Meet Onanuga, entrepreneur maximising e-commerce gains

Every entrepreneur in Nigeria has a unique story to tell and usually an inspirational story of how their entrepreneurial journey started.

For Kofoworola Onanuga, her inspiration to establish an e-commerce platform came over her desire to address some of the issues Nigerians face when purchasing an item in computer village – Nigeria’s largest computer and phone hub.

“The need to sell convenience and to de-mystify computer village, change the entire narrative from a scam hub to a place of solace; whether you want it delivered or in-store is what has brought about Obiwezy,” she says.

Obiwezy Enterprise creates a unique e-commerce store with varieties of products that allows users seamlessly place orders and make purchases.

She ran a zero-inventory model to kick-start her business on integrity – that brought goodwill to help scale the business. Since starting in 2012,her business has continued to grow steadily.

She notes that her business suffered from the difficult moment of the pandemic as sales declined, adding that same situation is facing the business currently over the country’s accelerating inflation.

“The business has been growing exponentially, since we started, but the Covid-19 pandemic brought a setback. The current inflation situation is also affecting us. Organically, we are doing great,” she says.

To survive the difficult moment of the pandemic, Obiwezy had to tweak its model to drive sales. “Covid made us to re-evaluate our internal processes. This helped us improve our quality check department and self-service on the website.”

The business currently has 48 full time employees and plans to expand its operations across the country in the short run. “To move beyond Nigeria after we have covered all safe geo-political zones in Nigeria of course.”

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On challenges that confronted the business, she notes that distrust among clients was the major challenge the business faced in its early-stage. Also, the macro economic challenges have negatively impacted the business.

She states that her business has build trust over time with its customers through excellent delivery and customer services while also dialoging with them to resolve issues.

“Dialogue, even the Bible says come let us reason together so we eventually have conversations around these things and we come to a resolution,” she explains.

In evaluating the ecommerce industry, she says it’s an emerging landscape with lots of room for growth, noting that vast opportunities lie in logistics, warehousing and recycling.

“Nigeria’s ecommerce is an emerging space that has a lot of room for growth; Opportunities lies in logistics, warehousing, and recycling,” she says.

On her advice to other entrepreneurs, she says, “It is tedious to be a business owner but absolutely rewarding. Your freedom is not when you own a business but when the business run on its own.”

“Build patiently and strongly – first a structure from your business models, the products, the departments, and the people you want to have,” she advises.

“Talk about your business and issues to other business owners you can trust. They will guide you. Have a financial advisor that means well. Borrow and pay back in due time,” she adds.

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