Shoprite opens $20 million store in Nigeria's strife-torn Kano
Shoprite, the South African retail chain, has opened a new $20 million store in Nigeria, which is its first in the more volatile northern region of the country.
It brings the total number of stores in Nigeria to eight and despite concerns about security in the region is part of Shoprite’s aggressive expansion drive, which will see a further four stores opening in the country before the end of 2014.
It is situated in the brand new $110 million Ado Bayero Mall in the north’s largest city of Kano. Crowds of shoppers gathered outside the complex yesterday as Shoprite officially opened its door.
Store Manager, Adulhakeem Abdulganiyu, told various news gatherers: “We decided to expand our reach to Kano as part of our commitment to widen our presence in the Nigerian mega cities.
“Kano, as a commercial city with its huge population, provides ample business opportunities which we want to exploit.”
In the past two decades, Kano’s economy, which was famous for its textiles and tanneries, has seen many factories and businesses close as a result of violence witnessed in the region.
The National Bureau of Statistics shows that in 2011 almost two-thirds or 67 percent of the population were out of work.
Abdulganiyu said:“If we continue saying we will not come due to the prevailing security situation, we will not move forward. All we need to do is make adequate provisions to overcome such challenges.”
Kano is already home to several shopping malls owned by Nigerians and Lebanese as well as Indian nationals, but they are now dwarfed by the new 24,000 square metre (258,000 sq ft) centre.
Shoprite has 1,800 outlets worldwide and its expansion in Nigeria is a sign of growing foreign interest in Africa's second-biggest economy.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.