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How vending food, fruits, vegetables has empowered Nigerians, businesses’

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Guy Futi is the Managing Director of Jumia Food, Now and Party. He spoke with Head of Agro-Economy Desk, FEMI IBIROGBA on how the company’s business of interfacing between customers and restaurants, groceries as well as food manufacturers have evolved. He says the unit has empowered hundreds of players along the chains.

Will you tell how you have evolved from your starting point till now vending food?
AST year, we had less than 250 partners in Nigeria. Today, we have more than dou- bled the partners, we have reduced our times of delivery and increased the variety of products offered. We are now offering more affordable meals. You can go on Jumia Food and get big chops for as little as N800 to N1000. We are making efforts to attract
all wallet sizes to the platform.

You said the time of food delivery is adjusted. How long does it take to deliver?
In the past year, we have reduced the times of delivery by more than 25 percent. It now takes a dispatch rider, on average, anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes from the moment you order to the time the order is received. Despite the challenges inherent to the market, such as lacking infrastructure, we are working with these constraints to bring Nigeria a global service.

You said partners have increased from fewer than 200 to 400 now. Who are these partners?
We have partners ranging from restaurants, groceries, drinks dealers, flower delivery, clothing retailers, electronics suppliers – we have really diversified our offerings on the platform. Notable partners include Sweet Sensation, Jevinik, The Place, KFC, Krispy Kreme, Craft Gourmet and Chicken Capitol (in Abuja) …. We also have some international partners we’ll be launching within
the next few months.

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You said some groceries are your partners. Does that mean you now vend raw food, fruits and vegetables?
Absolutely. Through our grocery partners, if someone needs an avocado pear, banana or yam, they can now get it from Jumia Food.

Talking more about your dispatchers, how do you manage them to deliver timely?
Three entities make up our logistics. The first two comprise of our individual fleet and our third-party logistics providers. I shall discuss the third entity, the independent riders, which have had a profound impact on our business.

We produced a survey among riders to determine the pain points and causes behind the lack of accountability, ownership and motivation. Apart from salary, which ranged from N35,000 to N45,000 per month, we observed that riders were looking for upward career mobility. We took it upon ourselves to empower these riders by giving them the opportunity to own assets and gain the opportunity to set up their own mini-logistics companies. Through the help of our partners, we developed a “Hire-Purchase” scheme. We said, “look, here’s a bike, work for us for six months – and then the bike belongs to you.” This dramatically improved their motivation and accountability.

Many riders went from earning N35,000/N45,000 per month to more than N200,000 per month. The best part: they own the bikes, manage themselves and now enlist other riders to join Jumia Food.

For the six months hire purchase period, do you pay them wages?
We guarantee a minimum wage but pay them per order delivered.
Futi

Like how much do you pay them?
At the very least, we pay them between N50,000 and N70,000 depending on performance. After that, they become fully independent. Even with the guaranteed minimum, many riders earn two to three times that amount.

How would you describe the growth rate in the face of economic realities of the country?
The growth rate at Jumia Food has been nothing but impressive. After a period of stagnation – we set a clear vision for growth and excellence. In as little as a year, the business has tripled in revenue. That’s a direct reflection of Nigeria’s tremendous opportunity and the strength of the Jumia Food team. From the operations department to marketing, customer service and account managers.

From January 2019 till now, what is the percentage of growth you have recorded?
We are recording month over month double-digit growth; fantastic growth rate!

Do you want to take more hired purchase riders in your logistics?
Absolutely, we want to take more. There is a correlation between empowering people and business performance. The more people you empower; the more people you have committed to seeing the success of the business. You see the impact throughout, from employee morale to accountability, ownership and of course “revenue.”
In two years, what is your vision for Jumia Food?
We would like to be serving all major cities in Nigeria. For everyone to order their meals, groceries, drinks, electronics from Jumia Food. We want to be Nigeria’s go-to provider for on-demand services.

It is calculated that an average person in Nigeria consumes N500 worth of food daily. N500 times 200 million people run into about N100 billion circulating in the economy daily. What percentage do you intend to get daily?
Everything, we would want to capture everything [laughs….]. But you know, that is a very good question. It is a very good question. It is something we have not really focused on. We are first looking at Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan and Port Harcourt. But I will get back to you on that.


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