In this exclusive interview with the Founder of ParkWell Nigeria, Philip Tolu Ogunnaike, he shared with Executive Hub on his motivations and challenges, story behind the pioneer parking app in Nigeria and using technology as a innovation to solving parking challenges in Nigeria.
Can you tell us about ParkWell Nigeria?
ParkWell Nigeria is a technology platform that matches drivers with parking spaces through our website, www.parkwell.ng, and mobile application and helps property owners to list their parking spaces for optimum use.
What led to this innovation?
I was driving on a Lagos road and there was a terrible traffic situation which I later found out to have been caused by cars that were parked by the roadside; by people who were attending a wedding party. Then the thoughts came to me, what if these car owners had gotten a safe parking space somewhere around for just N50? What if someone had hit their car? What if this traffic situation could be avoided? These and so many other Lagos road experiences culminated in the idea of creating the Parkwell Platform.
What is your staff strength at the moment?
At the moment, we are seven in number.
What are your major insurmountable challenges?
Most of the challenges we’ve had were tech related, but not insurmountable ones.
Considering the pace at which Nigeria is in the areas of technology and mobility, how do you consider the input of ParkWell Nigeria?
I actually believe Nigeria is very receptive to technology. According to my research, by Q1 2020 Nigeria had more than 126 million internet users (6th position in the World!) and Second-ranked in Africa was Egypt with 49.23 million users. Considering this statistics, you would say that Nigeria is ready and indeed an open market for technology driven ideas.
Have there been investors’ inputs since its establishment?
A good number of interests, we are not just about the money but about the quality of experience investors come with and if they align with where we are going.
How do you intend to sustain the financial aspect of this business?
Basically Financing through equity. So we are on talks with some interested investors that have some good experience that we find very useful, we hope it gets on well.
Where do you see ParkWell Nigeria in five years?
That’s a big question!
We hope to have covered a whole lot of grounds and to have transited from just being a Parking App into Africa’s Pioneer Mobility App.
The transport system in Nigeria is currently undergoing a major shift. How does ParkWell Nigeria come in?
I believe it’s a process. The challenges facing the transport system is so multifaceted, so also are the opportunities. We are facing one at the moment and we hope to build a solution that will be perfect for Nigeria.
Who do you consider your competitors in this industry?
I think I’ll be safe to say that we are the first to do what we do, all other operators and car parks operate offline and don’t actually offer what we do; we consider them as partners and not competitors.
Who do you look forward to having a productive partnership with now and/or in the near future?
Without mention of names:
· Car Parks
· Property owners with spare parking spaces who are interested in making extra income
·Also car park operators
· Car park management companies
Who are your target clients?
This is simple, for us they are basically two:
The hosts: Car park owners, people who want to monetise their unoccupied space. …
The drivers/ Car owners: People who are looking for an affordable, safe and easy alternative to parking their cars.
What should the public expect from ParkWell Nigeria in 2021 and beyond?
Innovation and more Innovation.