May 21, 2020
episode I welcome Marek Zmysłowski. Marek is a Polish-born
entrepreneur and executive, focused on online businesses in
Frontier and Emerging Markets.
At time of
recording we are both in lockdown due to Covid-19. He is in
Barcelona and I am in the UK. We discuss the impact Covid-19 might
have on Africa as well.
the author of a bestselling book called “Chasing Black Unicorns.
How building the Amazon of Africa put me on Interpol Most Wanted
list.” A story we will be diving into.
He co-founded Jumia Travel –
Africa’s Biggest Hotel Booking Portal listed on NYSE as part of
Jumia Group and HotelOnline.co – a Travel Technology
Company. In 2014, he was chosen as one of the ten most important
people in Tech by IT News Africa Magazine. He is a Lead Mentor at
Google’s Launchpad and World Bank’s XL Africa Program.
His story is fascinating, and
Marek explains how he made a lot of money and how he also lost a
lot of money during the financial crisis. As a true millennial we
are discussing some of the ‘prejudices’ society has with the
younger generation. We drift towards a discussion on how we
communicate, and what the best way is to do business moving
forward. He even has clients he never met, yet spends money with
We also talk about the
perception some have about doing business in Africa. Whilst Marek
confirmed some, we also talk about his positive experience in
Africa, and how little the majority of people know about this
amazing continent. Personally, I learned a lot about Africa just by
listening to him.
During the podcast, Marek and I
discuss technology and his latest involvement in an AI (Artificial
Intelligence) company, and we discover our joint passion for
renewable energy; it turns out he invested in a company bringing
solar tiles to Europe, drifting into a discussion about
Whilst success for him is not
all about money, his drive for success is coming from his
childhood. He was bullied in school, and wants to show the world
what he is able to be successful; through the help of coaches, he
funnels his energy into business, where he enjoys the challenges of
He explains how to launch an
e-commerce business in a cash society, and how online market places
work in Africa. Advertising on the other hand was predominately
locally, and offline.
His best advice is to not take
too much advice :-) ‘Good decisions come from experience, and
experience comes from bad decisions’, is one his favourite quotes.
Similar to myself, he is interested in understanding and hacking is
body and ultimate health. We only manage to touch on this briefly
unfortunately, but his advice is sound; he now only eats once a day
and swears on it.
For more information on his
experience and companies, please see the following
transformations (career, life & business), and helps
individuals and companies through change. He is also
and productivity expert. In his podcast Stories of Success he
interviews successful people and wrote a book on the back of
His latest project is a
personal development course and listeners from the podcast can sign
up and receive a free book with code "Book2020":