Changing the Way We Sell: An Interview with OJ Ogundipe of MyLocaleShop.com

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MyLocaleShop.com is a platform that is rapidly revolutionizing the way small business owners do business in Nigeria. With hard work, determination and sheer genius, OJ Ogundipe has opened up a plethora of opportunities for anyone who wants to do business at a national and international level. He makes it incredibly seamless for offline businesses to sell online and for online businesses to deliver offline.

At NaijaHousewives.com, we are passionate about entrepreneurship and how it can affect the life of the woman through the financial independence it provides. Therefore, when we heard about My Local eShop and how it made it much easier for an ordinary business woman to collect money for her goods online and also to deliver those goods to any destination in the world, and without paying a fortune in the process, we knew we had to speak to the brains behind this.

And so it is with great excitement and extreme pleasure that we present to you OJ Ogundipe of My Local eShop.

 

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NH Thank you for giving us this opportunity, OJ. Please give us a little background about yourself.

MyLocaleShop My name is Olusegun Jonathan Ogundipe . I attended Eko Boys High School in Lagos State of Nigeria, and attended Lagos State University where I studied Computer and Electronics Engineering 1992. After that, I went for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 1994, the delay was in part because the then Military Head of State, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida had closed my school for 2 years.

I am a Microsoft certified Engineer and have a post graduate diploma in management sciences from Rivers State University of Technology. I have been in the field of ICT since 1990 and in 2004 started Webber Networks Limited who are the designers and promoters of My Local eShop. Webber Networks Limited has serviced clients in various sectors with various ICT Solutions; some of which are AGIP, DHL, Five Star Logistics, Comet Shipping and many more. I am a native of Osun State though I was born in Ghana and grew up in Lagos. I am married with 4 children; eldest is 16 yrs and youngest is 5yrs.

 

NH What exactly is My Local eShop all about?

MyLocaleShop My Local eShop was primarily designed as a platform to help businesses grow and expand using the distribution network of the local post and Internet technology. It is therefore an e-commerce portal that enables SME’s and vendors to market, sell and distribute their goods to a wider market using Internet/GSM technology and the local postal service ( NIPOST). Payment gateway is provided by Interswitch and nationwide delivery is facilitated by NIPOST through EMS Speedpost.

This is an opportunity for vendors and SME’s to improve their product/goods distribution nationwide in Nigeria and at the same time increase their market share which ultimately leads to an increase in revenue/profit. My Local eShop is therefore a one-stop solution for customers to buy different types of products from various vendors regardless of their location. As you can see My Local eShop is a synergy of 3 firms Webber , NIPOST (EMS Speedpost) and Interswitch therefore the confidence and viability is very evident.

How My Local eShop Works

 

NH How is it different from the model that Jumia.com and Konga.com are using?

MyLocaleShop My Local eShop business model is very different from Jumia or Konga. While Jumia and Konga are selling their own personal products, My Local eShop does not, but enables other vendors and OEMs to sell via their platform. Some of these people are trying to adopt a semblance of our model but the major flaw is that they will be competing with their own vendors. Also , My Local eShop puts the branch network of NIPOST (EMS Speedpost) at the disposal of her vendors. This guarantees nationwide spread for even the smallest business at the street corner that is on our platform.

 

NH Why do you think this will work in Nigeria?

MyLocaleShop There is a constant yearning for poverty alleviation and empowerment of SME’s. How will these people be empowered ? How are we going to alleviate poverty ? We have to empower their businesses, help them get more customers, improve their distribution network, increase their market share, foster healthy competition etc. My Local eShop is an embodiment of all these factors. Therefore there is no question of its workability; rather the question should be “why should it fail “

 

NH What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?

MyLocaleShop Wow !! The challenges were enormous, it took us almost 3 years to convince and commit NIPOST to come on board; in fact we should have been in the market before Jumia, Konga and the rest of them. Plus we have had to finance the whole project single handedly, but we thank God we are here today.

 

NH What have been your high points?

MyLocaleShop The high points would be the official signing with NIPOST at NIPOST HQ in Abuja with the PMG in attendance and of course the successful integration with Interswitch

 

From left : Alhaji Abdulkarim Baba ( NIPOST Head of Strategic Planning) , Alhaji Mori Baba ( Post Master General of the Federal Republic ) , Head of Media and Publicity , Mr. Bulus Yakubu ( Head of Legal ) and My Humble self
From left : Alhaji Abdulkarim Baba ( NIPOST Head of Strategic Planning) , Alhaji Mori Baba ( Post Master General of the Federal Republic ) , Head of Media and Publicity , Mr. Bulus Yakubu ( Head of Legal ) and My Humble self

 

 

NH Could you tell us the benefits of My Local eShop to the average entrepreneur e.g. the woman who makes beads or sells jewelry?

MyLocaleShop No matter how good your product is you need customers to see and buy it. For your business to grow you need lots of customers to see and buy your goods. My Local eShop will bring the customers to you no matter their location, it means anybody in any part of the country can buy your products/goods without physically coming to your shop or office. And you are assured of your payment. This will definitely increase your market share and revenue. I have seen women that sell their goods out of the trunk of cars, they can only sell as far as their legs can carry them. But with My Local eShop they can sell without even leaving their house. This is why one of the papers to be presented at our workshop is titled “Don’t work hard , work smart” to be presented by Intel West Africa.

 

NH Is it possible to sell perishables on your platform?

MyLocaleShop It is not advisable for now but we are working on it.

 

NH How long have you been in business?

MyLocaleShopWebber Networks Limited started in 2004 so that will be 10 years

 

NH What are your plans for the future?

MyLocaleShop To expand My Local eShop distribution network to the whole West Africa by effectively integrating all the Local post offices in the region so that our vendors can sell beyond our borders.

 

NH How can we start selling on My Local eShop?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Its very easy. You can register to sell in 5 minutes. Just click https://mylocaleshop.com/vendor-reg.php and register. Annual subscription starts from 5,000/annum to 30,000/annum, select any category that is convenient for you. Submit and activate your account then you can upload your products with prices and descriptions Voila !!! you are ready to start selling.

MLES

Thank you so much OJ for spending time with us at NaijaHousewives.com and sharing the inner workings of My Local eShop. If you have any questions or you just want to leave a message for OJ, drop a comment here.

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