DIV SOCAP Spotlight: Laurent Liautaud, Niokobok
Niokobok allows members of African diasporas to take care of their beloved ones back home. Today the 650,000 Senegalese living abroad can order online food packages for their family in the region of Dakar on our store. Customers use our service to ensure the right products reach the right recipient what is not always the case when they send money, to make life of ageing parents easier or to send gifts to their beloved ones. In 2012, 30m African migrants sent $60bn back home. Africans pay the highest charge for money transfer (12% in average vs. 8.96% in average according to World Bank). If transfer costs to Africa could be brought down at 5%, $4bn could be saved. A “life changing retailer”, Niokobok has started marketing high-impact products like solar lanterns and systems. We believe that serving one of the largest African diaspora, generally familiar with e-commerce since living in developed countries, on its main need (food) is a platform to build an African digital social retailer. McKinsey estimates the African online retail market to be $75bn by 2025.
Laurent Liautaud is the CEO of Niokobok, an online retail company allowing members of African diasporas to take care of their beloved ones back home. Prior to Niokobok, Laurent, 37, has worked in start-ups, international corporations and consulting firms (incl. Bain & Company). Born in France and raised in Mexico and Mauritius, he spent half of his career in emerging countries (mainly Mozambique and Senegal, assignments in South Asia). In consumer goods and management consulting, he implemented hybrid business models, i.e. ventures combining profitability and social impact. With Hystra, he led consulting projects for large corporations entering the Base of the Pyramid market, with a focus on Access to Energy. Laurent is an alumnus from HEC, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris and the London School of Economics. He published Rafiki with Clarisse, his wife, a book on their road trip from Maputo (Mozambique) to Tunis (Tunisia). He received the 3rd African Orange Social Venture Prize for Niokobok in 2012. Laurent lives in Dakar, Senegal with Clarisse and their three children.
Check out Niokobok here.