NG News - Though, a graduate of Metallurgical and Material Engineering, Nigerian Ikenna Victor Agina has always been inclined towards information technology. He is the founder of Afia Online, which connotes in the Igbo context as 'market online'.

“Now, because I have control of the stock, I can be able to know how many designs and shoes that are available. It’s going to be like where ever you are, and you make a sale, the system will automatically tick out that stock. So, if you have twenty pairs of a size of a particular shoe, once somebody gets a customer that orders, that twenty pairs will reduce to nineteen.

“So, because I have the stock with me, the plan is to have all these affiliates scattered around and get like twenty percent. Twenty percent of thirty thousand is ₦6000. Your job is just to promote the goods and when you get customers who now pick my order, your money will go to your account. Now, maybe, every Monday or Wednesday, you can request for a payout, he said.

“Also, I have an e-commerce website where I’m looking forward to growing the brand, to the point where Afia Online rings in the minds of people, just like the Jumias, Amazons, and people can know that you can get high quality shoes on Afia Online.

Businesses are done digital

He admitted not having a physical store where he keeps products because, “businesses have gone digital”.

MediaageNG Victor Agina -An Engineer Building On Information Technology Lagos, Nigeria - Mediaage NG News - Though, a graduate of Metallurgical and Material Engineering, Nigerian Ikenna Victor Agina has always been inclined towards information technology. He is the founder of Afia Online, which connotes in the Igbo context as 'market online'.

“I can be in my house and do business, I can be in Abuja and do business. The important thing is for you to be able to build trust, especially people in the community because, if they don’t trust you, they won’t give you money.

“Ididn’t just do this, I want people to come and make sales. I also provide training for them for free, a training that is supposed to be valued at ₦50,000 or ₦60,000 but, I record this video and when they come in, they have to go through it because this is what will help them sell outside their circle. You can’t keep on banking on your friends seeing your status on WhatsApp. The day they don’t buy, does it mean you will not sell?

“Imagine that I have about five hundred and something persons in that group, if one person posts something and he gets about one thousand views, people who are interested in buying shoes because, they must have reached out to them. Imagine that you have these persons, going to the trainings and taking it seriously, it’s a win win for everybody.

“Like two weeks back, one of the ladies told me “thank you for these things you are doing for us, not everybody do them”.

MediaageNG Victor Agina -An Engineer Building On Information Technology Lagos, Nigeria - Mediaage NG News - Though, a graduate of Metallurgical and Material Engineering, Nigerian Ikenna Victor Agina has always been inclined towards information technology. He is the founder of Afia Online, which connotes in the Igbo context as 'market online'.

“Some of them belong to other job shipping groups. They actually sell to them at prices almost equal at retail value. Those people are just running in, they just want to make all the money, they just want to sell at exorbitant prices which will be high.

He said he wants his affiliate marketers to make bulk of the money and want them successful.

“The joy is seeing people coming back to say thank you for helping me to make extra money within this period.

“The bigger picture is to expand and have a warehouse to start producing my own shoes. You just have to chose your niche and know the customers you want to serve. We don’t sell luxury shoes, most of our shoes are for the average – people that can buy shoes for ₦35,000, ₦30,000, ₦25,000. That’s basically it”, Mr. Victor concluded.

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