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The truth about my departure from Dealfish.

Today is Jamhuri Day in Kenya meaning its a public holiday where we can get to spend time at home with our families or spend the day out, like all other public h0lidays in Kenya. For some, public holidays are a great time to nurse massive hangovers or even to continue drinking for an extra day over what in this case a long weekend. For me, on this end, its a great time to blog and tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about my departure from Dealfish as Regional Manager for East Africa.

Let me start by saying that working at Dealfish since I joined on the 1st September 2010 as employee “number one” for East Africa has been a truly rewarding, and ultimately, a phenomenal experience. At the time I joined Dealfish, everyone who had known me as one of the founders of Dotsavvy really took a second take and wondered why the hell I was leaving my own successful digital agency to start/join a nascent online classifieds business?! For many, it just did not seem to make any sense. It did however for me. I had spent the better part of a decade building Dotsavvy into what is arguably one of Kenya’s better digital agencies. For anyone who has had the pleasure/pain of working in Kenya’s digital services sector as I have done for over 10 years, this is not always a bed of roses but can be hugely satisfying on so many levels. In a nutshell, I needed something new – something I could sink into with ALL my teeth, leveraging my many years in digital services. Something that would be a whole new level of challenge. Dealfish was it for me. I was chewing at the bit. I was ready to roll. Nuff said.

Today, one year and three months later, Dealfish ranks as Kenya’s second most popular local web site after the Daily Nation according to Alexa.com, the online web site ranking service. In addition, Dealfish in Kenya boasts over 85,000 active ad listings for a myriad of products and services, nationwide. In many ways, the arrival of Google Trader, Junkmail, Cheki, and PigiaMe over the last few months with aggressive online marketing validates all the effort that has gone into making Dealfish a online success story. Dealfish did really set the ball rolling in both East and West Africa as the first real run at making online classifieds a “serious” business in Africa. I am proud and humbled at what we have achieved at Dealfish – I feel super privileged and honoured to have worked with such a talented team in East Africa and beyond.

Going to the heart of this blog post, I did not leave Dealfish for some of the many reasons that have been floated online and offline, some being unnecessarily harsh, crude and untrue. I did not have a fight with fellow senior managers’ Neil Schwartzman and Stefan Magdalinski at MIH. We did not fallout over the market strategies for Dealfish or management control. My departure has been totally amicable and I gave in a three month notice as per the terms of my employment agreement which was duly accepted – this incidentally happened before the announcement that Kalahari would be closed in Kenya and Nigeria, as well as the temporary suspension of Dealfish operations in Uganda and Ghana. Hell, Stef(an), Neil and the MIH East Africa team held a farewell party for me last week where we had a blast, for ALL times sake. Yes. This is the truth. I have left on very good terms and intend to work closely with Dealfish and MIH in Africa as a client from early 2012.

Where am I going to next? Much has been said and much has been leaked. I will be joining InMobi as the Director for Sales in Africa. I am really excited about this new career opportunity since its very much in-line with my own interests with digital marketing within the mobile space. In addition, I get to handle both East and West African markets which are clearly growth markets for mobile marketing, especially in Nigeria and Kenya. So there you have it, in a nutshell. Nothing sensational to report. Simply a change of hands so to speak? At the same time, I want to wish the awesome crew at Dealfish and MIH Africa all the best in 2012 which will be their biggest year yet – mark my words! (Google Trader, Cheki, PigiaMe and Et Al, watch this space!).

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41 Comments

  1. December 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm — Reply

    All the best Moses I think we have all seen your efforts at Dealfish. Best of luck with your new Job at InMobi and as it turns out InMobi is one of our launch partners for the CrowdPesa platform launch this Wednesday 14th DEC at the iHub 6pm to which you are invited.

    All the best man!

  2. […] a blog post, Kemibaro […]

  3. December 12, 2011 at 3:11 pm — Reply

    All the best Moses on your new job at Inmobi.You really contributed to the success of Dealfish to what it is today.Congrats man

  4. December 12, 2011 at 4:00 pm — Reply

    Congrats and all the best at InMobi. I know you will be successful in all that you sink your teeth into so as to speak. Go get them tiger…..

  5. December 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm — Reply

    Onward and upward, Moses. Best of luck!

    Cheers,
    Ben

  6. December 12, 2011 at 7:24 pm — Reply

    May you conquer the new territories before you.

  7. Idris
    December 12, 2011 at 7:32 pm — Reply

    Moses,the people who have had the opportunity as I have known you for so long would not have also thought of speculating the notion of you leaving any thing as a result of a conflict. I don’t think a clarification was needed for your move.there are times that we got to clarify things in interest of other affected parties.
    Have a great endever with the new position.

  8. Patrick Mutuota
    December 12, 2011 at 10:41 pm — Reply

    Oh this was news and glad to know you’ve left in good terms. Am certain you shall do a splendid job and congratulations on your move.

    I’ve moved to West Africa though still based in Nairobi to advance “BPO” proposition in Africa. I’ll still be interested in connecting with you in advancing the ITEST space through KITOS.

    All the best and see you soon

  9. Edwin
    December 12, 2011 at 11:11 pm — Reply

    Keep going Moses! I recall those first Dotsavvy days and you’ve been blazing since. God bless you in your new endeavour!

  10. Franklin Nnebe
    December 13, 2011 at 1:56 am — Reply

    Hey Moses, Classy rebuttal to what I read on techloy. Congrats on your new position at InMobi. And good luck against internet giants google 🙂

  11. December 13, 2011 at 5:22 am — Reply

    My heartiest congratulations on this move – definately the right one for you.

    God Bless.

  12. December 13, 2011 at 6:00 am — Reply

    It is great to hear from the horse’s mouth and dispel all the rumours.

    Wish you the best in your next assignment.

  13. December 13, 2011 at 6:07 am — Reply

    All the best man, press on…

  14. Joy
    December 13, 2011 at 7:06 am — Reply

    Congratulations on the transition! Best wishes always!

  15. December 13, 2011 at 10:34 am — Reply

    Congratulations Moses. All the best with the new opportunity.

  16. Denis Gikunda
    December 13, 2011 at 11:13 am — Reply

    Congrats Moses! Fantastic Job with Dealfish. All the ebst on to your next, challenging role at InMobi!

  17. @SambumbuJMK
    December 13, 2011 at 1:27 pm — Reply

    All the best Moses,hope i can still learn more for you success.

  18. David Muriithi
    December 14, 2011 at 12:05 am — Reply

    Moses,

    I am so very proud of you my brother. You are a sound guy and you deserve all the new success that continues coming your way. We have worked together for years and I hope we will in the far flung future…!! Keep yer head up dude!!!!

  19. December 15, 2011 at 9:06 am — Reply

    Brother this is awesome! make sure you work even harder in your next move. Bravo!

  20. McTim
    December 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm — Reply

    Best of Luck Moses, InMobi is lucky to have you!!

  21. December 20, 2011 at 12:24 pm — Reply

    DO what you have to do Moses. All the best with your present and future endeavours.

  22. Philip Wahome
    December 21, 2011 at 11:11 am — Reply

    Belated congratulations. Keep going!

  23. December 23, 2011 at 2:24 pm — Reply

    Moses, you claim not to like sensationalism yet your favourite blog is Media Madness? Jealousy and pettyness should not make you stop being rational.

  24. Keith
    August 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm — Reply

    Hi
    Was dealfish sold..why are we forced to migrate to olx

    • September 7, 2012 at 11:47 am — Reply

      @keith Dealfish continues to operate as OLX. Its a change of brand but the owners are still MIH.

  25. Julius Czar
    May 3, 2014 at 10:07 pm — Reply

    Hello Moses.
    Many times the performance statistics of online based companies are very impressive but such companies never last for 2-3 years and that really puzzles me, as a person who is very interested in ecommerce I begin to believe that such stats are just made up, right?

    • May 18, 2014 at 8:30 am — Reply

      @julius the main problem tends to be the search for a viable business model. There are a good number of successful startups in Kenya doing e-commerce. Some are large and well funded and others are really small but nevertheless profitable? Its not all doom and gloom as this is after all the inevitable future.

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