gOman: Go Hard or Go Home with Joseph Dankwah, CEO of Yougora

gOman

Many successful people take the road less tread. gOman is one of a kind. In spite of the giants in the deliveries service industry, they still identify a gap encouraging enough to create a business out of.

Joseph explains that gOman is one of the prestigious services offered by their company, Yougora. He continues, ” we have a culture of collective brainstorming a couple of hours every week, we call that our innovative idea session on all subject areas from music, agriculture through tech to religion, we let ourselves think and create solutions for anything we find deserves one. And gOman is a product of one of such sessions.”

Read on as gOman makes the next deliveries of inspiration to your door step right on time.

What do you do as gOman and how long have you been in business?

gOman is just a year old, we enable people to conveniently send and receive delivery packages, monitor their transactions and manage their delivery spending.

Pitch your business to a potential investor.

Problem: We started as an e-commerce business and in many ways we still see ourselves as that. We really just wanted to make e-commerce more fluid, now it’s more than just e-commerce, people need things moved between places, there are not enough players doing the right things, that’s what we aim to correct.
Solution: We have created a delivery service that allows customers to customize their experience, schedule deliveries, and create a payment plan and so on. More than that we also enable you take more control over your deliveries by giving you a dashboard online to monitor transactions, costs and so on.
Competence: Everyone on the team has a computer science or technology background which has come in very handy for our job. But more than just a programming or designing background, we have moved on to specialize in different fields including
strategy, innovation and so on.
Marketing and Clients: Currently our business is a B2B and B2C business, we want to be able to provide custom delivery experiences for people and businesses.
Unique Selling Point: gOman is a delivery service that enables you to conveniently request delivery services, while helping you to monitor and manage your expenditure and customizing your experience.
Payment: You can pay online but many clients currently prefer to pay Cash on Delivery or cheques at the end of a period.

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As a courier service time is money. How then do you cope with the challenging traffic situation when you have to deliver launch during clients’ office breaks for instance?

Most of our delivery is done using motorbikes which can easily move through traffic. Traffic is not a problem except the delivery package is big and requires the use of a car.

gOman is one of the interesting names we have come across so far. What did you go through to arrive at this name and is it proving to be worth it?

It was pretty simple, the name of our company is Yougora which means “Your market”, a combination of English and Greek. gOman is simply your delivery man from Yougora. One of the team members just blurted it out and it made sense.

How did your company start and what was it like to put together a team to make it possible?

Our team has worked together since 2011, it’s been some of the most trying times in my life. People have come and gone but we still have about 4 of the starters. We started Yougora right after our first major attempt at a tech startup failed; actually the team had a little falling out, so Klenam and I decided to start a new business, we got a hungry team together and here we are…

Let’s stop here. Got a nice idea, there is market for it but that question pops out…how will it be financed? In your case, where from the initial funding and have you had any external financing?

Some people say funding is hard to come by, many people say it’s easy if you know where to look, I don’t really know where I stand. We got our initial funding mainly because a friend introduced us to her uncle. But truth is there are very many ways to pursue funding aside looking for that million dollar seed investment, hehehe, it really may never come. It’s good to start by saving some money yourself, or convincing your family and close friends, if they are not convinced enough to fund you maybe your idea is not good enough. Maybe they like it but don’t have the money; you can apply to accelerator programs, competitions and so on, thankfully in Ghana a lot are coming up now. It’s not easy though, you can go years without finding funding but essentially you have to look, look very hard.

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How have mentors and a business plan contributed to gOman’s growth?

gOman is still a baby, still so much work to do. We learn every day. Mentors are necessary, we don’t have many but we recognize their input. A business plan naturally guides you, it’s so important because it’s hard to get funding or to even execute your business properly without one.

Having been in business for some time means you have learnt a great deal. What have you learnt so far running a business and what do you wish you were told before becoming an entrepreneur?

So far I’ve learnt that it’s ridiculously hard and yet so exciting. You can be suicidal today, with high blood pressure, tomorrow and the next day you’ll be fulfilled and happy like a baby. I wish I knew this before.

What previous job or life experiences are you applying to your business to make it succeed in the long run?

I’m sure some experiences are definitely influencing my current business but let me be honest, everyday is a new thing, I have never been on this road before but I’m excited to see what the next step brings.

This journey of yours is obviously not a rosy one. What is your candid advice to anyone wanting to enter this industry in Africa?

Go hard or go home.

What are some mistakes you have made as a founder of a startup and what lessons are there to share?

Ok, sometimes getting too emotional about the business and so not being able to see mistakes glaring at you. Truth is that, no matter how good your idea looks on paper, it may not take you to the bank. Deal with it.

What are the challenges you have faced and still facing? How are you working at overcoming them?

As a tech startup our major challenges have been around money; funding for scaling services and expendable money on the part of our clients. Our business provides convenience, without enough money people do not care much about convenience.
Also for a delivery service, a proper street and housing identification system will be good for us but we are doing what we can, in fact, we seem to have gotten a good handle on what we have now.

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What is your philosophy for doing business?

Push hard, get it done, reap your benefits.

You currently operate in Ghana. Are we going to see your services in other African markets?

Yes definitely, we’ve started looking into some markets mostly in Africa. Hopefully later this year we would make an appearance.

Give us a mental picture of where you foresee gOman in the coming years?

Thousands of bikes, cargo planes, drones…drone deliveries, yes!

Whet the appetite of those who are still unsure if they should become entrepreneurs by letting them know how rewarding it is to be the CEO of gOman?

Lol, you have no idea how much money I wish my company paid me, but the excitement I get whenever we win over a new client…those little things, they make everything look good. Fingers crossed though maybe billion dollars in the near future.

Your final message to aspiring African entrepreneurs and a word to your clients.

To our lovely clients we have plans to make your experience more awesome, stay with us and we’ll take you places. For aspiring entrepreneurs

go hard or go home…

but also, have a lot of fun.

There you are folks! Another brilliant startup on the rise. Contact gOman deliveries today.

Some take away from Joseph include;

  • Winning over new clients is rewarding but making returns and impacting lives make things even better
  • Yougora started right after their first startup company failed
  • A good network can land you funding
  • Startup life can be suicidal, topping it up with high blood pressure
  • Refrain from getting too emotional

 


If you have want to share your experience as a startup founder on TSH to Africa, send a brief detail of your business to mystartup@thespiritedhub.com

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