World Retail Voice Blog Post
Interview with Adenike Ogunlesi, CEO and Owner, Ruff ‘N’ Tumble
How would you define the current momentum of the retail sector in Africa?
The Africa continent is moving into a new stage of growth and development. It offers tremendous opportunities for those willing to take the risk; it is an increasing sector which offers a lot of opportunities.
As far as Nigeria is concerned, how would you describe the country to a potential investor?
Nigeria is a Country with a growing middle class which is aspirational. It offers business opportunities across a wide spectrum of industries, not just retail. There is manufacturing, industrial, finance etc. however, inconsistencies in government policies can make doing business a daunting task. With high risk comes high rewards!
Nigeria is facing a new era with the opening of several Shopping Centres. Could these Shopping Centres play a central role for retailers?
Yes! It can, but retailers need to understand the market and its peculiarities as mall culture is growing. Modern shopping centres are barely 10 years old in Nigeria. In this time we have seen quite a number of retailers come and go. Also, there is a need to address the high costs of rents and services.
Nigeria is struggling with intra-structures, especially road and railways. Is the supply chain also something that retailers must be aware of?
Absolutely! If you are coming to Nigeria with a mind-set that thinks it will run like Europe, you will fail! This is Africa- we are Africans, not Europeans, not Americans, not South Africans! Intra structures are poor, however, there exists a network that works locally, and retailers need to crack this.
The African markets are mostly dominated by importation. Can the retail sector be a booster for national production?
This is a possibility. However, are foreign retailers looking to really investing in the retail sector? Or is it only about returns that support foreign investors.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Retail Congress Africa in Johannesburg?
I am looking forward to meeting successful retailers and learning from their experiences. Exploring new ideas and trends and forming partnerships that provide Win wins!
Adenike Ogunlesi is speaking at this year’s Retail Congress Africa on ‘Nigeria: Pushing frontiers for retail market growth though investors collaboration‘ – 11.30 18 November 2014