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In this episode of The Tefo Mohapi Show, I speak to Marek Zmyslowski, a Polish entrepreneur who packed up his bags in 2013 to go to Nigeria to start an online travel startup. Having met with the Samwer brothers, founders of Rocket Internet, Marek was recruited to be the co-founder and Managing Director of Jovago in Nigeria.

Jovago initially focussed on servicing customers in Nigeria with a vision to expand across Africa. However, things didn't go as Marek planned. Africa Internet Holdings (which would later rename and rebrand to Jumia), the group company under which Jovago and other Rocket Internet startups in Africa operated under, decided that it was best to consolidate all of its startups in Africa under the Jumia brand.

Marek disagreed with this and it led to a fall-out with the executives at Rocket Internet and Africa Internet Holdings. However, that was the least of his troubles in doing business in Nigeria as he would later experience after having an Interpol Red Notice on his passport.

Biography: Marek Zmyslowski

Marek is a Polish-born entrepreneur and executive, focused on online businesses in Frontier and Emerging Markets. 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 Africans in Tech by IT News Africa Magazine. He is an internet geek and sports addict, holding a racing license in motorsports.

Podcast notes

Blog post: How Building the Amazon of Africa put me on Interpol Most Wanted list by Marek Zmyslowski

Image: Interpol Red Notice for Marek Zmyslowski

Website: View and search public Red Notices for wanted persons by Interpol

Article: Marek Zmysłowski - From Playing Lego to Building Jovago.com by allAfrica.com

Book: Chasing Black Unicorns by Marek Zmyslowski (Use the promo code "iAfrikan" to get a 20% discount).

Website: Marek Zmyslowski (Personal Website)

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