Wale Adisa is General Manager for Sendy, English West Africa. In this role, he's charged with building out Sendy's fulfilment in Nigeria and anglophone West Africa. Wale is a highly skilled, veteran operator in Africa's e-commerce, retail and logistics space having left indelible footprints across organizations that include CourierPlus Services, Konga Group. A result oriented professional with significant and verifiable experience in Strategy Development & Management, Corporate Venturing, Business Development, Business Transformation and Change Management, Wale earned his MBA at the prestigious Cranfield University, United Kingdom. In this interview, he speaks about Sendy’s ambitions in Nigeria and how the start-up is solving the challenges around financing, logistics and last mile delivery faced by retail operators.
Tell us about Sendy, and why it decided to enter the Nigerian market considering the heavily fragmented nature of the retail space.
We understand that logistics is heavily fragmented not only in Nigeria but across the continent. We are also aware that for trade to thrive, you need markets and for markets to work you need logistics and financial services. This was our key driver. We wanted to eliminate the fragmentation and offer a solution that will empower people and businesses by making it easier to trade. Today, we are enabling them to sell more, move goods efficiently and get financing using Sendy.
What products and offerings has Sendy brought to the market and how has the market responded to your services?
We have two products. Sendy Supply and Sendy Fulfillment. Sendy’s Fulfillment supports online businesses that do not have storage or delivery systems. Sendy Fulfillment service picks, packs and ships orders to customers. It relieves online sellers of logistics difficulties while also insulating them from the high operational costs that come with logistics. This enables them to focus and spend more time growing their businesses.
Sendy Supply provides a platform that enables businesses to purchase stock at competitive prices from multiple suppliers/ manufacturers. We also provide advanced credit and flexible financing to enable businesses to buy stock and meet customers’ shopping needs. Through the platform, we are helping general retailers to grow and do more by picking and shipping stock from suppliers to their so that they can spend more time growing their businesses.
What gaps do you expect Sendy to fill?
Fragmentation in logistics is a major challenge, we are equipping businesses with the right technology to eliminate this. We are facilitating trade through creating markets, simplifying logistics and providing financial services. Sendy is aggregating all these key elements into one. This is what we call a fulfillment infrastructure. Through this, we are enabling businesses to grow and thrive.
Most small businesses and retail operators are still big on manual transactional operations. How do we make the leap to digitization?
Technology today plays an integral part in the growth of many businesses. We continue to see significant investments in tech solutions that are creating efficiencies in the way we do business. Businesses should digitize their operations so that they can leverage the power of technology and create greater efficiencies. This is how we create sustainable businesses.
What are the biggest bottlenecks that you have experienced and do you have any proposals for solving them?
We are constantly in the process of understanding this market. We are aware of our customers' pain points and we are working to ensure that Sendy that is addressing these pain points through both Supply and Fulfillment services.
How far do you see Sendy going in Nigeria and the West African region?
Our mission is to empower people and businesses by making it easier to trade. We want to power Africa's growth. We will continue to do this as we seize existing opportunities to work with as many businesses as we can across the continent.
What are the most memorable stories of how your platform has inspired and ignited real change in making trade easier for businesses owners that you would like to share with us?
We work with many merchants in Nigeria and across the continent – Kenya, Uganda and Cote d’Ivoire. Every story is unique. We are proud when we see people able to move goods with ease. We are also excited to see the growth of many businesses, people selling volumes using our platform.