• Thursday, May 23, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Commitment to fostering inclusion is woven into every aspect of our business – Duduyemi

Commitment to fostering inclusion is woven into every aspect of our business – Duduyemi

Yemisi Duduyemi is the founder & CEO, Custom Gifts & Designs Limited, one of the fastest growing gifting companies in Nigeria. In her two decades of work experience, she has exemplified herself as a thoroughbred professional and more lately blazing the trail in the world of business. Duduyemi is a graduate of Accounting and holder of Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Osun State Nigeria.

Her passion for quality service delivery and value creation spurred her interest in addressing the underserved gap she had observed in the gifting industry. Hence, she developed a disruptive model that creates better consumer experience with a complementary platform that is scalable over time. She aims at improve the gifting culture in Nigeria and steering the vision to become the prime destination for gifting expressions in Nigeria. In this interview with Weekender, she speaks on how women inclusion and diversity has become integral to the strength and beauty of the organisation.

Read also: Lagosians battle water shortage despite N16bn budgetary allocation for corporation in 5 years

What does Diversity, Equality and Inclusion mean to your organization; what has been your experience in visibly promoting inclusion in the society and what practical steps are you taking to leverage your brand to further this course?

As the Founder & CEO of Custom Gifts & Designs (CGD), I see myself not just as a business leader, but as an advocate for a world where every individual feels valued, understood, and connected.
Our journey in Lagos, from a humble start-up with a vision of becoming a prime destination for gifting expressions, has been both a reflection of and a testament to the rich tapestry of diversity that Nigeria offers.

Inclusion to me is more than a concept; it’s the very fabric of our existence. It’s the acknowledgement that each thread, no matter how seemingly different, is integral to the strength and beauty of the whole. It’s a mantra that resonates deeply within our walls: “Every gift has a story, every person has a voice, every voice shapes our world.”

There have been countless moments that made me feel seen, but one stands out in particular. It was during a community outreach where we distributed personalized balloons to a diverse group of children. I saw their eyes light up, not just because of what they received, but because the gifts reflected shared values of love and respect. This moment reaffirmed my belief that when we celebrate individuality, we foster unity.

The value of diversity was further instilled in me when we expanded our range to include products that cater to different lifestyles, age groups and religious beliefs. Witnessing customers from various backgrounds find the perfect gift that speaks to their heritage has been nothing short of magical. It’s these experiences that ignite our mission to help customers discover and share remarkable gifts for every occasion.

Our commitment to fostering inclusion is woven into every aspect of our business. Internally, we’ve created an environment where our team members from different ethnicities, genders, and social backgrounds can thrive. Their diverse perspectives are not just heard, but are actively sought and integrated into our decision-making processes. This diversity within our team enhances our creativity and helps us better serve our diverse customer base.

Externally, our purpose of “inspiring stronger social ties” is a beacon of our dedication to inclusion. We understand that gifts are more than just physical items; they are extensions of relationships, expressions of love, care, and recognition. By offering a variety of gifts that cater to different ages, orientations, and cultural backgrounds, we are fostering a sense of belonging and togetherness. Whether it’s a custom piece that celebrates a personality or a gift park shared with family and friends, we are committed to ensuring that every person can find something that resonates with them in our signature store at #CGDLekkiStore.

In our pursuit of inclusion, we’ve also been intentional about accessibility. We strive to make our products and services available to as many people as possible, regardless of their socioeconomic status. We offer a range of prices and work tirelessly to ensure that our store is a welcoming space for everyone.

What new initiatives should we look forward to seeing in the nearest future, and what’s your message of hope to your audience?

As we look to the future, my message of hope is that we continue to embrace the beautiful diversity of our society. I dream of a world where inclusion is not an afterthought but a fundamental principle that guides our interactions. A world where businesses like ours are not the exception but the norm, where every individual feels seen, heard, and valued.

Our vision to be the prime destination for gifting expressions in Nigeria is steeped in the belief that we can bridge gaps and build connections through the simple act of giving. We are more than a gift store; we are a platform that celebrates the diversity of human experience, a space that encourages empathy, and a community that thrives on mutual respect and understanding.

As we continue to grow and influence the gifting culture in Nigeria, let us remember that our purpose goes beyond transactions. We are in the business of weaving the fabric of society tighter with every gift exchanged. By recognizing and honoring our differences, we are creating a tapestry that tells a story of unity in diversity.

In conclusion, I invite each of you to join us in this journey of fostering stronger social ties through inclusion. Let us work hand in hand to create a more inclusive future, where every person can share in the joy of giving and receiving gifts that truly represent who they are. Together, let us build a legacy of love, one gift at a time.