Fri, 23/02/2018 - 05:45
Current Issue 71
Yu Live Well
In the space of two years Yudala has taken its unique approach to the masses, reaching great levels of success as a trusted retailer
At only two years old, Yudala has established a position for itself within the Nigerian retail market that is both unique and thriving.
As a composite retail outfit that operates in an online and offline capacity, the wholly Nigerian-owned business takes into account the needs of the local market before placing itself at the centre of it.
“Our first step into the market came after an in-depth study of Nigerian trade and the realisation that the vast majority of trade in the country was happening offline,” explains Wole Ogundare, Managing Director of Yudala. “At that point we were completely convinced to set up physical stores in both the southwest and southeast of the country.”
In the present day across the length of Nigeria the Company has 22 stores, an achievement that is no mean feat in just 24 months.
“We have built a solid reputation that has put us in the position to tap into the online space successfully, while still fulfilling the needs of our customers,” Ogundare states. “We are working hard to ensure that both our online and in-store operations are integrating well, utilising our stores as both procurement ventures and warehousing opportunities.”
This has been made easier by the fact that the Company is able to deal directly with the manufacturer, therefore missing out the middle-man when it comes to carrying out market trade.
“Alongside ensuring quick and easy procurement, we have also carried out a lot of work with our after-sales team,” continues Ogundare. “For example, we wanted to ensure that if a customer makes a purchase and there is a problem, the product can be swapped in a quick and efficient manner; an aspect that is increasingly important and appealing to our customers.
“It is because of efforts such as these that we are beginning to see a lot of repeat patronage, an aspect that is setting us apart from the competition.”
In a very short space of time the Company has established what works for it and the determining factors that are securing its success in the market.
“We have found that warehousing and logistics are pivotal to our success,” adds Ogundare. “By retaining complete order within our warehousing facilities, we ensure that everything is carried out with both speed and order and subsequently is what will provide us with the repeat custom that we desire.”
In order to help achieve this Yudala has spent time and money on perfecting its logistics and warehousing capabilities, an activity that has really galvanised the business and allowed it to achieve major growth in a short space of time.
When it comes to finding the right people to ensure that these efforts are successfully utilised, the Company has had to go through a difficult and stringent process.
Ogundare describes: “We have learnt from our mistakes when it comes to the hiring process, and in the past we have found that a lack of drive and in some cases experience is a real issue. However, now we know how to spot it and that in itself has proven to be instrumental in enabling us to source the right talent.”
Approximately 99 percent of the employees currently working for Yudala are local and through consumer training trips and workshops, those employees now have an edge over the competition.
“We have a strategy that focuses on hiring the right people as we know that similarly to our data and value chain, you are only as strong as your weakest link,” explains Ogundare. “We are tirelessly working to ensure that every aspect in the chain of our business is solid.”
When determining the changes that need to be made for success within the market, consumer behaviour is one of the main aspects that the Company will study.
“We also use big data as a form of analysis to use to our advantage and I can’t overstate how important it has been to us in both our online and in-store work,” continues Ogundare. “Due to the fact that we are involved in both of these aspects of the market, we like to monitor the way that they interact and connect in all aspects of our business.”
Alongside studying the retail activities of its customers, towards the end of 2017 the Company created a large-scale brand campaign to aid the creation of a brand that people can trust and want to shop with.
“We are incredibly aware that whatever we do as the brand will massively impact the way we are viewed by our customers and competition,” explains Ogundare. “During the past two years, we have worked hard on our brand perception and are now reaping the rewards; and people trust the high standards that we will deliver to them.”
As a relatively young company that is part of a larger group, Yudala is finding its feet when it comes to aspects such as corporate social responsibility (CSR). Although the Company has been unwavering in its mission to hire locally, it is getting in-sync with its parent Group on the subject of CSR.
“At present we are spending time studying the work we would like to do in this area, and are awaiting the opportunity to go out as Yudala on our own projects,” Ogundare affirms. “We would like to work on alleviating the poverty that surrounds us with the under-privileged, and I’m sure that we will begin this work in no time.”
Since opening its doors two years ago, Yudala has operated under a no-excuses culture and that is one of the defining factors you will notice amongst its people
“Sometimes it is due to a lack of knowledge or apathy, but in some businesses staff will always come up with excuses to get around getting things done,” continues Ogundare. “Therefore the first rule that we wrote down as a Company was to ensure there were no excuses.
“There is nothing wrong with people encountering an issue, however, we have encouraged our staff to come up with a way to solve it and created a skilled group of problem solvers.”
For such a young company its skilled workforce and determination sets it apart from the competition and is one of the driving forces behind Yudala’s success.
“We welcome ideas from every level of the business, which I believe will lead us to become the number one company in the ecommerce space within the next year-and-a-half,” concludes Ogundare. “We understand the needs of our customers and have the technological advancements in place that mean our service is second-to-none.”