Digital Drift had the opportunity to interview Mark Essien – founder of Hotels.ng – A hotel booking startup which just raised $1.2million. Mark is a software developer from Akwa-Ibom state in Nigeria.
Mark starts with giving a background of himself, how he got interested in technology and his desire to solve a problem in Nigeria, in Africa. He leads us on the journey of why Hotels, talking about the epiphany he had and the importance of building products that fit the target market. He also tells us about the challenges that come with building a business in Nigeria.Further down we get to learn what goes on behind the scenes of Hotels.ng, what he does on a daily basis, the kind of people who work there and how firing people, unfortunately was a way to establish a core team of smart and dedicated people who didn’t mind working for $200 a month early on.Mark also goes into some detail on how Hotels.ng makes money. What raising over 250million Naira means, what they look forward to doing with the money and what it took to get to this stage including having to talk to over 50 potential investors at some point.
We get to learn about what makes Hotels.ng a success and how customer focus will be what differentiates the many companies working together in this space and those looking to get in.
At the end, we hear a bit about what the future holds for Mark and Hotels.ng and last but not least, where the party is going to be 😀
Mark says Hotels.ng is a product of all who work towards making the business great and if he finds someone who can run it better than he does he’ll gladly let go of the reins.
Say Hello to Mark Essien and/or Book a Hotel in Nigeria! @markessien @hotelsng hotels.ng