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Yudala to be Africa’s First Profitable eCommerce Company- Ekeh

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Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, Vice President of Yudala, pioneer online and offline e-commerce outfit, has disclosed that the company is set to hit a path of profitability by 2020, thereby making it the first e-commerce company in Africa to return profits within its first five years of operations.

 

Cornered by the media on the sidelines of Unusual Praise 2017, a gospel concert hosted by the Catholic Church of Divine Mercy in Lekki, Prince Ekeh noted that the facts and figures on ground show that Yudala is on track to set another record in what has been a ground-breaking journey in the Nigerian e-commerce industry.

 

“At Yudala, our strategy is clear and distinct from anything else on offer in the market today. Our fusion of online and offline is not only futuristic, but one that has being copied by other global e-commerce giants. On the back of this, we have seen a consistent growth trajectory that will see Yudala emerge as the first profitable Nigerian e-commerce company by 2020,” stated Prince Ekeh.

 

“Furthermore, we are renowned as arguably the most credible source of genuine products in the e-commerce sub-sector today. Every item on the Yudala platform, online or offline, is sourced directly from the manufacturers and this has clearly distinguished the Yudala brand in the marketplace.

 

“In addition, we possess superior logistics and delivery timelines that have endeared us to shoppers. As a result, we have consistently seen repeat purchases from our customers. In most cases, we have also been able to win over new shoppers, the majority of whom, having patronized other platforms, have not looked back since their first experience of Yudala. Aligned to the foregoing is the passionate, committed and highly professional team we have in the company, all of whom have continuously displayed the hunger and capacity to deliver on our mandate.

 

“Finally, we have God. You will agree with me that, with all these factors in place, the sky is just the starting point for us,” he enthused.

 

When asked if Yudala will follow the example set with Unusual Praise by supporting other religious concerts in future, Prince Ekeh revealed that the company will be sponsoring about five other concerts in 2018.

 

“We have a budget for these events and in 2018, we will be supporting other religious events, including Islamic ones. Yudala is a platform for all and we respect the diversity of faith we have in the country,” he said.

 

Launched a little over two years ago, Yudala has more than held its own in Nigeria’s keenly-competitive e-commerce sector, with the company’s futuristic fusion of an online platform with a chain of brick-and-mortar stores located nationwide instantly setting it apart from inception.

 

And despite the well-known struggles of other established players in the sector, Yudala has continued to post impressive results, a trend that has seen optimism of the company soon turning the corner of profitability.

 

Continuing, he noted: “We are aware of the challenges faced by players in the e-commerce sector. Research at our disposal indicates that less than 30 per cent of African e-commerce startups are profitable, with many of them hampered by lack of trust, shortage of financing, logistical difficulties and the largely-traditional approach to shopping still in play among these economies.

 

“Here in Nigeria, the case is hardly different as we have seen many e-commerce start-ups exit the scene prematurely while the older ones have also consistently posted huge losses.

 

“However, the story is different at Yudala. This is down mainly to our sound business model and approach. Indeed, while our investors expect us to deliver profits by 2022, our ambition is to surprise them by achieving this milestone earlier,” he concluded.

 

Apart from its ambitious retail roll-out strategy and network of physical stores which has helped the company reach many unserved and under-served members of Nigeria’s over 190 million population, Yudala has also been bold in making a statement of intent with its emphasis on genuine products and best prices, aligned to a number of landmark innovations and eye-catching strategies which has endeared it to an ever-growing audience.

 

In addition to pulling off the first recorded instance of a product delivery via drone in 2015 – a feat which captured the imagination of the e-commerce world – Yudala has succeeded in building up a steadily growing database of loyal customers, many of whom have come to rely on the company for the assurance of genuine products and unmatched best prices in the market-place which it stands for.

 

Earlier in 2017, the company acquired Yes Mobile, a cosmopolitan high-value retail outfit with a multiplicity of stores in Lagos in what industry watchers described as a strategic duplex acquisition; one which went a long way in showing the level of ambition and determination to lead in the retail space currently driving the company.

 


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Encomiums for TD Africa as Nigeria Prepares for Tech Experience Centre Launch

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A number of globally renowned Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the technology space have commended TD Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading technology, lifestyle and solutions distributor for successfully birthing the continent’s first Tech Experience Centre.

The commendations come ahead of the October 1st launch of the centre located in the high-rise Yudala Heights on 13 Idowu Martins, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Equally important, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami is expected in Lagos to commission the Centre, with the Lagos State Governor, BabajideSanwo-Olu, alongside a number of other high profile dignitaries, expected in attendance. The event will be streamed live to millions across the world from 5pm.

In a chat with newsmen, Chidalu Ekeh, head of the Tech Experience Centre, stated that aside reducing the decision making cycle for Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Chief Technology Officers (CTOs), as well as other technology consumers, the Centre will also serve as a training centre for young Nigerians on latest technology.

“We are creating a path in this country where state-of-the-art technology will be accessible to CEOs, CIOs, CTOs and others technology consumers, so that they can make prompt decisions without leaving the country,” Chidalu said.

“What we have on board is a tech genius area where our customers will be able to take advantage of the partnerships that we have with the various OEMs on board.

“The Centre will afford young Nigerians the opportunity to receive world-class training on the latest technology.”

Also speaking on the reason for mobilising other tech giants to bring the massive project to life, Mrs. Gozy Ijogun, managing director (Sales) TD Africa, explained that the centre is aimed at adding value to the technology space in Nigeria in particular and Africa in general.

Ijogun said: “I am sure everyone is wondering what TD Africa is doing with the Tech Experience Centre. At TD Africa, we consider ourselves value added distributors.

“We are not just here to buy and sell. We add value to the economy. For that reason, we came up with the Tech Experience Centre so that Africans can experience technology the way it should be in this part of the world.

“No other distributor can do this. TD Africa is here to add value to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) ecosystem.”

The Centre, housed within an impressive eight-floor edifice, will play host to tech giants, such as Cisco, Microsoft, Dell Technologies, HP, Schneider Electric, Zinox, Philips, Samsung, Apple and Bosch, among others.

“The structure also houses a cutting-edge gaming arena, lifestyle and smart home area, café, training centre, conference rooms and expansive office spaces, among others.

Olakunle Oloruntimehin, general manager, Cisco, West Africa, expressed delight with the concept behind the Tech Experience Centre, adding that it would be a great opportunity to offer latest technologies to consumers under the same roof with other tech giants.

 

“It is a good opportunity to collaborate with TD Africa and other OEMs under one roof. Technology is being democratised and it is important that people come together to take this outcome forward.

“Cisco is excited not only to partner with TD Africa but also to work with other OEMs under one space to make this work,” Oloruntimehin said.

Chioma Iwuchukwu-Nweke, country manager (Nigeria), Philips, also expressed excitement with the expected launch of the project. She revealed that Philips would delight tech customers at the Centre with latest health-driven home appliances.

Nweke said: “This is a dramatisation of the phrase ‘think global, act local.’ This is what TD Africa is doing with the Tech Experience Centre, by bringing lots of multinationals in the technology space in one place so that customers will experience latest technology.

“Before now, people always take technology to be something they have to travel outside the country to experience.

“We are sure that the Centre is going to change this narrative, especially at this time when the thought of travelling is a little bit scary for a lot of people. For us at Philips, customers should expect total innovative home appliances.”

On her part, Vivian Mike-Eze, marketing communication manager, Schneider Electric, commended the vision behind the initiative.

She urged tech consumers to be ready for an immersive experience with smart home concepts at the Tech Experience Centre.

“There has not been such a centre that gathers all the tech giants together in one place here in Nigeria. So, TD Africa has really set a precedent.

“I believe that people visiting the Tech Experience Centre expect to experience technology. In Nigeria, there is really a market for advanced technology that has been ignored for too long.

“This vision by TD Africa to bring the latest technology and get customers to experience it live is a fantastic opportunity to tap into. Because of the Centre, customers do not need to travel to the US or UK to actually see latest technology.

“Schneider Electric promises customers home automation, using the smart phone concept, when they walk into the Tech Experience Centre.

“This involves having the ability to control the temperature and ambience in their homes, with just a voice command. It is easy to talk about it, but there is no better idea than experiencing it by testing the controls and seeing it live.”

In addition, Microsoft Senior Partner, Specialist-Modern Work, Josh Adekeye, appreciated TD Africa, noting that the Centre will promote customer immersive experience. He promised that Microsoft would always support the Centre, which will reduce the burden for Microsoft to fly its customers to other countries to see its latest technological rollouts.

Adekeye said: “For us at Microsoft, when we heard about the Tech Experience Centre, we knew that it was something we needed to participate in. Before now, we usually fly our customers to Microsoft Technology Centre either in Dubai or in the US.

“However, when this opportunity came, we indicated interest and supported TD Africa to achieve it. We will always support the Centre. The beauty of technology is in seeing it.

“What Microsoft brings to the table is customer immersive experience. It means the customer will see the technology, feel the impact and make their decision easily and quickly.”

Lending his voice, Managing Director, Samsung (Nigeria), CadenChiyeon Yu hailed TD Africa for galvanising other tech giants to bring the Tech Experience Centre to life, adding that the Centre will afford Samsung a great opportunity to expose customers to its latest offerings in Internet of Things (IOT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other innovations shaping the global tech ecosystem.

 

Meanwhile, Ayokunmi Solesi, Country Manager (Nigeria), Bosch, described the Centre as a huge landmark on the African continent, adding that Bosch was ready to bring modern kitchen appliances to the delight of customers at the Centre.

Solesi said: “This is live experience. When you see big OEMs like Bosch, Schneider Electric, Samsung, Cisco, Microsoft, among others coming under a platform, you will realise that something great is about to be born.

“This is a huge landmark, not just in Nigeria, but also in Africa. For us at Bosch, this is a very commendable initiative,” Solesi said.

The Tech Experience Centre is an ambitious project, the first of its kind in Africa, to house global technology giants under one roof, with the aim of making latest and cutting-edge technology easily accessible to Nigerians and other nationals.

Experts and economic watchers have hailed the expected launch of the centre as a major development that will shore up Nigeria’s relevance in the global technology space, while also boosting the nation’s economy.


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FG Mulls Zero Charge Policy for Educational Websites

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Federal government is considering a new national policy for zero rates on educational websites to allow consumption of content without charges to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on learning, according to Isa Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

FG Mulls Zero Charge Policy for Educational Websites

Isa Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy

Pantami stated this while delivering an address at a webinar organised by Lead Inspire Network in Abuja over the weekend.

The theme of the webinar was Enhancing Virtual Learning and the Challenges of Internet Penetration in Nigeria.

Mr Pantami, represented by Mr Usman Gambo, director, Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said the policy would contain appropriate incentives for mobile network operators and internet service providers.

The minister agreed that sufficient access to the internet was essential for the development of an informative society and that the Nigerian government was also working to increase the broadband penetration from its current level.

He noted that broadband penetration currently stands at 40.2 per cent and the plan is to make it 70 per cent by 2025.

“This is the target we set for ourselves in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan.

“It will be of great benefit to the education sector and we would focus more on enabling appropriate contents, infrastructure, capabilities for learning and teaching,” he said.

He added that few agencies under the ministry had established digital centres, capacity training centres, e-accessibility centres, school knowledge centres, e-Libraries, ICT Hubs and innovation parks across the country to propel broadband penetration.

“In just one year, we have deployed over 200 of these centres across the country and they are mostly situated in rural areas, equipped with at least 25 computers, back-up power supply and free internet service.

“In addition to providing free internet services, the centres also serve as innovation hubs and learning centres for the local community,” Mr Pantami said.

He said that NITDA had issued Framework and Guidelines for Public Internet Access to regulate government approach to deepen internet penetration and bridge the digital divide.

On his part, Umar Danbata, executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), stated that COVID-19 had created a new level for education that required a new approach.

Represented by Mr Henry Nkemadu, a Director with the commission, Danbata acknowledged that high cost of Right of Way (RoW), multiple taxation, operating expenses and economic downturn had affected internet penetration but reiterated that government was putting measures in place to ease the challenges.

Mr Sope Afolayan, co-founder, Lead Inspire Network, said the event was aimed at providing equal access to children at all levels and redirect the thinking of policymakers on the need to see the acquisition of education beyond the four walls of the classroom.


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Tech Experience Centre will Boost Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Profile, Says Cisco Boss

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The establishment of the Tech Experience Centre, an unprecedented technology project set for launch in Lagos, will deliver excellent social, commercial and economic opportunities that will potentially create wealth for Nigeria.

Olakunle Oloruntimehin, general manager, West Africa, Cisco.

The foregoing represents the thoughts of  Olakunle Oloruntimehin, general manager, West Africa, Cisco.

Equally important, Cisco, a worldwide leader in IT and networking, is one of the global tech giants that will be represented in the centre, a development which Oloruntimehin remains confident will generate innumerable positive outcomes for the Nigerian economy.

The Tech Experience Centre is set for launch on Thursday, October 1, 2020, the occasion of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary.

‘‘Nigeria can expect Cisco to leverage this centre as part of our ongoing efforts in this region and globally to accelerate an inclusive future for all. Cisco people, technology and related resources delivered at this centre can be expected to ensure the interventions that will predictably deliver social, commercial and economic outcomes for Nigeria and the West Africa region.

“Our focus on partnerships and collaboration will include the space for SMME support, building a community that can be leveraged to improve the wealth of Nigeria,’’ he said.

In addition, Oloruntimehin has expressed delight with the presence of Cisco among other globally renowned tech brands in the centre.

Specifically, he referenced the multiplier effect the Tech Experience Centre will have in encouraging local IT participation and the chance to have Nigeria’s voice heard in the global technology race.

‘‘Cisco is particularly pleased to be collaborating with other stakeholders in the Tech Experience Centre project.

“The Tech Experience Centre provides the ideal platform for collaboration amongst global technology players in a melting pot of sorts.

“The outcome of this should provide for local IT and technology industry participation and the incentives required to leverage the visible talent and opportunity potential in Nigeria. Innovation is global and the centre provides the interventions for Nigeria’s contribution.

‘‘Also, the democratization of technology outcomes should rank high as one of the impacts that this centre will deliver and by extension the provision of access to the evolving global technology landscape.

“My belief remains that access to education and the Internet, including the inherent opportunities for knowledge sharing, collaboration and innovation are the two most important equalizers in life.’’

Further, the Cisco executive has urged visitors to the Tech Experience Centre to look forward to enriching innovations and partnerships; even as he lauded TD Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa’s foremost technology, lifestyle and solutions distributor for spearheading the ambitious project.

‘‘At the centre, we expect our partners, customers and participation from our social responsibility collaboration e.g. Cisco Network academy. We expect to use the centre as a part of the showcase for our technology solutions, while we remain deliberate about building a relevant community of SMME that can compete at the global stage.

“Our traditional and emerging partners would also be welcome to the centre to collaborate with Cisco and other stakeholders in key areas like Devnet/DevOps, software engineering etc.

‘‘We focus on partnerships and collaboration. We are a company that has a proven track record off the back of a successful global partner program over the years. This approach is consistent in the way we continue to partner with TD Africa, to provide market development and penetration where required in the region for Cisco technology.

TD Africa is showing palpable intent with the launch of this Tech Experience Centre and I will encourage them to stay bold and continue to push the boundaries for technology in the region,’’ he concluded.

The Tech Experience Centre is widely expected to bridge the gap to cutting-edge technology for millions of Nigerians.

The centre, the first of its kind in Africa, located within the prestigious Yudala Heights on Idowu Martins Street, Victoria Island will be flagged off by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, who is expected in Lagos for the official commissioning by 5pm.

The Tech Centre is widely expected to boost Nigeria’s relevance in the global technology race and shore up the country’s march to technology independence.

For the first time, Nigeria will play host to the latest global technologies including those not normally available in Africa, offering all classes of visitors a first-hand experience of new gadgets, solutions and infrastructure that would have previously required a visit abroad, thereby saving corporate organizations, government establishments and individuals money or scarce foreign exchange expended on these trips.

 

 


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