I am Mark Essien, Founder of Hotels.ng, ask me anything!


Hello Mark.

Congratulations on the achievements. I know people are happ, which is good but i can imagine the weight on your shoulder to even do more.

  1. Nigerians are very hard to convince about something new, what was the go to strategy in convincing your target market to embrace hotel.ng value proposition.

  2. What has been your greatest challenge so far as an entrepreneur and how have u managed to reduce it or overcome as the case may be.

  3. Your best advice to first time entrepreneurs who are so passionated about the tech world and have business skills.

Congrats bro. You inspire us. Well done


Congrats big time Mark!
I would like to ask what was the most important todo item before you got the $1M and now that you have it what is your most important todo item?


Eeerm, did I offend @mark? Question asked sinceeee, answer still outstanding. Tenking you in advance of your answer.


Congratulations Mark. I have only four questions.

  1. If hotels.ng were not successful, what else would you have been doing today?
  2. Is there any thing you wish you did differently or earlier in the course of running hotels.ng?
  3. What advice will you give to someone in Nigeria that has 3 million dollars and wants to create a hotel booking startup similar to yours?
  4. If your biggest competition comes to you for advice, what will you tell him/her?
  5. How do I get you to invest in my business?

Exhibit A on why most Nigerians do not have an original thought in their heads.

Copy copy is all Nigerians know how to do.


Hi Mark.

Congratulations - that’s such great news. I love the insight on what it takes to build a marketplace in Nigeria.

I hope I’m not too late to benefit from your wisdom.

My questions are:

  1. What do you feel is the best way to keep transactions between existing buyers and sellers within the platform. (i.e. ensuring hotels didn’t try to avoid paying your referral fees by dealing with customers directly, or customers from booking hotels they’ve been to without using hotels.ng). Is building restriction within your platform the best approach - or do you think it’s better to incentivise them not to (i.e. better customer experience than offline, loyalty program for staying within platform)

  2. In the beginning while bootstrapping - how did you incentivize your workers tasked with bring offline hotels online if you can’t offer them a large financial package.



@mark been killing with these memes. LOL


@mark When did you finally register hotels.ng as a company and what type of company was it registered as. What are the steps in registering a startup.


Hello Mark,

I really admire you awesome progress,not just financially but your all round impact to the hotel system,
would you be kind enough to invest a little bit of your time to mentoring my very very new Education Start up in making as much impact as you have made?
Thank you in advance.


Hi Mark,
Congrat on your deal.

My Questions;

  1. How were you able to get all the hotels to agree to sign up on hotels.ng
  2. How much did it cost in the first one year to run your startup
  3. When will i be able to get you on my TechBusiness Show (Break Digit Show)


Sorry @ latecomers. Christmas day is over


Hi Mark ! I need to what is it that you are doing differently from hotels.com? Their business spheres also extend to Nigeria


Lol… :joy: :joy:


end animated GIF


Hi Mark, congrats on your new funding and greater things ahead. Just a couple of questions

  1. How were you able to convince the ‘big’ hotels to sign up on your platform since they had a website with address, emails and phone numbers and people could book directly?
  2. Are the cost of the hotels on your platform marked-up to accommodate for your commission, like a service fee, and if not, can you say how many percent commission you get?
  3. Based on your experience and platform analytics, do people prefer to pay online or offline after booking?
  4. How many people were on the team when you started?


Be careful with the generalisations


Continued on Nairaland:



Sorry, I missed your question. So I think it’s a perspective problem. Many founders see it as ‘their company’. They own this company and their word is law and it’s something that is intrinsically linked to them. I think they need to look at it from another perspective: a company is an entity of its own, and it’s a collaboration between people working towards a shared goal. The people involved in the company are you, the people working IN the company, and the people who believe enough in the company to put money in it. All these people own the company. You are one of the shareholders of the company, not the owner.

So what you want to do is bring in a new shareholder and partner into the company when you are looking for investment. It’s not someone coming to give YOU money, but someone coming to join the company as one of the people with a stake in it. It’s important then to pick people who will work to move the company forwards and upward. Partners, basically, not money givers.

As a shareholder, some of your net worth gets tied into this company. The faster the company grows, the more your net worth is going to increase. That share you hold in the company is your ownership of the company. That is a separate relationship between you and the company, compared to your relationship as the CEO. As CEO, your responsibility is to grow the company - and make decisions that are going to lead to the best possible result for the company. That’s a separate and different responsibility from your shareholding responsibility.

So I think it’s about perspective - if people understand the distinction between themselves and the company, and the distinction between their roles as CEO and Shareholder, they will start to understand what the role of the investor is, and the relationship he has with the company, and understand that he is not there to steal anybodies company.


Thank you! Enlightening POV


@mark I think i am late for this but first let me greet you in our language. “amenam na fon, nme kom fin essien.”, here is my question to you cause i just started my startup jobinpal,

  1. I want to ask how did you get there from these Nigerian condition. #Nolight.
  2. How where you able to make it without the help of incubator hubs, starting from home.