Few days ago, one of Africa’s biggest e-commerce retail platform, Jumia closed down all operations in Cameroon. The most popular online marketing group also fired its entire staff across the national territory.
This happened without any public announcement, no special statement from the group’s management, Mimi Mefo Info has learnt.
To a renowned US based tech-entrepreneur, Rebecca Enonchong, “the brutality of the news to the staff echoes their management style” and is what she believes could be one of the reasons for its demise.
She later took to social media, to recount about the company from inception to its current closure.
Just months after it was created she noted, its staff was already being treated with a lot of disrespect, she says.
“I remember of people fired for very petty stuff and They were ruthless … I admired their ability to stick to a plan but it also showed their total inflexibility in adapting to the market … No one cared. No adjustments would be made” she stated.
Most of the company’s managers she said were “lost”.
“It became clearer to me that the now rebranded Jumia wasn’t at all interested in a long term business. They were interested in just a few KPIs that would look good to investors or possible acquirers” she goes on.
After a Cameroonian was sent to negotiate in behalf of the institution she says was to asked to reduce their rent.
“The same day, TechCrunch had reported raising $326 million from Goldman Sachs and others. So squeeze local suppliers and employees while raising hundreds of millions of dollars,” Rebecca says.
Following the incident the techpreneur had reportedly sent an mail to Jumia, reprimanding them for the act.
To her, “Jumia refuses to act as a good corporate citizen, and thinks Africans are simply a commodity, a means to an end”.
“No business with that attitude can succeed in the long term …. The only thing giant about Jumia is their funding and their ego” she adds.
Hundreds of Jumia employees nationwide have since been left jobless, and customers left to rely on words circulating on social media.