Stakeholders converge on Lagos to chart way forward for Nigeria’s retail sector

In line with promoting Nigeria’s retail sector through technology, founders of tech startups, stakeholders and enthusiasts converged in Lagos to chart a way forward for Nigeria’s retail sector.

The six-day Lagos Startup Week (LSW), which was held from July 25 to 30 in Victoria-Island, is the sixth edition that witnessed over 3000 attendees and 100 speakers in several panel discussions, exhibitions, learning and networking sessions.

Adewale Opaleye, the founder/Group CEO, Alerzo, during one of the sessions on day four, which centred on ‘Future of Consumers and Consumers Trade (Payment, Retail and Trade)’ noted that the theme of the discussion was very important because there is a need to encourage retailers to move away from the old way of doing things to embracing technology.

He, alongside the panellists, highlighted a number of gaps in the retail sector, which the imploring of technology, collaboration of different tech Startup founders and harnessing of their areas of expertise could help solve.

“At the end of the day we all need partners. We need to come together to achieve great things, we need to consolidate on what each of us has done really well and bring fantastic solutions,” Opaleye stated.

He stressed how it is necessary for retailers not to shy away from technology, while narrating Alerzo’s strides in solving the problems in the retail sector, as it owns over 400 vehicles which it uses in delivering fast moving goods (FCMG) to customers.

Read also: TonyMay Foundation demands improved capacity to manage sickle cell

“Retailers need to move away from the old ways of doing business to embracing technology…To provide a solution to the problem of logistics we ended up doing something unthinkable by buying a fleet of vehicles and owning our warehouses,” Opaleye stated.

He also disclosed that the B2B company leverages its geo mapped areas of coverage in developing softwares to help provide banking solutions to customers.

“We also developed our software. We do deliveries within four hours of order because we own our entire vehicles. After sometime we noticed that a lot of our retailers go home with cash. So we ended up building bank solutions for our retailers,” stated Opaleye.

On what influenced the logistics aspect of owning a fleet of vehicles and not working with existing logistics firms, Alerzo Group CEO made clear that the tech firm wanted the best for its customers.

“No one has built efficiency the way we want it so we do delivery in four hours versus other players that do it the next day. That is a very key factor for us and as we scale up the business we are looking for partners hoping to key into our vision to actually offer quick and same day delivery to all our retail partners,” he stated.

Speaking on what the future holds for Nigeria retail sector, Celestine Omin, the CEO of Klump, expressed hope as he buttressed that there is a very bright future for space.

Accordingly, he states that retailers are waking up to understand that it is high time technology would change most of the sector’s problems. “This at the end of the day makes the lives of consumers very easy because they would have products when they want them”.

The panel session had Alerzo Founder/Group CEO, Adewale Opaleye; Paystack Startup Programs Lead, Nubi Kay; Klump CEO, Celestine Omin; TeamApt Business Lead, Temitayo Ajao and CEO of BUMPA, Kelvin Umechukwu as panel discussants.