The Birth OF A MARKETPLACE, “OJA9JA”, FOR THE LOCAL COTTAGE INDUSTRY
Oja9ja is an ecommerce platform making a bold move to revamp the Nigerian manufacturing sector by empowering and delivering value in terms of business insights, analysis and growth strategies to local manufacturers/ producers and SMEs in the Nigerian economy. We at Oja9ja are business professionals merging vast experiences in business and technology consulting and technology development.
What influenced our thinking?
The growth of the Nigerian manufacturing sector witnessed a significant decline since the oil boom in the 70’s which saw increased focus on oil revenue at the detriment of key sectors of the Nigerian economy, including the manufacturing sector. Fast track to 2016 when Nigeria was again given a blow by the significant drop in oil prices leading to depleting oil revenues and foreign investment, the manufacturing sector was further hit for a second time.
Also in the same year, the manufacturing sector further worsened from the instance the CBN removed 41 items from the lists of utilizers of foreign exchange. Coupled with this, the continued drop in the value of Naira against the dollar and the high cost of sourcing dollars made it difficult for firms to bring in raw materials for production of basic goods and service and caused the firms to fold up.
This further worsened key economic indices of the country including Human Development Index (HDI), ease of doing business and capital, just to mention a few. Currently, Nigeria ranks 152 out of 158 countries in HDI, 170 out of 190 countries in ease of doing business and experienced a 46.98% drop in capital importation from $9.6 billion in 2015 to $5.12 billion in 2016.
The need for transformation of key sectors of the economy became evident and translated to series of thought with my team on “what we can do to make the key sectors, especially the manufacturing and agriculture sectors, experience incremental growth for the foreseeable future”. Hence, the birth of Oja9ja.
Who Are We & What Do We Do?
Oja9ja is an online platform exclusively developed for “Made in Nigeria” products. It is the brainwork of two (2) management consultants and a team of software developers who identified a need to provide cottage industries in Nigeria with a nimble value chain for pushing their products to both local and international markets.
Oja9ja’s initiative further got interesting as the team conducted series of discussions, research and brainstorming sessions. We identified a disconnect between local manufacturers and their target markets. Some of the gaps identified include (but are not limited to):
• Lack of appropriate channel for product visibility
• Lack of a well-defined sales channel
• Lack of appropriate distribution channel
• High logistics costs and unreliability
• Lack of access to finance, and
• Lack of technology usage expertise
We analyzed the gaps and distilled insights which led to the development of Oja9ja, with the intent to eliminate the inefficient processes and high costs often experienced by local manufactures and SMEs.
In doing this, we also seek to leverage our consulting experience in key areas including business model design, strategy articulation, brand positioning and marketing strategies to drive growth and add value to our vendors (local manufacturers and SMEs) in the Oja9ja community.
Oja9ja is especially targeted at the technology savvy middle-class Nigerian population, as well as foreign nationals with an interest in Nigerian arts and crafts and other “Made in Nigeria” or indigenous products.
Current Product Offerings?
Oja9ja currently offers products across various segments including Arts and Crafts, Clothing & Fashion Accessories and Health & Beauty products. A common denominator of all products offered by Oja9ja is that they are made in Nigeria with more than 60% of materials sourced exclusively in Nigeria.
As an online platform, Oja9ja offers its two (2) broad customers the following
• Convenience and easy accessibility of premium quality “Made in Nigeria” goods/products at the click of button veritable products
• Coverage and spread across several industry and geographic clusters.
• Opportunity to access a ready market thereby reducing the onion layers of middle men and increasing artisans’ profit margin/profitability
• Affordable end-to-end logistics to allow them focus on their primary economic activity of production
As a customer…
Please visit oja9ja, scout through our various product offerings and place an order. Our payment system is secured end-to-end by Paystack® and our order fulfilment process is offered by GIG®, a best-in-class logistics outfit.
As an artisan…
Simply visit www.oja9ja.ng, create a store, upload pictures of your products and add a description.
Lets grow Nigeria together.