First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Ashifi Gogo: We have been taking the recommended precautions, and we’re doing fine. We are very grateful for the work all essential workers are doing to keep society moving forward towards a solution to the pandemic.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Sproxil.
Ashifi Gogo: I’ve been fascinated by technology all my life. I took an interest in math, science, and engineering during my academic career. Growing up in Ghana, I witnessed firsthand how rapid mobile phone adoption could accelerate economic growth and create a platform for sharing information more equitably. I founded Sproxil to leverage the power of such networks for good, to give consumers timely information to make the best decisions about their daily purchases and avoid harmful choices they weren’t aware of. To date, our technology is on 2.9 billion product units and has positively impacted the lives of over 26 million people. It’s been an incredible journey so far.
How does Sproxil innovate?
Ashifi Gogo: We have a keen sense of curiosity at Sproxil, which drives our urge to discover solutions to very challenging problems. We take on opportunities that require both impactful technology and innovative business models to generate positive outcomes for our clients and consumers. We recognize that talent is broadly distributed worldwide, but opportunity is not. By leveling the gap between talent and opportunity, we discover new ideas that fuel our innovation advantage.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Ashifi Gogo: A number of our clients depend on social gatherings to generate demand for their products (and our services). With lockdowns and necessary social distancing in multiple countries where we operate, there have been dips in demand that have impacted our business in some countries. Fortunately, there are a number of pandemic-related programs available to help businesses get through the worst of such times. We are excited about our future prospects, given the support we continue to receive from various stakeholders.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Ashifi Gogo: As our client base grew and client requests got more elaborate, we had to make a difficult decision — repositioning a number of the roles at Sproxil to get closer to our clients. It is very challenging to say goodbye to mission-aligned colleagues, but we wouldn’t have met our objectives had we avoided such a tough decision. We’ve almost doubled in size since we made that decision.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Sproxil in the future?
Ashifi Gogo: I find it useful to initially assume positive outcomes and create plans for downside scenarios. Understanding the range of possible outcomes and setting reasonable expectations helps reduce stress and anxiety.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Ashifi Gogo: We compete against supply chain technology providers and, in some cases, digital marketing companies. We have gained privileged insights starting off as a supply chain company that now has a large pipeline of digital marketing technology projects. This unique advantage helps us navigate the complex procurement process at large multinational clients with unmatched success in our class.
Your final thoughts?
Ashifi Gogo: We’ve been very fortunate to create value for stakeholders while positively impacting over 26 million lives around the world to date. We are excited about our prospects as we head into 2021.
CNN interview with Ashifi: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/20/business/sproxil-fake-drinks-spc-intl/index.html
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