Justin Drennan is an ecommerce veteran who has helped numerous South African online businesses succeed.
He is known for his involvement in Parcelninja, Superbalist, and Wantitall, and has consulted for many large corporates on their ecommerce strategies.
Drennan started his computing life on a ZX Spectrum, and on his 13th birthday received an Intel 8086-powered PC.
He upgraded to a 286, 386SX-25, 486-66, and beyond, and to save money on computing parts he became an overclocker.
Drennan also grew up with PC games, was one of the founding members of the DC Counterstrike team, and played Starcraft 2 in the diamond league.
His love for computing then drove him to study Information Technology at the Port Elizabeth Technikon when he left school.
After his studies, he worked in the financial and banking industry for a few years, which included IT positions at BOE Bank, TransUnion, and RMB Bank.
Starting his first business
Drennan left the corporate world in 2006 to start Wantitall, after he struggled to bring niche products into the country from US-based shops which did not ship to South Africa.
Through Wantitall, he built a platform which makes it seamless to purchase US-based products and have them delivered to a local address.
The platform currently lists over 100 million products from multiple suppliers in the United States, and they ship their products daily from the US.
Drennan then started Parcelninja in 2014, which offers South African online shops an affordable outsourcing solution for all their fulfillment needs.
He currently spends most of his time running Parcelninja, which is a tough business to make profitable, as it needs tremendous scale.
The company provides numerous South African ecommerce shops with world-class logistics, which allows them to focus on their core business instead of worrying about courier services or packing boxes.
In essence, Parcelninja does the heavy lifting for online shops in South Africa and can offer these services at low rates, thanks to its scale.
Drennan is also known in the South African ecommerce market as an active investor, and someone whose guidance can help make a company successful.
He has invested, and helped to build, numerous local startups, including Superbalist, i-Pay, and Conversio.
He also helped start the insurance aggregator Insurance.co.za with a partner.
Ask Justin Drennan Anything
MyBroadband is giving you the opportunity to ask Drennan anything about ecommerce and startups in South Africa.
He will select questions to answer, and will also pick the best question – which will see its poster win an Amazon Fire 7 with Alexa.
To take part in the discussion and post a question, visit the MyBroadband Forum link below.
Please post your questions before 12:00 on 4 July 2018.