Advice Before Electronic Gadgets Creation and Importation

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An Afripreneur a while ago asked "My cousin has a contact in China who deals in the creation of tablets and smartphone which use simply cards, come with bluetooth, are android, have wifi, easy to use and are cheaper than 

those of popular brands such as apple, Samsung and blackberry. The only thing we need is capital to ensure the creation and transportation of these gadgets. Any interested party should please send me a mail." Here were the responses given: 

Jimi Akinleye
Creation and transportation is not your only problem. Market is also? Who is going to buy Chumpugun Tablet or Kilodale tablet? Most folks here can't afford Apple's iPad. But guess the tablet they dream of buÝing? Apple's. So, maybe you guys should change your product or identify the market before burning cash.
Just a thought...I don't mean to discourage you.
August 10, 2012 at 10:31am

Morakinyo Mo Beckley
Jimi Akinleye, if not for Huawei & other Chinese phones that flooded Nigerian market, many Nigerians wld have never owned a phone until much later. Truth be told, there's always a lower end of every market and so long as the devices can do the most basic functions expected of a tablet, why not? They can later "step up" to a popular brand (used or refurbished) when they have the funds. Its the same reason some people move to Ikorodu, Alagbado when getting their first apartments and then when they have saved enough, move back to town.
August 10, 2012 at 11:21am

Mamode Ogbewele
Well tnx for the comments,we are trying to get a certain amount of consumers before we move and we will not move until there is a good amount of demand but capital is also an important issue which has to be addressed.
August 10, 2012 at 1:59pm

Ezinne Ikejiani
Technology market is a highly capital-intensive, fast-changing & brand-conscious market. The major issue is not sales, but after-sales service ...... so even if you have sufficient consumers to buy your product, you still require huge finance to cover warranty. i.e i bought an iPhone and after 6 months it became problematic, i took it back to an Apple store and was given a brand-new iPhone. Can you cover the cost of replacing these products when they become problematic? Do you have avenue / local stores where people can take their products to when they encounter difficulties using them? Can you stock spare-parts for the product on offer? Can you afford the cost of insurance incase of product obsolesce?
These and many more questions you need to answer before you even consider your consumer-base?
August 10, 2012 at 2:27pm

Ayotokunbo Ajewole
The Chinese are very smart people. They dont re-invent the wheel. They ride on it and add their own 1,2,3, come up with different products and make money in the process. They buy products from the USA and Europe, reverse Engineer it, add their own features and sell. In the process, direct and indirect jobs are created for their people.

There is something called TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY. This is highly deficient in Africa / the Nigerian sphere, to be specific. Here is a low-down.

Chinese manufacture a lot of electronics, 80% that they themselves dont use. For example: computers. Different grades of the same computer can be mass produced. The ones they will use themselves and sell to their own people will have the highest grade level. The ones they export to Africa is something lower. What differentiates one grade from another are the features and the expected lifespan. Thats why when you buy some Chinese electronics today, it packs up in about 6months. Meanwhile its very cheap, so even when it becomes a gonner, you as the user wont mind replacing it since it costs you almost next to nothing. In 6-months time, there will be an upgraded version available for you to buy again. As an example, if you import computer CPUs from China, they could give you an extra 200 free CPUs in addition to your initial order of 1000 (for example); why? so that you won't bother returning any of them(CPUs) that fails before your so called warranty(for ex: 1year) expires. You as the dealer would think you'll make profit from the 200 extra so you wont even complain. In fact, your thank you will be so loud the heavens will hear

In 1-year time, you will come back again to buy the same things you bought last year. In reality, who is making money. Them. Money in terms of sales, foreign exchange, etc., That is why our economy is going down and theirs is always on the way up.

All that the above boils down to is what I said before: jobs, jobs, jobs for their people and profit for their economy. At one end of the ladder, they have become independent; at the other end, we have become the dependents. And they have become good and releasing new versions / models of the same thing that we cant get enough of it. Presently, if you buy electronics from China, they offer the same price the USA is selling theirs but with free shipping anywhere anywhere in the world. So we all go to buy from China instead.

@Mamode Ogbewele
rather than look for how to transport a technology which you dont understand, why not seek to transfer the technology. If your cousin have good contacts at home, the Chinese would be willing to come to Africa and do things locally. It would even make the product more cheaper. It would still provide them jobs but will benefit him(your cousin) and the economy. In the process, locals will be employed, learn a couple of things, and if your cousin is from a technology background, features local to Africa/Nigeria can easily be added to those things. That is how a technology revolution starts.
August 10, 2012 at 6:13pm

Mamode Ogbewele
Well tnk u very much for the comments, i concede that we wud have to work on the after sales services and we wud begin to work out a solution thank u. first of all my cousin has been using the tablet which the chinese product for nine months witout a clitch, i am nt lying wen i say dt i has fallen
many times and although the screen has a few cracks which our fault its still wrks well. The diff btw our products and chinkos is dat our tabs have bin verified world wide and cn enter the us market easily and as we all no the chinese are the makers of apple,samsung etc so the only reason y those products are better than ours is bcos they are mighty corporations they have alot of money to spear. So i can say that our products are not as good as the popular brands bt match dem bcos of the use of sims,the fact its android and it has bluettooth, but is by far better than the chinkos ure talking about. In relation to bringing the chinese here that is a wonderful idea bt this is nigeria, a dream killing nation and one full of corruption there are alot of things which i wud face if i tried to bring them here, plus nigerians are the worst maintainers of tech if i bring it here and we learn pips wud start creating sub sub standard, cv is a good example another is the fact dt wen ur gen man fixes the gen there is still sth wrong with it next week and we all know dat wat am doing is far easier, maybe afta some deals we cn talk about that bt for any interested party pls let me no, tnk u.
August 11, 2012 at 11:00am

Mamode Ogbewele
Sorry wat i meant is that the companys tabs meets the us standard or grade for techs which normal chinkos dont and they exhibit theri product evry year in an electronics fare in the usa.
August 11, 2012 at 11:08am

Samson Aligba
don't forget ZTE is a chinese company and Visafone sold their phones in nigeria, Iphones are made in china, not all Chinese products are bad. as clearly stated by Ezinne Ikejiani after sales support is key for any tech based start-up. with the increase in tablet use Nigeria would soon need dedicated and reliable support/repair centers (even for apple products)
August 11, 2012 at 11:37pm

Stanley Chikwendu
All Iphones and Ipads ever used in this world were made in CHINA. Making a low end tablet is easy, selling it is hard. What are you pegging as the average Tablet price? Have in mind that others (Android and Co.) go for 80K and above except for BB playbook which is crap and cost 40K
August 12, 2012 at 12:49am

Phillips Daramola
How do u differentiate yourself from the Inye tablet? On last count, Inye sold only 100 tablets.
August 12, 2012 at 3:23am

Mamode Ogbewele
Tnk u, the key word is branding. Branding wud help to differentiate btw inye and us. Nw this is why i would not move forward with this project until we have covered all the bases and have gotten consumers,"a wiseman once Said a good product wud sell itself" which is true cos there is nobody who
can say he has never tried sth dat a friend suggested and liked it. I am nt saying it is magic or i wud sit back and relax and not do anything i too wud do my part in adds and all. And yes due to the cost of production in bulk these products wud go for a lesser but reasonable price which be lower than dat of ipad and co.
August 12, 2012 at 5:16pm

Samson Aligba
branding alone would not set you apart, find out what happened to the Adam tablet - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_tablet branding and Pr went well from the start
August 12, 2012 at 5:55pm

Jimi Akinleye
@Mamode, go with your heart and take your brain with you All the comments here, including mine points to why you shouldn't go ahead with your project. You don't need to have a spare part shop before starting. Apple didn't have one either when they first started. Forget the Chinese or korean talk. Think straight and get the ball rolling. We talk too much in this country. No of us have tried what you're about doing and yet we dare try to stop you with analytics that might not be applicable in your case. Analyst predicted that Facebook will crash after its third year, did it fail.
Go ahead and do your thing. If Ýou fail, its your fault and of you succede, its your work. But, please do something.
Time is too short to allow other people's opinions to drown you of your enthusiasm. Go out there and prove us all wrong.
August 12, 2012 at 9:07pm

Ezinne Ikejiani
@ Jimi, please read the comments again..... i don't think we have discouraged him from pursuing his biz idea, rather, we have advised that he weighs the pros & cons before taking the leap, so as not to land in a deep pit filled with broken glasses ...... In addition, He will require huge capital to commence this biz, and whoever is going to loan him the money, will thoroughly scrutinise his business plan ....... so when other people' money is put in a business, this "Following your heart" thing is thrown out through the window ....... rather, an effective business/project appraisal become paramount!!!!!
August 12, 2012 at 9:19pm

Samson Aligba
Jimi Akinleye yes he should follow his heart, we are just raising points he should consider. Mamode Ogbewele if you have a little of your own funds. I would suggest you start small, get a few units into the country. when you have a product to show, doors would open to you because they have seen you are willing to stack your own funds. I have ventured in this area before, I know it works, our own tablet product launch is due before October. cheers
August 12, 2012 at 10:04pm

Segun Ogunlana
@Jimi;i agree with you own side of this appraisal but i think what most are just saying is that proper due-diligence should be done. The best people to help you with this are those outside your close association (like friends and family) because no one will want to be tagged a business destroyer or
dream killer.

@all
This is my own humble view,
1) importing the tablets is issue one bacause i will ask if you have ever imported anything in Large quantity. You see, i sold laptops as a student and i always see the pain my first hand importers face in bringing in the laptops. That is about 6 years ago but i hope things are now better.

2) Tablets follow the standards part of my perspective of technology. Its either standard or customized. The tablet you are talking about is a standard and their are people out there that can kill you out of the market with all they have. Thanks to the guy who brought up the Inye example. If you are to follow the customized angle, then its about having an app, which is cool, and will be less in investment, less in risk, and provides great returns if its what we want. think either standards or customized.

3) Product superiority is another issue we need to point out. i like the Apple example of collecting damaged apple products and replacing them with new ones. What happens or what i believe happens is that they take note of what part of their product gets damaged easily and work to improve on it in the next version.
for example, if you have a phone and people return quite a number of them, then on further technical analysis, you see that 80% have speaker faults, then we all know we need to concentrate our strengths in ensure we have greater speakers on the phone. so those who return those phones are saving them cost in branding, marketing & most importantly market research & analystics.

Anyway, all i as well as everyone have mentioned is just a guide and not a law or rule. The power is
yours. All the best. Cheers!!!
August 12, 2012 at 10:26pm

Segun Ogunlana
@all; correction on the Laptop importation & sales issue. It was just 5 years ago. thanks
August 12, 2012 at 10:32pm

Mamode Ogbewele
well tnx to all i will take my time and consider everything........
August 14, 2012 at 2:09pm

Read 458 times Last modified on Monday, 04 May 2015 02:23
Segun Ogunlana

A social innovator, a fixer, who likes to make a difference and get things done better. His focus covers Project Management, Systemic Innovation, Product Development, Design Thinking, Business Strategy, Set-up & Development. Some call him a super manager, natural marketer and sales man. He is a Chelsea fan too.

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