We’ve all been there before, or at the very least know someone who has. You see a used car you love, it fits into your budget and it’s up for sale. Less than a week later, the car starts giving you HELL! If you’re tired of spending too much money on used cars that are sent straight from your enemies, this new app called MileFriend could be the answer to your prayers.
We sat down for an enlightening interview with Henry Ndianefo and Joy Uzuegbu of MileFriend who gave us the lowdown on this amazing new product that saves Nigerians thousands of Naira on used cars.
Jumia House Nigeria (JHN): Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Henry Ndiandefo: My name is Henry Ndianefo. I am a graduate of the University of Nigeria Nsukka. I also completed my masters degree at Kingston University in London, where I studied Advanced Manufacturing & Industrial Systems. My love for cars has been the driving force for my choice in studying advanced engineering.
JHN: How did the idea for MileFriend come about?
HN: Like I just highlighted, it comes from moving around and seeing car owners and vehicles having problems on the road, and trying to see how best to solve those problem for the motorist. That is when the idea which MileFriend has been trying to push out there came about.
JHN: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced doing business in Nigeria
HN: I would say the main challenge of doing business in this type of field is with regards to providing an innovative solution because it is something which is hard for people to easily adopt. People are very skeptical about a service like this so it takes time for us to convince them to accept it as a solution and this is one of the major challenges we face.
In Nigeria, there is a tendency for consumers to get comfortable with traditional methods of doing things and we’re also skeptical of trying new things. So the acceptance rate in general for new things is quite low and this is a major hurdle for us.
JHN: So what type of customers do you usually target?
HN: MileFriend is geared towards the motorist, people who own cars or prospective car owners.
JHN: What auto services can we expect to find in partnership with MileFriend?
HN: There are various other services MileFriend provides. One being the pre-purchase inspection. This is tailored to buyers and sellers to help them get the right value for each vehicle. Since Jumia Car and MileFriend share similar goals in providing clients with quality vehicles and sellers get good value for money from the vehicles listed on the platform, we believe the idea of having the MileFriend pre-purchase inspection is a perfect synergy. It helps both the buyer and seller achieve this goal.
JHN: What are some of the benefits of this service for prospective car owners and sellers?
HN: So let’s start with the benefits for prospective car owners. It’s a service that provides them knowledge of the vehicle they’re about to purchase. It ensures that the prospective buyer is only spending exactly what is required to purchase their desired car. For sellers, I would say the benefit of the MileFriend pre-purchase inspection is that it allows them to know the correct value of the car they intend to sell. Oftentimes a seller might think they have a good idea of how much their car is worth, a proper inspection of your vehicle will reveal your car could be worth much more than you had initially thought. So it’s a great service to have on both sides to prevent anyone from getting shortchanged during this important transaction.
JHN: Are your services available all over Nigeria or just Lagos based for now?
HN: Our services are currently in Lagos. However we are looking at other parts of Nigeria, mainly, Abuja and Port Harcourt. We are using all that we have learnt from starting up business in Lagos to move to other parts of the country. We have learnt or should I say mastered the skill of time management. Traffic is synonymous to Lagos, so we have figured out how best to make sure our service agents get to our clients within a reasonable time in order not to disappoint them. This idea of being time conscious is something we intend to carry to our other locations across Nigeria.
JHN: Is pre-purchase inspection the only service available on the MileFriend platform?
HN: Another service we offer at MileFriend comes in the form of car security, insurance and roadside assistance. We provide unique insurance packages for car owners, and a unique diagnostic service which customers can access straight from their mobile devices. We also provide a roadside assistance service for our customers.
JHN: The pre-purchase inspection is a feature recommended to car buyers in order to save money on buying faulty cars. Can you tell us more about what sellers stand to gain from pre-purchase inspection?
HN: A typical car buyer or seller has limited knowledge regarding vehicles, so they can’t really tell what is going on with their vehicle. They tend to place their judgement of the car’s value on their limited knowledge. For sellers, since a car may not have been giving them problems, they may tend to overvalue their cars and this limits their ability to sell the car. But with a pre purchase inspection, they can be guaranteed that their car will be given the most accurate value and ensure it is listed at the right price point which will in-turn result in a quicker sale.
JHN: Is there anything else you would like to tell us about MileFriend?
HN: I think we’ve covered everything about MileFriend. We’re here to provide solutions for car owners. The problems Nigerian car owners face are changing daily, but we are always here to find the best solutions for our customers.
Want to save thousands of Naira on your next car? Click here to book a pre-purchase inspection!