Thoughts – Wale (CEO) and Samson (CTO)
“Our concentrated intent to resolve the prevailing education problem within Nigeria propelled us to work towards the solution and building SabiTeach – a platform that brings learners and teachers together.
With SabiTeach we are able to provide teachers to all learners across Nigeria at affordable costs, empowering them with a platform to connect.”
How did your quest towards becoming a founder in this particular domain happen?
So, we were already aware of the prevailing problems in education in Nigeria. On average, out of 10 teachers that graduate from the teacher’s college/university, only 2% get employment. We wanted to solve this problem with a solution, empowering teachers.
We thought we could create a platform for them where they could do what they love to do – teaching – and earn a return from it. Because there aren’t too many schools also in Nigeria to accommodate all the teachers. The problem of unemployment also was a concern along with the affordability of education to all.
I did have some information on a technology startup, but this time we were facing some issues in reaching out to tutors, connecting them to learners, and various other things. We wanted some platform to connect all of them. We began working on this before the pandemic, the team was working towards this goal, and we started calling this SabiTeach.
We did figure out how the learning was to be done with the click of a button, and how all these processes were feasible. The driving force was identifying the problem of distributing teachers and learners across Nigeria by creating a marketplace to empower these teachers.
Identifying the industry demands, how have you been able to achieve the vision you set forth as you forayed ahead in this journey? Did the steps you take help you towards your goal?
While working towards a prototype we faced challenges around hosting the website. That’s made us realize the importance of a complete team behind building a product. We initially had a website where people could search for tutors, we had teachers with a profile, and we were hosting it on Azure.
We started out around 2019 with a tech team, trying to build our idea from scratch, and did a couple of tries, but we didn’t get an end-to-end solution. We were taking a lot of time.
Overall, we were spending too much money, without getting anything tangible. The team elements comprising the project manager (PM), the business analyst (BA), and the DevOps professional were grossly missing.
Also, as the COVID – 19 outbreak happened, people were looking for solutions all around, and despite being on similar thoughts, didn’t have a solution yet. We needed partners who would quickly help us put together our solution to solve the customer problems and meet market demand.
Every solution was taking too much time with nothing less than 6 – 8 months, and it was time we did not have. That’s when Wale found FATbit’s Yo!Coach. We explored our vision around what Yo!Coach had to offer, and to our surprise, it fit exactly what we had in mind.
We took a demo, and it was exactly what we had in mind. We took the chance of picking up a solution to run our vision on, and we haven’t regretted it any bit. So far it’s been a good one for the team.
About your first sale/deal/transaction and the way it was special?
Such moments are always special.
The first payment made was a big deal for us. It gave a sense of great achievement when the cycle went through smoothly, end-to-end on the platform, from on-boarding the client to receiving the payment. It was definitely a big deal.
We are excited that learners are finding tutors on the platform. They are using the platform to find interesting stuff, and we are having paying clients. People are exploring more and we are able to spread the intended awareness. We will be able to provide the most affordable tutors across Nigeria.
What was your initial annual target? Where are you – far or near to it – in your journey?
We are still growing. It’s exciting to see our user database expand, which is close to 1500 with 500+ tutors now. We have just on-boarded over 200 users on the platform. It’s exciting that the solution is being adopted gradually.
Where do you see yourself with this venture in the post-pandemic times – say 2 – 5 years down the line?
We are optimistic, and are positive that we will achieve our dreams and our aspirations. We hope our business will grow beyond Africa too.
We know post-pandemic things can’t be the same, this is the new normal and we just have to go with it. I would love to see more people taking lessons.
This has certainly been a dream come true, and I hope nothing changes, so post-pandemic and 3 years from now, I would wish our hard work becomes fruitful and we are at a place where we want to be.
We are thinking about expanding to west Africa and in the next 5 years it should be expanded to over 5 countries, including the entire Africa, UK, and ahead, with affordable education to all.
Your advice to other businesses facing the same challenges as you did?
They should be optimistic. We would have given up, considering the pressures, lack of funding, no good education, or help for teachers. But we had the optimistic mindset that we can achieve it with proper help.
Even if we were not able to build a solution from scratch, we could still solve the problems. We could still empower teachers, with affordable education to learners of Nigeria. And we could get everything done, only because we did not give up.
Press a little bit forward, because you can never tell that what we need is at an arm’s reach.