Fazsion.ng is a Nigerian fashion website where you can get luxurious and quality fashion items. The platform is managed by no other person than Ochije Nnani who has worked in two of Nigeria’s leading e-commerce companies-Jumia & Konga. Hence, it was not a surprise when he was appointed the Country Manager of Fazsion.ng. We had a chat with Ochije Nnani in which he told us about Fazsion.ng as well as the challenges of running a startup in Nigeria. Enjoy.
CAN YOU BRIEFLY INTRODUCE YOURSELF?
My name is Ochije Nnani. The Country Manager for Fazsion.ng. Educational – UNN (Bachelors) University of Sunderland (MSc) Career – Ciuci Consulting, Jumia, and Konga. Last role VP, Commercial at Konga.com.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT FAZSION.NG AND HOW IT WORKS?
Fazsion.ng was established in 2016, we kicked off operations fully mid-2017. Fazsion operates as follows: Online via Fazsion.ng; customers have the option of shopping 2 category of products-Global (order and have items shipped from our central warehouse in Europe) and Local (Outlet) – these are products on the ground in our warehouse. Offline (Retail and Wholesale); warehouse/retail outlet at 77 Opebi Road and a wholesale outlet at Breadfruit Plaza, Balogun Market.
WHAT PROMPTED THE ESTABLISHMENT OF FAZSION.NG? HOW WILL YOU DESCRIBE THE RESPONSE SINCE YOUR LAUNCH?
Fazsion was a response to the need of Nigerians that want good quality and branded fashion items at very good price points. The omnichannel (online, offline, retail, wholesale) strategy was also based on the gaps I noticed at my previous workplaces. Nigerians need to see and feel what they buy at least once or twice in order to trust an online platform. Furthermore, Nigerians are entrepreneurial – everyone buys and sells to their immediate environment – our wholesale was set up to help these individuals start a business without the capital or FOREX needed to travel abroad to buy stock. So you can walk into our offline outlet or visit online from the comfort of your home or office, place your order and have it delivered to you. Great response and feedback so far, repeat customers are high because we offer our customers value for money with every purchase.
WHAT IS THE MOTIVATION FOR SETTING UP FAZSION.NG?
The Fazsion idea was actually that of my CEO – Bo Hansen, a Danish citizen. He conceived the idea, I only joined mid-way to help re-formulate the idea to ensure we have a well rounded viable business based on my local knowledge.
FAZSION.NG IS AN INTERNATIONAL FASHION BRAND FOR HIGH-END FASHION PRODUCTS. WHO IS YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE? CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE AFFORDABILITY OF YOUR FASHION PRODUCTS?
You are right about your Fazsion.ng as regards high-end fashion products/brands. However, early this year, we re-strategize to have 2-Tier target market – both low to mid-level income earners via Fazsion Outlet (online and offline) where all items are sub 10K and middle to high-income earners via Fazsion Global – where brands such as Gant, Armani are ordered and shipped from Europe.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF RUNNING FAZSION.NG IN NIGERIA?
Human Resource – being a startup, it is hard to attract the best brain in the industry due to the fact that we lack reputation in the market at the moment and run on a very lean overhead budget. Logistics – the cost of shipping especially in our case the cross-border costs. Payments – despite a significant improvement by the banks and various Fintechs, payment still remain a huge challenge either that the customer cannot complete transactions or they do not trust their cards/accounts to be protected. Marketing/Customer Acquisition – as we know the cost per customer acquisition is high in this region and most times there is no ROI on these costs. Trust remains a huge issue – one of the reasons we set up an offline outlet is to enable customers to see and feel these products, have their sizes confirmed and above all interact with Fazsion staff.
WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT?
Everything bought or sourced from Fazsion (either from our global store or outlet) is authentic and sourced directly from the brands. The advantage for Nigerians is that you not only get these items at cheaper prices, they also do not need to wait to travel or beg someone to buy the items for them – you can shop and get items delivered to your homes.
FROM YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR IN NIGERIA?
Honestly, I am still learning how to be an entrepreneur, but from my little experience, it requires a 360 knowledge of the value chain of your business – HR, Accounting, Logistics, payments, Tech (depending on what your business is offering). Ensure you have at least enough finance for setting up, emotional intelligence to withstand both internal and external challenges and much more
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR FAZSION? ANY WORD OF ADVICE FOR BUDDING ENTREPRENEURS?
The vision is to build a pan African fashion e-commerce platform. We look forward to adding beauty category to our catalogue. We want to be the ASOS, Vente Prive, and TK/TJ Maxx of Africa all in one. Budding entrepreneurs should get mentorship, ensure they have a 360 view of their business, operate on a lean budget, put in place processes from day one – HR, accounting etc – to enable the business scale faster and finally prepare for the mental, physical, emotional and financial strain associated with start-ups.