My guest this week is the gentle and brilliant Deepanker Rustagi, Cofounder of Vconnect.com, the local search engine which just made the big switch to become one of Nigeria’s largest e-commerce platform.
If you frequently search for local businesses in Nigeria, you must have been redirected to Vconnect from Google or by word of mouth at one point or the other. They have grown to become the largest search and directory database in Nigeria since 2011.
Interestingly, I visited Vconnect towards the end of October and found that the entire site has been transformed into an e-commerce platform. In the 1st week of November 2015, Vconnect broke the internet with users giving out different opinion on why Vconnect made the switch.
I did not make the search because I thought the search part has been wiped off and so I thought I should bring their Cofounder on the Break Digit Show to talk about what happened.
Speaking on the show, Mr. Rustagi took us back to what led the team to start Vconnect, the objective of the business and success story. When asked why they decided to venture into e-commerce, Mr. D as he is fondly called noted that e-commerce thing didn’t just surface. He said, “Every business when they start they have an objective. The objective that we have for Vconnect was not search. The objective was to connect buyers to sellers and that’s why the name Vconnect, that is how we have planned it from the beginning.”
He went further to say that they started from search because they wanted to give the businesses visibility first before going on to sell their products.
He also noted that the search part is still very much available and will always be.
The Cofounder of Vconnect also said that they are working on expanding to other regions in the country and so are currently recruiting for several positions.
I visited their office after the interview and was surprised to see the beautiful, large space and staff count of over 100 people.
It was an inspirational chat that we had. Tune in.