Folarin Olulana is the founder and CEO of T40(*), a company disrupting the intercity transportation and logistics industry across Africa – increasing revenues for transportation and logistics service providers and bringing a platform for customers to book tickets and send parcels.
What prompted you to launch?
I grew up 600km from my hometown, and my family moved around a bit in that time. This meant that I was on the road several times a year, traveling between cities to visit family or be with my parents. During this time, I experienced virtually all of the pains customers experience when traveling by road between towns across Africa, such as delayed departures, poor training from personnel, faulty vehicles that break down during the journey, faulty vehicles that lead to accidents (got in a couple myself), unsafe practices by the service providers, etc. Knowing these, I always wanted to make this experience better because I still enjoyed traveling despite all the negative experiences. In 2018 I decided to do something about the problems and started researching solution options to these problems.
What problem(s) are you solving?
We are tackling 2 main problems in the intercity transportation and logistics industry across Africa. One for service providers and the other for customers or consumers. For the service providers, we are solving the low profits typical of these businesses. These businesses have a lot of expenses and overhead that can be reduced or eliminated altogether, thereby reducing their losses. They can also be more innovative to increase their revenues by offering services that only marginally increase their costs. By effectively doing these, they can double (or even triple) their profits in a couple of months.
For customers, we address poor quality service whenever they travel or send parcels via the service providers. We do these by connecting the customer to a service provider that is upgrading their operations with our solution or similar, committed to a higher standard of service.
What is immediately next for your company?
We are consolidating our growth efforts and massively aggregating service providers. We will be working with them to deploy our business tools and help them realize digital transformation gains for their business.
Which are / will be your products?
We offer a digital operating system to businesses, allowing them to better manage critical aspects of their operations and customer service to reduce costs, increase revenue, and improve customer experiences. Our product is a SaaS tool available as a mobile app and web app for businesses. Customers can access a modern marketplace that aggregates offers from companies via our marketplace mobile and web apps.
What is your business model?
We’ve adopted a pay-as-you-use business model. We charge a small commission for every transaction we process on behalf of businesses.
What’s your current greatest challenge?
As is the case across the continent, technology adoption is still a challenge. We are investing heavily in the education and sensitization of our target audience to help them understand the long-term benefits of embracing digital transformation for their businesses.
Are you satisfied with your rate of progress?
We have seen substantial growth over the last couple of months and are proud of what the team has achieved in such a short time, but we are fired up to do much more over the coming months, so yes, we aren’t satisfied with that we believe we can do more and we will!
“Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” –Richard Branson
(*) I am a shareholder in T40.