British-Ghanaian entrepreneur, Stephan Eyeson, is current CEO and Founder of pan-African consumer intelligence gathering firm, Survey54.
Could you tell us about your company?
Survey54 was launched in 2019 and is a market research outfit that uses AI-powered insights to collect data and interpret consumer habits. What we do is help companies to understand African consumer tendencies and how this can affect their marketing plans and overall bottom line. We are operating right now mostly out of the UK and South Africa but our methods are fitted to global participation. As the company name implies, we are active in all 54 countries of Africa, but our highest areas of data insights are Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Ghana.
To which industries do you render your services?
The sectors that have so far benefited from our intelligence are FMCGs, Fintech, Healthcare and Food & Retail. Our clients tend to be international companies operating or making an entry into the African economy, but local organizations are very much in play as well.
How has the market responded to your services?
Positively, especially in South Africa. The current global health crisis we face has produced one silver lining – there’s an unprecedented surge in digitization in Africa. The need to have strong internet at home has gone from luxury to basic necessity. Home orders have shot up and digital interaction has generated more information on consumer behaviors than ever before. We have found this to be a positive trend and our feedback has reflected as much.
In what direction will the company be going Q2 2021?
We aim to expand our offering to purely consumer intelligence and will target expansion in Egypt, Mozambique and Rwanda. We are also working to partner with fintech companies to understand buying patterns and consumer habits within African consumers.
What makes your approach to consumer insights different from that of other existing firms?
We use various mobile and AI-backed technology to automate the consumer research problem. We also leverage different channels such as our mobile app, USSD, Voice and SMS to reach respondents in rural areas and those within cities. We are able to get respondents within minutes as we have a large database of participants across four major countries. We are purely focused on Africa which means we have templates that are tailored towards each country.
The AfCFTA took effect January this year. As your services span all 54 countries of Africa, how does this development impact your operations?
AfCFTA is very exciting for us. We plan to open up our research on consumers which will allow companies to make decisions on which countries they can buy and sell in based on demand. It’s safe to believe that this will be instrumental in companies making the right decisions.
What are the ambitions of Survey54 as a company?
Our goal long term is to be the largest holder of consumer insight on the continent. We’d also like to see a situation where we can make available our intelligence to SMEs as well as startups in Africa. At the moment we mostly work with large organizations that already recognize the need for consumer understanding, but the fact is that a lot of African startups fail because they go blindly into the market. This does not need to be the case.
What is the latest news from the company?
We are currently working on trackers that allow companies to understand and track real-time what Africans are consuming by the day as well as their eating habits. We are confident we’ll see this come into shape by year end.