Exclusive Interview with Simdul Shagaya CEO Dealdey Services Nigeria

Where do I start from? He has so many profiles but I decided to put this up so you will understand who I’m talking about. Mr. Simdul Shagaya is the Founder/CEO of DealDey Nigeria and E-Motion Advertising Limited. He has over 11 years experience in New Media and Investment Banking and he has also worked with leaders such as MicroStrategy, Lucent Technologies and Real Networks.

He has  also served as the Africa lead for the search and internet advertising leader – Google Inc. He was the West African Principal for Rand Merchant Bank. Mr. Simdul Shagaya is a graduate of George Washington University, Dartmouth College and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. Having this short interview with him was a big privilege and I decided to you know, take up the courage to do this and I’m glad I did it. Everything you need to know about DealDey Services is in this interview. Enjoy reading this…

Tell us what DEALDEY is all about?

Dealdey is a Nigeria Lifestyle website for people to know what to buy like a pair of shoe, a fragrance or  a dinner at a restaurant. In that sense, its not a website but a daily lifestyle website for Nigerians to shop online It’s almost like Vogue or G Q Market so everyday we are offering you something different.

DealDey came into the Nigeria market March 2011, how has it been so far?
It has been fantastic and its been really good on several levels and one of the things we mentioned was the membership so when we started  earlier this year it took us about a month to add our first 500 members but now we are adding about over 500 members a day and so its building up our first deal that we offered we were excited when we sold 8 – 10 coupons and now for a restaurant deal we sell like over 200 deals. For a product deal we sell it out within 24 hours so the rate at which people are buying is speeding up also which means people are getting to know the brand and trusting us which is very important to us. When we started we were about 3 employees but now we are almost about 13 so we are growing that quickly. We are also opening a new branch in  Abuja next week so its all growing in the right direction. Obviously it shows we have a lot of work to do to make sure our customers are satisfied and happy but next year should be very critical especially for E-Commerce and electronic payment push made by the Central Bank.

You were talking how to reach a lot of people and you are also opening a new branch in Abuja and DealDey office is located on the Island. What about people on the mainland because most people don’t know DealDey is in Nigeria. How do you want to reach people on the mainland and get them to know your brand ?
I will answer your question in two parts. The first part is that for me the powerful form of reaching a new customer in advertising is through word of mouth that’s the most powerful way to grab a customer and their loyalty so for us to do that we have to serve our customers very well and that’s why we are slow to expand we want to make sure that the market we are servicing we serve very well. We are here for years we don’t grow very quickly and all of a sudden your service suffers.
Secondly, this year we are opening a new office in G.R.A Ikeja. it will be a pick up point and also be our logistics center so you have a choice to either having your stuffs delivered to you at home or you come and pick up in our office in Isaac John it will also give us visibility in front of customers. It will be located somewhere between Visafone and Protea Hotel on Isaac John and also we are going to do a television commercial in November which should put us more in the limelight and also in front of people and we want to be a bit careful because it’s like trying to drink water from a fire hose it can be unpleasant sometimes so we want to take our time.
So far DealDey is known online through the use of Social Media Networks (Twitter and Facebook) and other markets are so doing something similar to what your company is offering Nigerians. Now its like a competition because other markets are out there.
Competition will always exist. How do you win? It is actually very simple which is in this particular world giving people better value meaning convincing them overtime that the deals/values we give them they can’t find it anywhere else. The second thing is customer service – that is treating every customer like they are your only customer and that’s what we really dwell on here. We are very strict with ourselves about customer being Number one taking care of every single customer. Many competitors will not see the logic in investing in customer care because they feel customer service is for Telecommunication companies only but actually it is very important. The third thing  that will set us apart and make our customers happy is that in many cases, what our competitors are doing is only service business so we go out and get those deals from restaurants. We are taking it a step further to do something with high quality products from various parts of the world. People have already seen the perfumes we buy from Wholesalers so a Nigerian buys the perfume is literally just a little above what you would have paid if you went to a Wholesaler to buy not even a retailer because you won’t buy it for that price and that requires a lot of investment. You know we want to be able to put a price in front of a customer anytime so they will just drop their mouth and say that ‘Haaaa!!! I must buy this. Now to do that kind of thing let’s see how competition comes in it requires lot of investments and the good thing about it is that our investors in Sweden and Nigeria they’ve had a good feel about it.
Recently, I heard in the news that CNN mentioned DealDey Brand. How do you feel?
 It is very exciting and it just tells you that there’s a huge responsibility that  nobody is exploiting as well as  we are. It is a exciting thing and it’s like a validation like a stamp of approval. But at the same time as many stamps of approval it calls for a big responsibility and it tells me that a lot of people are paying attention so we have to do everything and make sure we succeed. It is a mix of joy and responsibility for us to succeed because every Nigerian is looking for a success story and I can feel the pressure once we fulfill that story.
Lastly, I want my readers to know who the CEO of DealDey can you please tell us about yourself
My name is Sim Shagaya my Father is from Plateau, my mum is from Delta. I grew up in Lagos and Kaduna. I spend most of my evening reading especially during the weekends. I love Technology and I like the idea of building new things that’s what I enjoy more than anything else. I’m a husband and a Father most importantly.
I don’t know much about Technology though so I will end my questions here.
Lucky you….  because Technology doesn’t let you speak. Sometimes people who don’t know much about it end up doing well and try not to get much into engineering because engineering is for normal people. If you look at the Late Steve Jobs he created technology and he studied calligraphy (how to write) so that’s just it. 
Thank you for your time sir.
You are welcome Tosin

Leave a Comment