OLX Group Plans to Close its Kenya and Nigeria OfficesAbbakin
OLX Group Plans to Close its Kenya and Nigeria Offices. You heard it right?
The online marketplace and classified ads firm, OLX Group, has announced its plans to close its Kenya and Nigeria offices.
The company confirmed in its announcement, made 7 February, that is has full intentions to continue its operations in both countries.
Speaking to the Star on the phone, OLX country manager Peter Ndiangui confirmed the global online market place has shutdown the Kenyan and Nigerian office.
“We made a difficult but important decision in Kenya and Nigeria to consolidate our operations between some of our offices internationally,” the firm reported in a statement.
“We continue to be focused on constantly innovating to make sure that OLX remains the top classified platform in the country.”
It is said the restructuring will have a big affect on those working in the Nigeria branch, which hires over 100 employees.
“Of course, we are committed to helping our affected colleagues during this transition and have already offered them meaningful financial and other support.”
“Our marketplace will continue to operate in Kenya and Nigeria – uninterrupted – as it has since 2010,” it added.
OLX BV – the owner of OLX – is registered in the Netherlands, and operates in more than 40 countries.
OLX launched its work in Nigeria in 2012, and by 2015 had more than 3mn buyers and sellers using its platform.
Sources revealed employees were formally informed on Tuesday, with a notice of termination to staff beginning in March, followed by the management team in April.
The company is now expected to put its full focus on South Africa.
Although it is not clear how many staff have been affected by the decision to shutdown offices in the two countries, thousands of farmers in Kenya who have been buying inputs at 15 per cent discount via Kilimo Smart OLX centres launched in the country in late 2016 are among huge causalities of the closure.
OLX had earlier introduced an agriculture section that allows farmers to sell livestock, especially chickens, cattle, and fresh produce.
The online classified firm which entered Kenya in 2012 has been struggling to crack the online marketing space dominated by late arrivals like Jumia, Kilimal and recently launched Masoko, despite coming up with diversified products in various sectors including vehicles, agriculture, electronics and fashion.
OLX joins a long list of e-commerce businesses that have wound up business in Kenya and Nigeria in the past five years due to intense competition including Kalahari also owned by South African media giant Nasper.
Recall that Efritin (pronounced ‘Everything’) has shuts down its Nigeria office in 2017, and wound down operations, just 16 months after its official launch.
Investigation showed that high cost of data and operational demands forced the e-classified advert player to close shop.
The company’s staff vacated the head office located in Ikeja while office properties are were auctioned.
It is also clear that intense competition in the market, coupled by threats from social media platforms made Internet Africa Group rebrand its products to benefit from Jumia’s popularity in the market.
Jovago rebanded into Jumia Travel while Hello Food turned to Jumia Food.
Social media is also eating into the rich e-commerce market in Kenya estimated at Sh4.3 billion by Communication Authority in 2014.