• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Omnibiz empowers manufacturers on use of technology for market penetration

Omnibiz empowers manufacturers on use of technology for market penetration

In its attempt to continue its drive for technology to improve trade in Nigeria, Omnibiz, a tech business to business platform, held a capacity-building summit to empower small and medium scale manufacturers on the use of technology for market penetration.

The event was the first edition of the company’s Manufacturing Summit, an initiative aimed at empowering manufacturers with skills they can adopt in scaling up their businesses.

Manufacturers were exposed to issues like demand generation and marketing; logistics and warehousing and the different ways to reach retailers.

Most importantly, the summit was an opportunity for the company to onboard more manufacturers on the platform, in addition to the over 35 top-tier manufacturers using Omnibiz to reach retailers and sub-distributors.

“Our initiative of hosting a summit for manufacturers is to get more manufacturers who don’t have access to scalability. So, we want to be their partners to help them scale up, step up to the next level,” said Deepankar Rustagi, founder of Omnibiz, who added that the summit was about educating the manufacturers on what the Omnibiz can do.

Omnibiz is a B2B e-commerce platform that connects manufacturers of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) to retailers by digitizing the supply chain stakeholders.

Omnibiz Africa offers retailers variety, consistency, and convenience. Retailers can stock up their shops using the company’s mobile app, WhatsApp channel, or a dedicated care number. They can place orders at their convenience and have goods delivered to their doorstep at no cost.

The company recently got a seed funding of USD 3 million to continue its drive to digitising the traditional network of distribution which Rustagi described as “very scattered.”

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He said there are great opportunities in the manufacturing space in Nigeria, but it is super challenging. There are infrastructural challenges. There are also big challenges in getting the products right in terms of availability of raw materials, sourcing, logistics, and getting the cost right.

According to the founder, after all, these are sorted, the last mile delivery to retailers so that consumers can access the products, is a bigger challenge that requires a significant amount of investment.

Rustagi argues that these are partly the reasons the majority of the medium-scale manufacturers are unable to scale up.

“Manufacturers who have done well were supported by great distribution and we can partner with manufacturers to strengthen that weakness. That’s what we intend to do,” he said.

BusinessDay learned that the platform, established in 2019, currently has over 40, 000 retailers. While Rustagi commended the quality of products he has seen so far, he said manufacturers need to improve the quality of packaging and interactions with retailers, be open to the feedbacks the retailers are providing.

He also said manufacturers need to be willing to reduce the losses of retailers by taking back the products that are expired, noting that distribution is critical and part of the backbone of any economy.

Therefore, stakeholders, he said, need to work together to strengthen this backbone so everyone can get the products next to their house rather than having to travel far distances to procure the goods.

“We have a mission to enable all retailers in all parts of Nigeria to be able to order with convenience and get products with consistency and the right prices.

“We would like to onboard manufacturers who would like to ride with us on this journey to making products accessible to retailers everywhere in the country,” Rustagi said.

At the gathering, manufacturers got insight on how they can navigate through the challenges of market penetration and also manage their sales team.

A manufacturer who attended the summit described the event and the solutions by Omnibiz as a welcome development considering how fragmented the space has been historical.

The manufacturer, who identified as Ladipo Lawani, said with the production of new products, breaking into the market is hard because they have to rely on wholesalers who want to buy already established products.

So, it was important to see technology come to bridge that gap and ultimately improve the outcome of different stakeholders.

“Having a pathway to retailers improves the prospects of new products a lot of which are SMEs. So, I think it’s a major development for a lot of Nigerian SMEs some of whom have the right product but don’t have the weight in wholesale,” Lawani told BusinessDay.