The Group Managing Director, Red Star Express Plc, Sola Obabori, has urged retailers to become more agile if they are to become game-changers by 2025. He made this statement during his presentation at the Retail Leaders Conference held yesterday in Lagos.

In his presentation, titled ‘Building An Agile and Customer-Centric Supply Chain Driven Enterprise’, Sola Obabori urged retail leaders to look towards technology if they are to have an edge in the world we live in. “Innovation is key. We cannot do without adding something new to our processes and existing structure. While change can be painstaking and sometimes expensive, we have to accept the fact that it is necessary. Technology will ensure this progression and that is why we should embrace. If you take a look at the Chinese retail industry, Alibaba for example, robotics are the state of things there. Alibaba owns a warehouse that is operated mostly by robotics. Compared to when humans were used to manage that warehouse, the number of shipped out packages has increased by at least 50%, marking an incredible rise in the efficiency of technology.’ he stated.

He added that there is the need to optimize operations, as the Nigerian economy may not encourage acquisition as it used to. “We have to talk more about collaboration. Time has passed where you created what you did not have or you acquired what you did not own. Now, you have to make use of assets based on your needs. Why acquire a fleet of vehicles when you do not need them everytime? Why build a new facility if you are going to spend more time maintaining it rather than actually using it? When you need an asset, look for someone who already owns it. Hire it for a period of time and move on. Save yourself some extra costs and help build other businesses while you operate as well. This is what we call a Shared Economy. Let us embrace it.”

The Conference saw major players in the Nigerian retail industry come together to learn and inspire each other on the theme “Nigeria Retail 2025: The Catalyst & The Game-Changers”. Other speakers who gave presentations included Chijoke Ugochukwu (Executive Director, Fidelity Bank), Ezekiel Oseni (Chief Risk Officer, Bank of Industry), Gbemiga Owolabi (Human Resources Director, Airtel Nigeria), and Otunba Seni Adetu (Group Chief Executive Officer, Algorithm Media Limited).

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