MAX Impact — Jacob Joseph
Note: a version of this article appears on the MAX Blog.
MAX is on a mission to transform the transportation and logistics sector in Africa through its innovative use of digital and physical technologies.
While the team is making significant progress towards its vision of accessible and affordable urban transportation across Africa by growing our business, it is also particularly proud of its social impact.
In less than three years of existence MAX has created over 150 direct jobs, enabled over 3,000 indirect jobs, and impacted over 20,000 lives as a result of our business operations.
In the MAX Impact series, you will get a look at how MAX is transforming urban mobility in Africa and creating socioeconomic impact.
The backbone of MAX’s transport and logistics operations are our MAX Champions — the professional, customer-focused dispatch riders who fulfil package delivery and customer transport requests and help us bring convenience, trust and safety to the urban mobility sector.
In our first MAX Impact feature, I met a top Champion who has found a place to build a foundation towards his dreams in the MAX network.
“My name is Jacob Joseph… My job title is a Champion.”
Jacob is a happily married father of two and is clearly proud to be a MAX Champion. He joined MAX in February 2016 and works with MAX partners and on the on-demand network (MAX Eats, MAX Now, and the recently-launched MAX Go).
On how he found his way to MAX:
“I was working at another company in Victoria Island when I met Mr. Chinedu (MAX’s Co-Founder and CTO). When the company told me that they were stopping their delivery service, I asked Chinedu if I could join the MAX delivery service. He told me that he would accept me if I was willing to work. So, I applied.”
On making the transition from being salaried to being paid on commission as a MAX Champion:
“The experience with MAX has been very fantastic. At the company in Victoria Island, I was working as a salary-paid man and when I first got to MAX, they paid me for three good months as a salary staff. Then Mr. Chinedu told me that we are going to run this as commission work — the best job you do, then the best payment you get. So, I agreed on that and I started seeing that it’s giving me a good opportunity to make my life easy and to take care of my family.”
Almost immediately, Jacob noticed that his take-home income increased. When asked how much of an increase in his income he has experienced since joining MAX, he proudly says “It has been a big amount, I can tell… More than double.” He explains further, “Yes. It’s double. That’s because, at the old company, I wasn’t taking my bike home. But when I joined MAX’s commission work, I could take my bike home and I take care of my bike by myself.”
Through the MAX Go Partners program, MAX matches Champions with motorcycles (okadas) or motorized tricycles (kekes) provided by investors who use the MAX Go platform to earn passive income while enabling riders without their own bikes to immediately start earning an income through MAX. Riders can also get on the path to owning their bikes as MAX provides a financing option to Champions. Jacob has taken advantage of this opportunity. When asked if he owns his bike: “Yes. My bike just has 10,000 Naira left or 5,000. Yes. I think this month I will own my bike by myself.”
“I’m Jacob Joseph from CBK. The Son of the King.”
On what the best part of his experience as a MAX Champion has been so far:
“The best thing is Mr. Chinedu. He’s a very serious man and he likes serious people. He takes everybody along. He doesn’t want to leave things so this person should get and these people will not get. He just wants to help everybody. By that point they will be proud of themselves. That’s what I’m proud of at MAX.”
While asking Jacob about what he would do to make things better, what he shared caught me by surprise. “What MAX can do that will be better for the business is to hire trusted people. And humble people — people that know what they are looking for. I come from the North… I’m from CBK, Chibok Local Government.”
Chibok has been in the news in recent years due to the 2014 kidnapping of 276 female students from the Government Girls Secondary School by Boko Haram insurgents. Due to the insurgents’ actions, many natives of Borno and other northern states, particularly in the north-eastern region of Nigeria, have moved to other parts of the country to escape the violence and provide for their families.
Jacob came to Lagos in 2007 in search of a better life for himself and his family. “Since 2007, I’ve been coming to Lagos. My family is here with me together in Lagos. But my Mother and Father still live in Adamawa State.” When I asked if MAX has helped him to support them, Jacob recounts how the management has been there for him. “Yes, MAX has helped me. There was a time my wife fell sick. I came to Mr. Chinedu and told him and he said “that’s no problem.” I was at home, I didn’t ask if he was going to send the money, but I actually received it. He sent some money to me [based on company policy] and he said I should take care of my family. And I appreciate that.”
On another occasion, Jacob was unfortunately involved in an accident. “I had an accident and Chinedu didn’t even charge me for nothing and he paid for the bill. That’s while I like to work in MAX. They take care of people and they give us HMO cards. Whenever you fall sick you treat yourself over there. You didn’t have cash you go to the hospital, they take care of you, they check on you.”
“I’ve been chopping money in the MAX delivery service. That’s why you see I’m here.”
On what he would he would like to say to MAX’s management:
“I have to say thanks to all the operations team, and thanks for the MAX management, the CEO and COO, and the partners. To make a business is not easy.” He also mentioned MAX’s monthly tradition of rewarding its top performing riders. “Like here they do employee of the month, every month, where they recognize like 3 people. Where the first person has 15,000 Naira, the second person has 6,000 Naira, and the last person 4,000 Naira… It encourages you. I’ve received that award a lot of times. I’ve received the award like four times or three times. I think. I’ve been chopping money in the MAX delivery service. That’s why you see I’m here.”
The advice he would give to new MAX Champions, particularly as a top-performing Champion on the MAX platform:
“If you are a new champion, this is what I advise you to do — you not go after your colleague’s salary, but focus on being hard-working… If you want it to work, just make up your mind. You started this job because you wanted to become somebody. Before you become somebody, it’s not easy; you just have to be strong.”
He makes also a point of speaking to young new recruits. “I advise a lot of Champions — If you want it to work with MAX, it’s a very beautiful place. It’s a very healthy place to work as a young guy. If something happens to you, they will take care of you. They will give you the opportunity to make your money. This job, if you are serious, you gain much, and it makes you better — I rent my house; I pay my children’s school fees… I built my own house in my village as I’m working in MAX.”
Clearly, working for MAX has had an impact on Jacob’s life: it has enabled him to contribute to the wellbeing of his family, increase his earnings, as well as find a work schedule that fits his lifestyle at a company he trusts.
MAX has a bold, innovative, and transformative vision to unlock Africa’s potential for domestic and international enterprise, while enabling more people to participate in the marketplace and improve their wellbeing and that of their families. We want to make sure that more people like Jacob experience the positive impact of our operations.
Would like to contribute to our social impact work or are interested in working with us to make our vision a reality? Have any questions for our Champions you would like to have answered in our next MAX Impact feature?
Share them in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.