Following the growth of the e-commerce sector in Nigeria, brands are tapping into the sector to drive growth and expansion. In this interview with Seyi John Salau, Lorenzo Mayol, General Manager, Glovo Nigeria discusses how Glovo is redefining the quick commerce sector in Nigeria as well as the brand’s plans for the years ahead. Excerpts:
As we mark the 1st anniversary of Glovo in Nigeria, tell us what informed Glovo’s decision to provide its services to the Nigerian market?
Nigeria has always been a desirable market to Glovo due to the high growth potential of businesses, especially in the food and tech sectors, as well as the adaptation across the country, and last but not least, customer demand for services provided by the company like Glovo. Nigerians are very tech-savvy. They know how delivery companies work, allowing much better market penetration and user adaptation.
In your opinion, what is Glovo’s unique selling proposition compared to its competitors in this market? As a leading global quick commerce company, how has Glovo been able to stand out from its competitors in Nigeria?
I believe we have at least two strong value propositions that differentiate us from other players in the market. The number one is being a multi-category application from day one – not only focused on food but with a much broader offering conveniently giving access to our users to anything in their city.
The second one is our micro-fulfilment centre operations called Glovo Bargains – a supermarket that offers affordable groceries to users with prices that are up to 30% cheaper than competitors, currently available to everyone on the island.
At Glovo, we are committed to our ecosystem of partners, couriers and users. Our success driver so far is our culture of accountability as a company and how we leverage the strengths and capabilities of our workforce, partners and couriers community to ensure quality and timely service delivery.
What are some of your milestone achievements since commencing operations in Nigeria?
Since commencing operations in Nigeria, we have signed over 3,000 partners, with over 97% being small and medium enterprises, onboarded and trained more than 2,000 couriers, and have invested in local talent that today drives Glovo’s growth in the market. We are present in Lagos but have now expanded to Abuja and Ibadan, and over the next few months, we also plan to expand to other cities.
What does the future hold for Glovo, and what should customers look forward to in the coming years?
We see the future of Glovo in Nigeria as promising. There is a demand for the services, and this is why we will continue working to expand our offering, so our users will be able to get anything they need in your city at their fingertips through the Glovo app. This, of course, also means that we will be creating higher value and generating more opportunities within the ecosystem we operate. So, suppose any business owner is looking forward to digitising their business, amplifying the scope of their services, and increasing their customer base. In that case, it’s just a matter of joining Glovo via the website. In just three steps, they will be onboarded.
We also want to keep generating an impact amongst the couriers’ community, especially by launching learning partnerships. So far, we have been working with GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation GmbH – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH) under the VET Toolbox Initiative on professionalising the skills development of delivery riders in Nigeria. With this, we are motivating couriers to use all these tools to grow their knowledge, allowing them to aspire to other future professional opportunities, being a job after they collaborated with Glovo.
Therefore, it is vital for us to contribute to their professional growth and learning journey.
What other partnership is Glovo looking to go into to expand the quick commerce space in Nigeria?
At the moment, we are focusing on expanding our micro-fulfilment centre operations called Glovo Bargains offering up to 30% cheaper groceries than our competitors. In addition, we also establish partnerships with top retail, grocery and pharmacy chains in the country to bring our users closer to popular brands they know and trust. We currently have partnerships with the top leading pharmacy chains in Nigeria and are expanding our partner base of key grocery brands.
Tell us more about the partnership with GIZ. What birthed this initiative?
The courier community is critical to us. This is derived directly from our co-founders, Oscar and Sacha and the mission as a company to make a positive impact in the communities and societies we operate.
Based on proposals made by Glovo, GIZ (German International Development Agency) is investing €550,000 in a skills development programme piloted with Glovo in Nigeria. Training materials & locally appropriate e-learning channels are being developed to bring couriers relevant digital and financial literacy content, among others.
The lack of basic skills among young people in Nigeria hinders their income-generating potential. It is a factor that we consider crucial to unlocking the higher possibility for the Nigerian economy. This collaboration is to help solve this problem by up-skilling riders in Nigeria.
What are some of the challenges you have faced in the quick commerce space in Nigeria, and how have you scaled through?
Nigeria is a heavily price-sensitive market. 95% of grocery and retail trade happens in the open markets where prices are lower than modern retail, and we have hard-wired affordability into our business model to serve a broader range of users’ needs. This means we must be very astute with sourcing and the partnerships we establish with the supplier to pass on savings in procurement directly to our users.
Another challenge we face is maintaining a healthy and seamlessly operating supply chain. As our Micro Fulfilment Centers are designed to hold lower stock volumes and high inventory turnovers, we need to work on a tight supply schedule to ensure users always have the best selection of products in stock. This is especially challenging in Nigeria, as the supply timelines are often inconsistent.
What are your expansion plans in Nigeria and Africa?
We are on a mission to offer easy access to everything to everyone in their cities. After expanding in Lagos, Abuja and Ibadan, we’re looking to grow across Nigeria. Glovo is available in 25 countries, nearly 2000 cities, and 7 African countries. We’re looking to increase our footprint in the continent.