In the ever-evolving landscape of mobile applications, a new player has emerged, promising to reshape how we interact with our smartphones. Wynk Super App, led by CEO Jerry Igwilo, has embarked on a mission to simplify our digital lives. In this interview, we sit down with Jerry Igwilo, a seasoned entrepreneur with a passion for technology, to delve into the core features of Wynk and explore the journey behind its creation.
Meet Jerry Igwilo
Dr. (PhD) Jerry Igwilo, a true entrepreneur at heart, embarked on his business journey at the young age of 18. With two businesses already under his belt by the age of 20, Jerry’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident from the start. Combining his business acumen with a deep love for technology, he has carved his path as a tech enthusiast and finance professional.
Jerry’s extensive experience in multi-disciplinary teams and his role as CEO Africa and Board Member at Wynk Group Ltd. demonstrate his leadership capabilities. Additionally, his role as a Non-Executive Director at Nisela Capital highlights his commitment to the finance sector. As a member of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa, Jerry’s influence extends to the corporate governance sphere.
The Birth of the Wynk Super App:
Wynk Super App is Jerry’s brainchild, a lifestyle super app designed to streamline the everyday lives of users. Recognising the increasing importance of mobile phones in our daily routines, Jerry and his team aimed to simplify the experience. Rather than having a multitude of seldom-used apps cluttering your device, Wynk consolidates essential functions into a single, user-friendly platform.
We were able to have an edited conversation with the tech genius, and these are some of the enlightening answers he gave to pressing challenges most tech startups face today:
Can you briefly describe the main features and benefits of your newly launched app and what inspired you to create it?
Dr. (PhD) Jerry Igwilo: Of course, I’d be happy to delve deeper into this. The Wynk Super App is a revolutionary solution designed to simplify and enhance our daily lives. It’s not just an app; it’s an all-encompassing platform that consolidates a multitude of essential functions into a single, user-friendly interface.
To provide some context, we envisioned a world where our smartphones played a central role in our daily routines. We observed that our lives are becoming increasingly intertwined with mobile technology, but this also led to an abundance of specialised apps, most of which were underutilised. Many of us had numerous apps sitting on our phones, taking up space and draining battery life, yet they were seldom used.
Our inspiration stemmed from this observation and the desire to make life more convenient for everyone. We set out to create an app that would streamline this experience, offering users a comprehensive solution to their daily needs. The result is the Wynk Super App, a lifestyle super app that encompasses multiple essential functions.
Our goal was clear: we aimed to eliminate the need for users to constantly switch between multiple apps on their phones. Instead, we wanted to provide them with a single app that could seamlessly handle a range of functions, especially those vital to their daily lives.
So, what makes the Wynk Super App unique? It revolves around three core verticals, which we’ve aptly named VRL. “V” stands for Vault, our payment platform. It allows users to effortlessly create a bank account within a minute, eliminating the hassle of traditional banking processes. This is particularly crucial for individuals who lack access to physical bank branches, a challenge we aimed to address head-on.
Moreover, we introduced NQR code services, a groundbreaking feature that simplifies payments across various bank apps. Users can scan the Wynk NQR code, and the recipient’s bank details are instantly accessible. Of course, we offer all the standard payment functions you’d expect, from bill payments to subscription services and mobile top-ups. Additionally, we’ve integrated multi-currency support, allowing users to make payments in USD, Euro, and five other African currencies, catering to a diverse range of users, from small traders to street hawkers and individuals.
Our second vertical, Rides, encompasses e-hailing, mobility, package delivery, and food delivery services. E-hailing is at the core of our offerings, and what sets us apart is that we’ve built our app from scratch, avoiding reliance on external APIs. We discovered that drivers, whom we refer to as “captains,” often felt unrecognised within the ecosystem. To address this, we rebranded them as captains to instill a sense of responsibility when serving riders.
Instead of the conventional commission model, we adopted a subscription approach, which allows captains to pay a fixed monthly fee, enabling them to retain all the earnings from their services. This change significantly improves their financial stability and empowers them in their daily work.
Furthermore, we’ve introduced insurance coverage for captains who subscribe for at least one month. This personal accident insurance covers up to 500,000 Naira in medical bills in the event of an accident, providing added security for our service providers and riders alike.
Security is a top priority for us. Our payment system necessitates Know Your Customer (KYC) verification, creating a trustworthy environment for all users. We know exactly who is on our platform, enhancing safety for both riders and captains.
Lastly, under the lifestyle vertical, we offer social commerce, social media, and entertainment services. Social commerce enables users to buy and sell within the app, capitalising on the convenience of our integrated payment platform. Our social media feature mimics popular platforms, allowing users to connect, share pictures and events, and communicate via video and voice calls.
In summary, the Wynk Super App is not just an app; it’s a lifestyle super app that strives to make life easier and more efficient for users. Our journey has only just begun, and we envision expanding to include up to 20 unique services within the app, all interconnected to create a comprehensive lifestyle solution for our users.
I hope this provides a comprehensive overview of our app and the inspiration behind it.
“The Wynk Super App is not just an app; it’s a lifestyle super app that strives to make life easier and more efficient for users.”
What challenges did you encounter during the development and launch of your app, and how did you overcome them to achieve the success you have today?
Dr. (PhD) Jerry Igwilo: Funding and assembling the right team with the necessary skill sets were the two major hurdles we faced. Initially, we outsourced development to an Indian company. It seemed like a good idea, but costs escalated and communication became cumbersome. To overcome this, we made a strategic decision to shift the development back to Nigeria and hire local engineers who not only understood our vision but also allowed for efficient communication. This shift was pivotal in achieving our current success.
How do you ensure that your app stays relevant and appealing to its users? What lessons have you learned about keeping up with changing trends?
Dr. (PhD) Jerry Igwilo: Staying relevant is all about prioritising the user experience. We focus intensely on creating an appealing design that’s not just attractive but also refreshing. Constant engagement with our users is crucial, and we actively seek their feedback. This ongoing dialogue helps us make incremental updates, ensuring that we remain ahead of changing trends and, most importantly, keeping our users excited about the app’s capabilities.
“Staying relevant is all about prioritising the user experience.”
Can you tell us a mistake you made while launching your app and how you learned from it to make improvements?
Dr. (PhD) Jerry Igwilo: Certainly. One significant mistake we made was trying to launch too many features simultaneously. While our intentions were good, this approach elongated the development process and hindered our ability to quickly learn from user feedback. To correct this, we adopted a more agile approach, launching a few essential features first. This allowed us to gather valuable insights and improve the app efficiently.
What can be done to prevent technical problems or crashes during an app’s debut?
Dr. (PhD) Jerry Igwilo: Preventing technical issues during an app’s debut requires rigorous testing. We conduct extensive physical, simulated, and focus group tests to ensure the app’s stability. Crucially, we test the app across various devices and operating systems to guarantee compatibility. Effective communication between our front-end and back-end teams is essential; it prevents issues and enhances the user experience.
Have there been instances where you noticed that focusing too much on certain features or aspects of the app could have been a potential mistake? And how did you balance these priorities?
Dr. (PhD) Jerry Igwilo: Indeed, we’ve spent considerable time initially on perfecting the app’s design, to the point where it became a potential pitfall. To maintain balance, we decided to outsource the design work to experienced professionals. They quickly presented a design that aligned with our vision and received unanimous approval. This decision saved us valuable time and effort while ensuring a polished user experience.
Why is it important to get feedback from users before and after the launch of an app, and how can they do it well?
Dr. (PhD) Jerry Igwilo: Gathering feedback from users is paramount because it offers valuable insights that a small team might overlook. We continuously engage with our users, soliciting their opinions and conducting app reviews. This iterative process allows us to make incremental updates based on real user feedback, ensuring their satisfaction and loyalty.
“Gathering feedback from users is paramount because it offers valuable insights that a small team might overlook”
What advice would you give to someone starting a lifestyle app regarding common pitfalls they should be careful to avoid?
Dr. (PhD) Jerry Igwilo: Launching a lifestyle app is a journey filled with unique challenges. While the specifics may vary, I’d emphasize two critical aspects. Firstly, stay highly motivated and deeply connected to your solution. Building an app is a lengthy and sometimes solitary journey. The major pitfall isn’t a lack of funding, but rather losing that initial motivation. Secondly, focus on creating value and solving problems. People will naturally gravitate towards solutions that improve their lives. So, keep your motivation high; it’s your driving force, and the rest will follow.
“The major pitfall isn’t a lack of funding but rather losing that initial motivation.”
Jerry Igwilo’s journey in app development with the Wynk Super App showcases the dedication and innovation required to create a lifestyle super app that simplifies users’ lives. By prioritising user experience, learning from mistakes, and staying motivated, Jerry and his team are paving the way for a more convenient and connected future. Wynk Super App is not just an app; it’s a lifestyle solution designed with the user in mind.