Team Lead at Kwiki Karts, Oluwafemi Lafua, graduated from the Department of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, in 2019. He won the ‘Student Entrepreneur of the Year‘ award organised by Junior Chamber International, UI chapter, in 2017. In this interview with JANET OGUNDEPO, the Delta State-born businessman reveals that while the COVID-19 lockdown grounded some businesses, it boosted logistics services
An Arts student, why did you venture into delivery business?
I started Kwiki Karts as an undergraduate at the University of Ibadan. At the time, there was no logistics business within UI to help students show love and meet daily needs to food and shopping. Then I decided to venture into entrepreneurship. Logistics is one of the problems in my target market, and that informed my decision.
Why the name Kwiki Karts?
Kwiki is coined from the word Quick. We needed a name that would resonate our Unique Selling Point, which is speed. We provide seamless, last-mile, real time delivery solutions to businesses and individuals in Ibadan.
There are many delivery businesses now, how do you cope with competition?
While we are facing minimal challenges, we are really coping well, especially with loyalty from our customers, who believe that no one does it better than Kwiki. We have also continued to improve on our services. We introduced new services that our competitors are not offering. Ironically, competition is good for business.
What other businesses are you into?
We are into consulting and advisory services for start-ups. I just started it this year and we are launching officially in few weeks, God willing. I also do digital marketing and advertising for businesses.
How are you able to combine these businesses?
I run most of these businesses virtually, as Kwiki Karts is my main business. Specifically, I run Kwiki Karts during the day and other businesses at night and weekends. It has not been easy, but proper time management, delegation and prioritising my activities have been of great help.
What challenges have you been able to surmount?
Problems are inexhaustible. The moment you feel you are done with one, another surfaces. We cannot begin to list all the challenges we’ve surmounted, but we have been able to scale through problems of employees, customers, partners and government to be where we are. More challenges still lie ahead, but we are committed to overcoming them by the grace of God.
What is the future of delivery business, especially Kwiki?
The future is now with the advent of remote deliveries using drones. In the heat of the pandemic last year, Amazon used drones for some of its deliveries, and that is where we are going in the near future. Robots and drones will replace dispatch riders to promote contactless deliveries. The future of deliveries for us at Kwiki Karts is becoming a global company delivering comfort and convenience around nations.
Employees are the lifeblood of a company. Are your employees youths like you?
Looking at the rigorous nature of logistics, a company would need young adults to drive company goals and objectives. Young people are energetic and innovative. We currently have three employees and they are all youths.
What challenge(s) do you face with your employees?
(Laughs) That one is normal. But we have been able to overcome the challenges with understanding and empathy.
What has been customers‘ rating for Kwiki?
We could say four on a scale of five. We have continued to thrive on commendations and recommendations.
In what way did the Coronavirus Disease lockdown affect your business?
COVID-19 never affected logistics business because while businesses were restricted during the lockdown, logistics companies were regarded as essential service providers, and we were allowed to do business. In fact, the sudden rise in logistics companies in Ibadan, Oyo State, where we base, was during the lockdown.
Where do you see Kwiki in a few years’ time?
We should have expanded our mode of operations to serve a wider market.
Are you fulfilled with the job, or is it just a stepping stone to your dream career?
I am fulfilled and it is also a stepping stone to my future goals.
What is your vision and mission in the business?
Our mission is to provide seamless logistics solutions to businesses and individuals, while our vision is to become the logistics solution for most businesses in Nigeria in few years.
How are government policies affecting your business?
We are really not affected by any government policy in Ibadan. We just have to deal with the government boys selling different stickers or tickets every time.
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