“Enter when ready to serve, not when ready to sell.”
Flaviano Quicandi Quisseque and Masutu Vihanga are entrepreneurs, and the co-founders of E-Sell Namibia. Flaviano, who originates from Angola, considers himself to be a calm but determined individual with a natural sense of humor. He moved to Namibia when he was 9 years old and lived apart from his parents ever since, with only holidays and occasional visits allowing him time with his family. He is a devout Christian who believes in living a life free of excuses, and further that ‘failure is one’s best teacher’.
Flaviano always had a passion for not only business but for serving people as well. He proceeded to pursue & acquire a qualification in Business Administration at the Institution of International Training College Lingua. In 2018, after he had left his job working as a coach at DTS, he conceptualised the idea of a platform that would facilitate the buying & selling of pre-owned goods. This platform would aim to help people sell items they no longer needed while making an extra income. It would further ensure safety from scams or theft as well as preventing the high circulation of stolen items currently being sold.
In 2019, he teamed up with his good friend & business partner, Masutu Vihanga, who was running a delivery business of his own at the time. They then teamed up and officially launched E-Sell Namibia in September 2019 along with help from two other individuals: Diana Davids and Johannes Kapolo. Flaviano and Masutu have since been solely focused on expanding the brand.
Tell us about E-Sell Namibia, the products & services you offer and the team behind your startup.
“We facilitate the buying and selling of mainly second-hand goods for individuals or organisations. We also market local businesses using our online platforms that have a wide reach in business and private platforms. We offer these services through our website as well as on WhatsApp and our Facebook & Instagram pages.”
What inspired you to start this business?
“We wanted to make the sale process of second-hand goods safe & efficient, by allowing people easy access to goods & services at an affordable price. We realized that many people struggled with getting rid of items they no longer had use for, and most of these were in a good condition. This opened up a gap for us to capitalize on.”
What do you enjoy most about being your own boss, and did you always know you wanted to delve into entrepreneurship?
“Being your own boss requires a certain level of discipline, which is a challenge I love waking up to everyday. Yes, I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur because of my desire to serve people.”
What sets your products/services apart from those in the same industry?
“First and foremost, you’ll get your money’s worth and we are time efficient. One of the benefits of buying products through us is that we provide warranty and proof of ownership on every item our clients buy or sell using our platform.”
What challenges have you encountered on your entrepreneurial journey and how did you overcome some of them?
“Probably trying to juggle our ambitions along with family responsibilities and our religious commitments. We are still overcoming this everyday by aligning our priorities and devoting the most time to what matters most.”
What is your business philosophy?
“We do not engage in any transactions that does not benefit all parties involved.
‘Expectations lead to disappointments.’.”
What advice would you give to someone trying to break into this industry?
“Enter when ready to serve, not when ready to sell. The industry needs passion for the work as well as a serving mentality. Our services connect people and working with people requires one to have a growth mindset.”
How important is networking as a growth component of any startup?
“As a start-up, it is almost impossible to operate in an isolated sphere. We all want to achieve great things and we have all these great ideas, however, in this growing Namibian economy we need, now more than ever, to work together. Networking creates opportunities for growth. It may be in gaining new clients or perhaps in building stronger relationships with suppliers to ensure a lasting and healthy relationship. Trust, inspiration, exposures, interactions, and pre-qualified referrals that you get through networking are special resources that can’t be found anywhere else.”
What role does your startup play in 1) contributing to society and 2) in nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Namibia?
“a) We contribute by bringing people together through the buying & selling and minimizing major issues in society of theft, scams among others.
b) We have in many cases partnered with other start-ups as a sign that we welcome innovative ideas and we use our platforms to promote local products and businesses.”
Startups in Namibia, and all over the world, faced an unprecedented crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic; how has your startup adjusted to the situation?
“Day to day operations have been adjusted so as to curb the further spread of the virus. Because of the nature of our business, it has been an easy transition into this “new normal”; we put ourselves at the forefront of any transactions by ensuring that both the seller and buyer do not have to have any form of physical interaction unless deemed fit and really necessary.”
Cell: 081 223 9459 ; 081 422 4207
Facebook: E-Sell Namibia