Emmanuel Tolulope Gbalade Gbolade is a software programmer and digital marketing consultant with a focus on social media and email marketing. He is the founder of Termii, a software development start-up that focuses on multi-app integration and data mining.
Emmanuel was inspired to establish Termii in 2014 out of his love for using developer tools to create platforms that help people find information, connect with others and allow them play video games.
“I grew up learning about computers and internet software from the age of 12 and since then, I have got addicted to using online tools that help people find information, connect with others and, of course, allow me play video games. While in my third year in school, I took interest in learning how to build and design tools that could help people connect, collaborate and reach out to numerous people from one system” he tells Start-Up Digest.
“In 2014, I finally built a collaborative and marketing web application that allowed businesses find and retain customers. This moved me into starting a company and formed the basis of starting Termii,” he says.
The Urban and Regional Planning graduate of the University of Lagos tells Start-Up Digest that he started his business with N250,000 in 2014 and has been able to raise a seed capital of N2million from an angel investment fund.
Emmanuel says that his business has grown tremendously since starting and all its processes have been fully automated, as it has seen its users’ transactions increase.
“This growth has been mostly because we received support from our early investors and recently from co-creation hub and the next-economy accelerator,” the young developer says.
Emmanuel says that the business currently has five full- time staff members working with him on the company’s online platform.
He states that access to reliable data has remained the biggest challenge confronting his business, forcing the business model to become data driven. To address this major challenge, he notes that Termii has started gathering a lot of data and conducting customer research intelligence, there by preparing the business for the future of technology in Africa.
He points out that poor power supply is another challenge confronting his business as it increases his production cost.
The young entrepreneur urges the government to have more collaboration with the private sector to create platforms on accurate and reliable data source for the public.
“In the long run, open access to data would help businesses build effective products that address real social problems, create jobs and improve the economy of the country,” Emmanuel says.
The young entrepreneur discloses that his business is leveraging on real time customer analytics to help its clients within the e-commerce space drive growth and revenue.
Emmanuel states that the country has put in a lot of efforts in growing its tech industry, but adds that much more is still needed to be done as Nigeria is yet to realise its full tech potential.
“One major thing that the Nigerian government has done right is fostering local technology communities in different states through acceleration programmes, foreign partnerships, events, and grants of which Termii has benefited from some of these directly and indirectly,” he says.
He further says that the country has the ability to be the power house of technology in Africa, stating that Nigeria is going towards the data-age very quickly and that a lot of businesses will soon start leveraging on the new wave.
Speaking about the company’s expansion plan, Emmanuel says that his company plans to roll out full digital marketing infrastructure for the continent as well as reduce the cost of digital marketing through multi-platform integration and customer intelligence.
“Currently, we have built the foundation of this infrastructure and in the coming months, we will be releasing features that address several digital marketing needs of African businesses. But most importantly we are also looking at creating a community that helps businesses share data and ideas which can improve their digital marketing efforts and target customers effectively,” he states.
On his advice to other entrepreneurs, he says, “leverage on data as much as you can to drive business growth and spend time building a strong feedback system with customers. This helps improve product development and customer service experience.”