Former SafeBoda Country Head, Babajide Duroshola, has taken up a new role as General Manager in the Kenyan company, M-Kopa.
Babajide Duroshola, who once worked as the country head for SafeBoda, left his position with the Uganda ride-hailing company two years ago.
Duroshola’s appointment with SafeBoda happened when the company decided to expand into Nigeria. Duroshola, against the plan to start services in Lagos, decided with his team to launch SafeBoda in neighbouring Ibadan, totally ignoring the most populated Nigerian state.
Duroshola went ahead to lead SafeBoda till it had 5,000 riders, and completed 1.5 million rides within a year of its launch in Ibadan.
“My vision as a person and what really typically drives me on a normal day is to help African startups scale and being that person that would help build, set up, get to the point where they’re able to think about their business strategy and how they can plug into the Nigerian space,” Duroshola said.
SafeBoda’s launch in Ibadan came as a big risk, however, it seems to have paid off as SafeBoda was able to escape the challenges faced by ride-hailing companies in Lagos, when the Lagos State government cracked down on commercial motorcycles on major roads in the State.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Duroshola explained his drive towards ride-hailing services:
“Part of the things that excites me asides from ride-hailing is the credit space. I like asking questions on how to extend credits to people and help them build their digital footprints. That was why M-KOPA seemed attractive,” Duroshola said.
Prior to working with SafeBoda, Duroshola worked with Andela. Andela is an American company that help global companies overcome the severe shortage of skilled software developers, and trains software developers. Andela has offices and campuses in African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.
Duroshola’s appointment as the General Manager of M-Kopa coincides with the Kenyan companies’ expansion into Nigeria.
Speaking on the the appointment at M-KOPA, Duroshola said:
“What I’m looking to build with M-KOPA is a full credit machine. I want it to become a household name within the Nigerian market space where when people are thinking about pay-as-you-go financing for everyday use cases, M-KOPA is what comes to their mind.”
M-Kopa was Launched in Kenya 10 years ago. The company is famous for financing model that allow customers to own a product without making full payment.
Commenting on M-Kopa’s choice of appointing Babajide Duroshola, Mayur Patel, M-KOPA’s CCO said:
“We’ve been deliberate about finding the right person with a strong track record and in-depth knowledge of the Nigerian tech community to lead our team as we scale up our country operations. And the milestone coincided with Babajide’s appointment as we look to grow and expand into new regions.”