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MAX: Kickstarting Last-Mile Logistics in Lagos

MIT Sloan > LearningEdge > Entrepreneurship > MAX: Kickstarting Last-Mile Logistics in Lagos
Anna Waldman-Brown and Georgina Campbell Flatter
In July 2017, MAX (Metro African eXpress) was paving the way for an ecommerce boom in Lagos, Nigeria by creating the city’s first reliable same-day delivery service. MAX used an on-demand mobile platform to match delivery requests with highly vetted and trained motorcycle couriers. This growing, loudly-branded fleet of 66 contract drivers was making 500 deliveries per day, creating new opportunities for small businesses. Cofounder Tayo Bamiduro was eager to scale, but how? Should MAX continue expanding within Lagos, or was it time to branch out? And should the company continue to focus on its core motorcycle delivery and taxi services, or should it dedicate resources toward converting its proprietary mapping standards and driver licensing into new products?
Learning Objective
To generate class discussion on the challenges and opportunities entrepreneurs and startups face when scaling an early-stage success in an emerging market; consider the costs and benefits of saturating current market versus expanding to new markets, and of researching and diversifying a product line vs. pushing it out more widely.
Could be taught in the following course(s)
strategy; leadership; entrepreneurship; emerging markets; international development; transportation; logistics