In this interview, Olabanjo Alimi Corporate Development Lead, Enyo Retail and Supply, spoke about how the company is harnessing technology to build trust and customer experience, how the launch of Auto-Centres is geared towards developing the currently fragmented automobile industry in Nigeria. Excerpts.
Could you give us an overview of Enyo Retail and Supply?
It is customer-focused, technology driven downstream company which was established in 2017 as a result of our unrelenting desire to expand trademark professionalism in the downstream energy space thereby creating the most exciting fuel retail brand in the country. Our primary focus is to integrate first level customer service experience with fuels retailing and renewable energy products in Africa. We are pioneering the technology revolution in the downstream to see what additional value can be created to support the massive industry.
Your recently launched an Auto center, could you tell us more about it and Vehicon?
Vehicon is our auto-maintenance and car repair business, established to revolutionize vehicle maintenance services. In a bustling city like Lagos, transportation is one of the most fundamental aspects of day-to-day activities. In light of this, we realize the importance of assets such as cars and how essential it is to ensure they are well taken care of. Today marks the unveiling of a world-class auto center at Ogolonto birthed from Enyo’s partnership with Cars45. This Auto-Center was established to provide our customers with the quality service that they desire for their Vehicles. The center will offer customers quality automotive services such as vehicle maintenance, servicing, inspection, sales, swap with other value-added services. Cars45 has harnessed technology to provide customers easy access to buy, sell and swap cars and we believed that we could include our expert auto-maintenance services to offer customers a 360 exceptional car services experience. With this, customers can inspect, diagnose and service the vehicles offered by Cars45 with Vehicon expert technicians.
Why the focus on Car repairs?
It is important to note that without vehicles, the oil&gas business cannot thrive. Not only is it important to provide quality fuels, it is just as important to provide quality services, spare parts and oil for these Vehicles. We want to be able to assure our customers that when it comes to auto repair and maintenance, we are the best-in-class. Prior to the launch of this Auto-Center, Vehicon was situated solely at our service stations. By expanding our expertise, we believe we can gradually transform Nigeria’s automotive industry.
Why the partnership with Cars45?
In 2019, Enyo and Cars45 agreed to a partnership to facilitate the ease of car business by providing consumers with opportunities to buy, sell or swap their cars at all Enyo service stations nationwide. The partnership enabled consumers experience unrivalled automotive services at Enyo retail outlets while increasing visibility for Cars45 value offerings across foot and vehicular traffic channels. Both organizations involved in the partnership have deeply invested in technology and customer satisfaction, and it was only natural that we further our partnership to develop the currently fragmented automobile industry. The synergy between both organizations has been seamless since inception and we hope to roll out similar initiatives that can enhance the automotive industry in Nigeria.
What are the challenges you envisage with the consumers and car owners?
A key challenge we face in this industry is manpower. There are few highly skilled Mechanics in Nigeria, and as a brand that stands for excellence, we have to create a solution in order to offer our customers the best services. This inspired Enyo’s Mechanic Technician Academy – MECHTECH which is a corporate investment and skills development programme targeted at bridging the skills gap amongst Mechanics in the Nigerian auto-repair industry. We source Mechanics from the Mechanic and Technician Association of Lagos, put them through a 10-week intensive course and select the most capable who are suited to work with Enyo, which gives us rest of mind. Consumer confidence and trust was an issue but once we were able to prove to our customers that we are a credible brand, with our oil and gas business, we thought to transfer the same level of expertise to this business.
How many stations should we be expecting at the end of the year and what is the spread across the country?
In 2019, we added 40 more stations to what we had. Currently, we have 84 stations in Nigeria. At minimum, we are expected to do as much as we did last year.
Enyo came into the market three years ago. What gave you the confidence when you started out that you will compete favorably in the market?
From inception, we were very clear on what gaps existed in the market and our aim was to bridge those gaps. The downstream industry had a negative perception and we believed that customers were being taken for granted and not getting enough value for their money. There was the need for someone to emerge and change the narrative, which is what Enyo is doing. We identified that trust was a huge issue and certainly, I do not know any other industry that does over 5bn turnover yearly with little to no technology. Ours was so until we came along and we have drastically changed the narrative.
In Enyo, what drives consumer attraction?
Technology and people; people in the organization who work tirelessly to improve the industry standard. Our shareholders, our Board and our Chairman; Tunde Folawiyo of Folawiyo Energy, who is vastly experienced in this business. Our Managing Director, Abayomi Awobokun, is also a very professional young man, who has had extensive experience in working in this field and he is very passionate about people especially young talents. Our business has too many moving parts, the only way you can stand out is through trust. Therefore, you must have a back end that ensures trust.