Babajide Fowotade – Founder of Errandlr Interview

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Babajide Fowotade – Founder of Errandlr Interview

"We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community" - Haile Selassie (Former Emperor of Ethiopia)

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What is your full name?

Babajide Fowotade

What is your age range?

21-30

Where were you born and raised?

Lagos, Nigeria

What countries/states did you school in?

Nigeria

Did you go to university? If so, where did you go and what did you study?

BSc. Computer Science, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Oyo State

In what countries are you based?

Nigeria

What do you do to earn a living and when did you start?

Errandlr is a software company in the logistic industry that provides last-mile delivery services.
I am both an Engineering Manager and a Software Architect. Using my skills, I am able to design and build enterprise technology products that make package delivery easy for people.

What did you use to do before you did this?

As a Software Architect, I helped startups in the US build the right engineering teams and enterprise-grade software.

What inspired you to start your business?

My decision to start my own business was influenced by a number of factors.
1. Having to work under management became tiresome for me.
2. My goal is to have a positive influence on people’s lives.

With these, I called up a friend with whom I had worked years ago, we tried to build a startup in the food industry, but it failed.
I told him I was interested in starting a business, and I asked him what he thought was the main reason the company failed at the time.
A number of issues were brought up by him, but one that stood out to me was logistics.
The logistics problem was discussed and we looked at how to scale to create jobs and efficiently structure the last-mile delivery system with technology.

Why should anyone use your service/product?

Nigeria’s last-mile delivery industry faces a couple of challenges.
1. Lack of transparency between a logistic company and the senders of packages.
2. There are communication issues, e.g. delivery drivers can be rude to customers.
3. Late deliveries.
4. Low-efficiency levels on the third-party logistics end.
5. Outdated or poor last-mile technology solutions.
6. A customer has to search around to find a reliable delivery service.

With Errandlr, we’re a technology-driven company, with a well-planned operational system to help tackle these issues.
1. We assure same-day deliveries.
2. We ensure there is clear communication with the customers on the status of their delivery order, making them aware of any situation, if there are delays in delivery or if there’s been an unpredictable occurrence.
In the case of an occurrence, we have a plan to have a follow-up plan to satisfy the customer’s delivery.
3. We take the stress away from the customer’s end, by creating a simple way to request a delivery.

Tell us about your team.

We are a young but highly motivated team.
We are a remote-first company, so communication is a priority.
Everyone’s opinion counts, and is taken into account. We are always open to feedback on our product and care about each other’s well-fare.
And we like to play with memes and Gifs :).

What is something you wish you knew before starting your business?

When we started we never did that much research on how the last-mile industry works, I mean extensive research.
We launched the product thinking we would solve the problem with our solution. But we were wrong.
We went ahead to launch, we had traction and usage. But our operations failed pretty badly. And that affected the product’s growth.

I wish we had done a lot of research not just scratching the surface, and thinking we had it all figured out.
But after the failure, we restrategized properly and figured out the right solution.
This however did draw us back a couple of months.

Would you advise other people to start businesses or invest in Africa? Please also share the drawbacks.

Yes, I will advise people to start businesses and invest in Africa, it’s filled with opportunities that are impactful. However, the big issue in Africa is risk across the value chain (Supply Chain, Inputs, Trade, Energy, Infrastructure, etc).

What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other Africans looking to start-up?

Yes, I would advise people to start businesses here, there are a lot of industries that need new and improved solutions, to give people a better way of life.
You may however need to understand that there is a lack of proper infrastructure, this may cause challenges to your business.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other Africans in the diaspora?

1. Make sure you have the right team. Motivated people who aren’t only working for the money but can contribute when there’s a problem with your business.
2. In whatever industry you want to start your business in, do your research deeply, and make sure to really understand the problem. Don’t just build the product and hope people will use it. Build a product/service to solve the problem, but make sure it’s similar to what they are currently used to. While there’s a certain percentage of people who understand how to use technical solutions, there is still a higher percentage of people who will take the time to adapt your solution.
3. Understand your target audience.
4. Stay motivated. The Nigerian market is a challenging space.
5. Start small, then build up from there when you have figured out the right solution.
Thanks for reading! Visit Errandlr’s website here. If you are born and bred in Africa and have a business and story you want to share, we would love to hear from you. Please fill out the form here!

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