Jand2Gidi, a logistics business founded by Mrs. Ujama Akpata and Mrs. Kikelomo Fola-Ogunniya held its media conference on Wednesday 13th April.
The event was moderated by Event Host MC, Ms. Nancy Ogbue, who introduced Jand2Gidi by praising them for their consistency over the years. She also mentioned that with Jand2Gidi, the frustrations typically experienced when sending deliveries is becoming a thing of the past because the women came together to fix a common problem.
Founded in 2013, Jand2Gidi has been on a mission to ensure the process of local and international deliveries are seamless from beginning to end.
It was a great opportunity for the female Co-founders to speak about their partnership and running a successful logistics company in a male dominated industry. The longstanding relationship between Mrs Kikelomo, a lawyer and Mrs Ujama, a chemical engineer by profession, shows that women can indeed work together and accomplish great things. The two female entrepreneurs have grown over the years, relying on each other’s strengths to build an innovative, technology enabled brand.
Regardless of the upheavals experienced during Covid-19, Jand2Gidi was able to embrace the tumultuous realities and moved swiftly in digitizing their processes in order to remain competitive and relevant in meeting the needs of their customers anywhere they are worldwide.
When the company first launched, it had very manual processes and there was a limit to how many customers they could accommodate. Over the years, however, their operations are now fully automated from their accounting services to their technology. This has enabled the brand to scale from where they were to accommodate more businesses, corporates and individuals. And the company has continued to stay true to its unique selling point, reiterated by Mrs. Kikelomo, “to bring excitement to logistics.’’
The brand is ready to integrate into vendor’s websites through API’s – Application Programming Interface. This means the Jand2Gidi new platform can effectively interpret and capture customer data.
Speaking on challenges, Ms. Ujama says – ‘’Like every business we have faced a number of challenges e.g customs issues, regulatory issues, policies that keep springing up on a daily basis. Also we were in a male dominated industry. When we started in 2013 there weren’t a lot of females doing business, so we faced a lot of resistance when we started”.
Within a year of running the business, which started as a side hustle, while still actively working in the oil and gas industry, they were able to pay for their first office space in Lekki Phase 1 and since then, they have steadily grown in leaps and bounds; going from a small two man office to expansion to the mainland, and shipping to different countries in the world.
Over the last 9 years Jand2Gidi has not only faced challenges but also numerous wins. They have bagged several awards and recognition such as winning the WIMBIZ/EbonyLife Sisterhood Awards for ‘Best Collaboration of the Year’ 2016; was selected as a beneficiary of the 2017 Pilot Phase of the LSETF loan scheme for small businesses; and we’re identified by Business Day as one of the ‘Top Fastest Rising SMEs’ in 2019.
During the parley there was also discussion about insurance and the brand’s stance on it. Ujama mentioned ‘We always encourage all our customers to take on insurance. It is something that we partner with insurance companies about – from shipping items from the UK, US, Canada – we have marine insurance. Even locally all our goods that are in transit and for our staff who are working both in house and on the roads as well.’
For future plans, Jand2Gidi is looking to expand to countries such as Ghana and Kenya as well as open more hubs in Lagos and Nigeria. The business is also looking to expand to Europe.
While the Co-founders are optimistic about raising capital from more alternative financing options, they expressed gratitude to friends and family who have supported the business venture thus far. The African logistics sector is on an upward trajectory as more innovative companies secure growing amounts of funding. Jand2Gidi possesses great potential for disruption, acceleration and is open to growing even more with the help of investors and partners.