Mon, 01/04/2019 - 10:46
Current Issue 70
Synonymous with innovation and digitisation, GIG Logistics is striving to transform customer experience and raise the logistics bar across the African continent
Writer: Jonathan Dyble
Project Manager: Josh Mann
The food problem of Africa is not the result of shortages in production, but rather a consequence of our inability to store food during harvest in the rainy season to ensure that we have enough during the dry season.”
Piqued by forays into the study of farm management and agricultural economics at University, Ayodele Adenaike’s interest in logistics was nurtured from a young age as he went on to produce a thesis that assessed the storage capabilities of small-scale farming enterprises across Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Building on this, I found it relatively easy to function very well on my first job as a purchasing store officer and ultimately make a full-time career in logistics.”
Fast forward to the present day and, having expanded his expertise after spending 11 years with international industry specialist DHL, Adenaike now hold’s his most prestigious position to date, standing as the Chief Operating Officer of GIG Logistics.
A Nigerian subsidiary of indigenous technology and intelligence-driven management company GIG Group, GIG Logistics was formed in 2012 with a mandate to address the major challenges of the country’s logistics industry.
“It was rare to find a logistics company with a perfect blend of structured processes as well as a vast knowledge of the local environment,” states Adenaike. “It was the ideal opportunity and I believe that this company is truly revolutionising the way in which logistics is done
GIG Logistics largely differentiates itself in two ways, as Adenaike explains: “Firstly, we consider ourselves as a technology company before we see the logistics aspect. In other words, GIG logistics is a tech company offering logistics services.
“Secondly, and equally, we are committed to providing exceptional service delivery for our customers, exceeding expectations through innovative delivery solutions.”
Emphasising its focus on these two elements, the company is allowing consumers to seamlessly interact and transact with businesses with ease.
From its flagship agility application that helps improve internal efficiency and the promising development of its mobile app, to its planned incorporation of artificial intelligence and use of electric vehicles, GIG Logistics is proactively ensuring it remains well ahead of the regional curve, leveraging the latest and best
in industry capabilities.
“In my opinion, any logistics business that is not ready to play the tech game is preparing to become extinct,” Adenaike states.
Standing itself apart from the crowd, the company has grown astronomically in recent times, evident in the explosive expansion of its ecommerce client base.
With 1,500 SMEs now registered on its ecommerce platform, this number has risen five-fold in the past year, up from 300 in early 2018, driven by the company’s continual emphasis on modernisation and digitalisation.
“Ecommerce is a huge business and Africa is a large market that is relatively untapped, and we realised early enough that ecommerce is nothing without logistics,” states Adenaike. “I’d even say it is the future of logistics, and so we have positioned ourselves to play a significant role in capitalising on this.”
Recognising a need for cash-on-delivery management due to many online transactions in Nigeria remaining largely cash-based, the company built a customised application that provides a unique fix to this problem.
“Clearly some challenges still crop up,” adds Adenaike, “but as we create solutions to deal with these, we increasingly offer better and more efficient services to the customer.
“Now, thanks to this, merchants can view their transactions on our customer portal and top up their wallet from the comfort of their offices.”
The firm’s technology-enabled solutions aside, the company is playing a key role in providing the platform for socioeconomic progression across Nigeria.
One such indication of this is its emphasis on staff, regularly sending its management team on refresher courses at the Lagos Business School to broaden their knowledge.
Adenaike continues: “Equally we have a training school called the GIG Learning Academy at the GIG Group level, an initiative that allows us to reiterate our company mission, vision and values to all our members.
“We believe in making investments in our staff, as they are our most valuable asset.”
CSR is another area that the company excels in, embedded in the heart of the organisation through its educational, technological and leadership-centric initiatives. One recent example in particular includes the firm’s co-sponsor of Techpoint Build 2019, West Africa’s biggest startup event and a major gathering of SMEs, investors and promising businesses.
“We’ve also determined that SMEs are a major factor in our rapid growth, so we have implemented an initiative to help train them on how to do online business at scale,” Adenaike continues. “This a win-win for each party and the wider economy.”
All things combined, GIG Logistics is becoming increasingly well positioned to capitalise on the opportunities of a continent that is offering ever-more promising potential.
“Logistics is key to the economic growth of any nation, accounting for a significant percentage of internally generated revenue in many countries,” Adenaike says. “It is thus a profitable and rewarding sector to invest in.”
Specifically, for the year ahead, the COO affirms that the company is aiming to maintain its rapid expansion plan to establish presence in every major city in Nigeria by the end of 2019, as well as initiate further movement in its international ambitions and technological developments.
He concludes: “Our philosophy is that no logistics company in Nigeria knows the local terrain better than we do. A shark can’t survive in rivers where the crocodile is king, and I like to think that GIG Logistics is the crocodile of the Nigerian logistics space.
“We do what we do better than the rest.”