In the world of e-commerce, there are many success stories of entrepreneurs who have created fast-growing companies that have disrupted traditional retail industries. One of these success stories is the CEO of an e-commerce B2B brand-maker company.
DeGenius, whose real name is Raphael Paul N, has been an entrepreneur for several years, running his own e-commerce brand focused on the USA market. With that experience, he thought it wise to create software that will help African youth start their own brands instead of venturing into internet fraud. In a recent interview, he tells us about his journey in tech.
Since he started his career in the tech industry, he has been able to launch several projects, like Dropazz, VerifiedBic, Genius Homes, and The BIC City, under his main company, DeGenius Inc.
His most well-known brand, Dropazz, is a brand creation software that enables users to launch any e-commerce product business without the need to have capital for procuring products, webstores, server hosting, etc. Known as the African Shopify alternative, it was launched on April 20th, 2020, and currently has over 20,000 sign-ups. According to Raphael, Dropazz offers its users the essentials they require to test their entrepreneurial skills without buying and storing products for international and Nigerian markets. Users can own e-commerce websites with products to sell to any market of their choice to earn dollars or naira.
Speaking on how to access Dropazz, he said, “Dropazz only takes users once a month, or sometimes a maximum of six times in a year. Our next selection will be on the 15th of June. Only verified users gain access to Dropazz. You can access the world of Dropazz by simply creating an account at https://dropazz.com.” On his early mentors, Dropazz’s CEO admitted that he had no direct mentor. “I don’t study people; I study their sales strategies. I study the methods they use to close deals online or offline, which include word of mouth and body language, marketing videos, graphics, etc. Anyone that catches my attention, I try to do the same and do it better,” he further said.
DeGenius further talked about his hunger for solving problems and how he had closed a hotel business he created in GRA, Benin City, because it wasn’t serving him that satisfaction. He talked about how that was one of the things that inspired his idea of BIC CITY, one of his brands. BIC CITY is a new project that will offer users of Dropazz software a land reward as they successfully build a brand online. This brand has yet to be officially launched. When asked what BIC means, he said “Billionaire Internet Citizens.”
He generates new ideas by paying attention to his competitors. He said, “They are my strong motivation for creating something exciting sometimes. Shopify inspires the market for e-commerce web stores and drop shipping. Which is why we focus on helping Africans tap into the global e-commerce market through Dropazz’s warehouse system and suppliers.
The Dropazz CEO explained that his roots were a key driving force in his becoming an entrepreneur. He talked about asking his father if he had made his first million naira. “He hadn’t, so I made that my first challenge. I did it in weeks. I saved every single dollar I made in my store. After that, when my uncle mentioned that the most money he had made in his booming cement business was 50 million naira, I knew that was my starting point,” he narrates.
Asking about Dropazz’s compared to Shopify, he explained that Dropazz has an easier store make-up system, offers more direct business relationships with users, and is cheaper than Shopify. “For example, Shopify charges for the pro plan $92 (that is, N46, 000+) per month with an extra 2-4% per sale, whereas Dropazz charges $29.99 (N14, 999) per month without charges per sale. Giving entrepreneurs more flexibility to start their own drop shipping brand with the ability to receive money using PayPal, Flutterwave, cash on delivery, etc.”
When asked about the success rate of Dropazz users, he explained, “Success in business is not what we can point at; therefore, we screen readiness before allowing people to use Dropazz. Which is one reason active users can make an average of $500 to $5,000 per month in their businesses. What we guarantee is that anyone in the world can start a business servicing the European and African markets (Nigeria) without the heavy cost of procuring products, the technical know-how of building webstores from scratch, etc. There’s no limit,” he concludes.