Mark Essien is a business owner who also works as a software developer and invests in new ventures. Hotels.ng is one of the most successful online hotel booking platforms in Nigeria, and he is the company’s founder. The success that Mark has had with Hotels.ng is motivating and encouraging, and his story ought to do the same for every young person in Nigeria. It is to your advantage to maintain concentration and work hard in what you are pursuing.
Mark Essien’s Past and His Background
Mark Essien’s parents, Anthony Paul Essien and Monika Essien, brought him into the world on December 18th, 1980 in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom, Nigeria. His mother, Monika Essien, is a child educationist and the owner of a school in Ikot Ekpene called Monika Kindergarten. His father, Anthony Paul Essien, is a political figure in the state of Akwa Ibom.
Mark Essien received his primary education from the school that his mother taught in, and his secondary education from Federal Government College, which is located in Ikot Ekpene. After completing his secondary education, he moved to Germany to continue his education at a university there. Mark Essien holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree (B.Eng) in Computer Hardware Engineering from Beuth Hochschule Berlin, Germany, as well as a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany. Both of these institutions are located in Berlin, Germany.
Mark and Jenni Naiaretti, both of whom work as software developers for GeneO Ltd., are married and very happy.
Early Years in Mark Essien’s Professional Career
During the two months that Mark Essien spent in Germany studying for the required German Language Program and A-Levels examination, he supported himself financially by working as a part-time cinema attendant. After that, he became a caregiver for a man who was paralyzed and worked night shifts. Programming was one of the skills that he picked up during this time period.
Mark Essien initially worked for Snoopstar.com, which later purchased his file-sharing software called Gnumm. After leaving that company, Mark Essien went on to pursue a career as a freelance software developer.
The extensive experience he gained in programming while working at Snoopstar enabled him to construct other products in addition to Hotels.ng.
A Brief History of Hotels.ng
Mark’s goal was to establish a company in Nigeria that is driven by technology and is successful there. He realized that the hotel and travel industry in Nigeria was in need of some innovation at the same time that Jumia and Konga were making waves in the internet space. Fortunately, this occurred during the time that they were doing so.
In 2012, he developed the initial version of Hotels.ng, which consisted of nothing more than a list of hotels at the time. He was convinced that it was the right time to move back to Nigeria and work on his dream after observing the traffic generated by the website in a short period of time.
To our good fortune, Jason Njoku was browsing Spark.ng at precisely this moment in search of a profitable internet business in which to make an investment. Therefore, Spark.ng made an initial investment in Hotels.ng amounting to 75,000 dollars in order for the company to launch its operations in Lagos. Spark eventually invested an additional $150,000 in Hotels.ng, doing so after analyzing the company’s business model as well as Mark Essien’s approach to leadership. Hotels.ng was able to grow and expand their hotel listings with the assistance of the funds.
Hotels.ng, in contrast to the other start-ups that they helped launch, has continued to expand. This is largely attributable to the manner in which Mark Essien leads. Mark has maintained a lean methodology, implemented a workable SEO marketing strategy for hotels.ng, and positioned himself as an authority on twitter. He has also been successful in positioning himself as an innovator on twitter.
To further its business in Africa, the company raised an additional $1.2 million in 2015 from Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, through his Omidyar Network, as well as from Echo VC Pan African Fund.
Hotel.africa and its accompanying flight booking platform, Fly.africa, were both introduced by Hotels.ng at the beginning of this year. Over 27,312 hotels can be found on the Hotels.africa website, including accommodations in Cape Town, Sandton, Knysna, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Nigeria, Nairobi, Malindi, Masai Mara, Kenya, Mombasa, and Nakuru.
In 2016, Mark joined Spark.ng in making an investment in an online startup called OgaVenue. OgaVenue is a venue booking platform that features over 6000 event locations all over the country of Nigeria.
Mark Essien is a frequent speaker on TEDx, which is a global community that was established to celebrate locally-driven ideas by bringing them to a global stage. Mark gave a talk at TEDxEuston in 2016 on the topic of leveraging networks to build a business, and he gave a talk at TEDxGbagada in 2015 on the topic of how Africa can lead in the global technology space.