GuddiesPlanet,an online shopping mall has been launched targeted at Nigerian students in various institutions across the country with the aim of helping them to source, exhibit and distribute the basic and essential needs of student at the needed time, most affordable price and best quality with ease and convenience.
Founded by Rosanje Adeniyi Michael, a member of the Young Africa Leaders Initiative, who is also the founder of GidiPlus a business development platform, GuddiesPlanet aims to create a world of ease and convenience for all Nigerian students, which will enable them to live and study conveniently.
TechMoran recently had a chat with Michael about Guddiesplanet,and this is what he told us.
What inspired you to launch Guddiesplanet?
Guddies Planet was launched from the desire to solve problem and make profit, there has been many online shopping mall before the existence and emergence of Guddies Planet, but we born out of vision and purpose, we want to be different, distinct and also stand forward among our competitors.
Before launching Guddies Planet I was a hostel referrer to a hostel agent in my street back then, I help students source and secure accommodation off campus and that was just for like 4 months, while doing this I noticed most of these students who are mostly new students always have difficulty accessing and buying their basic and essential needs, some of them do call me for assistance on where and how they can get these items.
Secondly, graduating students too always have issues selling and disposing their used items, so I saw a gap that needed to be filled, which started by buying items from the graduating students and selling to the new ones I helped with accommodation rather than creating a marketplace for them to meet and exchange goods or serve as a linking channel between them, I cut them off the deal, it was capital, time and energy consuming creating a marketplace, channel and being the link between the buyers and the seller.
So this continued and I realized they needed more than fan, rugs, cupboards, hotplate and other electronics which are 100% items graduating students are willing to sell, the basic necessity is food, clothing and shelter.
They have gotten shelter and needed food, clothing and other students essentials which include books, phones, laptops, mattress, etc.
They needed a platform where they can access these basic and essential needs with ease from anywhere and anytime rather than walking under the hot sun, through long distance, challenged with huge prices and at the end not getting the needs despite the stress.
How does it work?
We operate on an online to offline vice versa system, which means our activities are not limited to the web, we exhibit and trend information about different products online for buyers all across the country, while upon every order of each product an instant notification appears from the back end of our website and instantly a mail/call and SMS notification will be sent to the customer and also the supplier of the product who will then process and pack the products for our team to pick up for delivery, it is our own work to rebrand the products in our customised nylon and confirm the originality before delivery.
Our customers can either choose to pay on delivery or bank transfer, but based on statistics, new customers and old ones still choose to use the pay on delivery because of fear of cyber fraud as believed and these works perfectly for us, we have never had issue of rejection or return of order from delivery with over 1800 orders online and offline.
What are your delivery times, fees and delivery methods?
Delivery time is from 35 mins to 3 days after customer order except otherwise stated, and this is based on customer location and nature of products while our delivery method is through our own GIDI Express and others such as Sceptredash and selected and partnered public transport systems, while our delivery fee is undoubtedly the cheapest starting from as low as #100 and free campus delivery on selected weekends.
Where we operate
Currently, Guddies Planet operates in the western part of Nigeria presently, though there are orders from the other parts of the country, but our concentration and capacity is specialised majorly in the west which covers institutions in the following states,: Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti and Kwara state.
What are some of the biggest challenges you faced while working to launch Guddies Planet?
Basically it was finding the best team to work with, it was when after 4 month I was able to build a team, secondly funding and changing students orientations about online shopping, the general belief was that online shopping and online transaction or trading was a scam and fraud.
How difficult was raising capital to start Guddies Planet?
It was the most challenging experience, I wasnt getting support from anyone or anywhere, even from home, they only wanted me to be a great scholar and continue my readily established trend of being an outstanding students which I was already diverting from, Thanks to my mentor, Anifowose Moses, London Uk, he supported me in all way he could he registered the domain for 4 years sent some cash to work some things out, the story and glory is incomplete without him.
There was no investor, but got loads of promises and encouragements which actually motivated me to give more to the growth, I shared the idea with many of my friends when it was requiring more money, time, minds and hands for growth, and it was Sonuga Ayomide and Bada Adedamola showed interest and support, their support contributed immensely to the growth.
I was demanding more from them but couldn’t deliver cos of their engagement Gabriel was working and Damola was just in year 1. They were not really seeing the vision I was seeing so they couldn’t give equal contribution as l was but was still in the compound willing to deliver but were both limited and restricted unlike me, I had to put my schooling on hold and continue with my education unconventionally which created and enabled the needed focus and commitment to deliver the vision.
I had to diversify and venture into other businesses which were born out of Guddies Planet needs, Gidi Plus was established from the need to design graphics, manage website and develop digital marketing tools for Guddies Planet, from Guddies Planet, Gidi Plus serves other brands and profit made from these projects are spent on Guddies Planet.
So raising capital has been 70% from personal savings and other businesses while 30% from associates which has really been so challenging.
What’s unique about Guddiesplanet and how are you making profit?
There ae many online shopping malls in Nigeria but Guddies Planet is unique, the first and only online shopping mall in Nigeria created and targeting all students only, while the rest focus on the general public, we have been able to create a niche for ourselves, the students community is a very healthy and well and readily established population for business, Guddies Planet have a population size of over 20 million students which is more than the population of and its undoubtedly large .
Apart from our niche our method and strategies of delivering our services enhances our promise of creating the best shopping experience for all Nigerian students.
We make profit in 4 ways, our suppliers and vendors pay us and we sell directly too, these and others are the basic ways we make profit, more funding and growth, then our profit margin will undoubtedly increase tremendously.
How has the market responded to your service since launching?
Truthfully, the market has really been responding such that we have not been able to deliver up to our satisfaction, upon first encounter our customers are usually fascinated by our solution; they love what we are offering and delivering and how we present our solution.
Where do you see Guddiesplanet in the next five years?
By the end of 2023 I believe with the grace of God, Guddies Planet will be among the top 5 online shopping malls in Nigeria and Africa.
Finally, words of advice to young entrepreneurs who are finding it difficult to raise startup capital?
Well, what I believe is that before one is followed on a journey one must start, before being helped with capital either by family, friends or investor, you must invest your time, money and energy, also always try to substitute cash with self-services and also diversify, e.g if your business involves graphics you can learn graphics design and that will cover paying a second party for a design, from there you can start a design platform where you can design for others and earn some cash which can be spent on the primary business, I used the strategy and it worked well and perfectly for me, not just on designs but other aspect, Guddies Planet needs gave birth to Gidi Plus.
Always ask yourself, how much have you personally put into the business, whats your commitment like before looking out for investors.
Check out www.guddiesplanet.com for the best shopping experience.