A BUSINESSMAN and entrepreneur from the region is helping a consortium create a new retail platform it believes could rival Amazon in the developing world.

Ojami, a store aggregator technology platform, connects buyers and sellers in emerging economies to provide an online shopping experience and fast delivery.

Many nations do not have the infrastructure required for the hub and spoke model popular in the US and Europe, which has seen companies such as Amazon struggle to make traction with delivery times commonly five to 15 days.

With their new platform, the Ojami team are developing a system which can deliver in as little as two hours.

Management consultant and Growth Strategy Roadmap founder, Steve Pugh, who is based in Gateshead, was approached by the chief executive of Ojami's parent company De-Miropass Technologies Ltd, Adejoro Oluwashola, via LinkedIn.

He is on an advisory board including members from South Africa, Canada and the UK helping to steer the project, on which he is an investor.

He said: “Coronavirus has made it very clear how important e-commerce and home delivery is in the UK, but this is also true worldwide.

"In large countries with low population densities and minimal infrastructure, the mega warehouse model of the major players simply does not work.

"Combined with significantly more traffic and also a culture where e-commerce is still relatively new, this has introduced a huge opportunity.”

Due to the pandemic, the rate of users embracing e-commerce globally has skyrocketed, achieving ten years’ worth of adoption in just three months.

The team behind this new platform hope to capitalise on that and believe their platform, with delivery in as little as two hours compared to five to 15 days of other major online retailers, could rival Amazon in those countries.

Mr Pugh said: “I will be bringing my background in business strategy, problem solving, marketing and communications to the team to help express the vision of the company into a proposition which is attractive to investors.

“It’s really exiting to work on a project which could genuinely take off. By engaging users and making the platform attractive to investors, we will create a clear exit strategy.”