WEST AFRICA – Global food and agri-business company, Olam International is planning to introduce its Olam Markets, a B2B food distribution mobile application to other West Africa countries i.e. Nigeria and Cameroon.
According to the company, Olam Markets was first developed in Ghana to connect distributors of its food products with retailers, fostering an efficient, effective and convenient way of undertaking business.
It was launched on June 24, 2019 after multiple rounds of testing in Accra and other towns, as well as the involvement of a team of young Ghanaians fresh from their year of post-tertiary education national service.
“Born and nurtured in Ghana, Olam Markets has the potential to become a platform which will encourage other ecosystem players like banks and logistics aggregators to participate. In turn, this will increase the value proposition for our distributors,”Sidhartha Samal – Digital Head, Africa & Middle East
Since its introduction, Olam has indicated that the application has made a positive impact and witnessed growth with an average of 50 distributors being added on it each month.
To date 90% of its distributors utilize the app not only to connect with their customers but also get account statements, designate delivery details and track its order updates during every step of the process which helps them manage warehouse space.
Amit Agrawal, Country Head, Ghana said, “Olam has been committed to Ghana for over 20 years. We built that experience into the Olam Markets solution and then rolled it out with only 16 distributors initially across four businesses to identify the real, practical needs of our customers. Half of them were run by women.
“I think this hands-on approach helped deliver our success, and it’s informing our ability to expand the app’s functionality and availability going forwards.”
Olam intends to work closely and collaboratively with its packaged foods distributors in Nigeria and Cameroon to further refine Olam Markets, so it best suits their needs while constantly improving the app.
Following input from its Ghana customers, the company is developing additional capabilities for all users, such as integration with WhatsApp and availability of a chatbot, personalised user listings, and a move towards becoming cashless by payment gateway integration.
“The goal of Olam Markets is to empower our distributors to do business faster, as well as more easily and profitably. It also strengthens the role of our branded products as core components of their successes, whether in Africa or other markets around the world,” said Sidhartha Samal, Digital Head, Africa & Middle East.
“Born and nurtured in Ghana, Olam Markets has the potential to become a platform which will encourage other ecosystem players like banks and logistics aggregators to participate. In turn, this will increase the value proposition for our distributors,” he added.
The app is a component of the company’s global purpose to re-imagine agriculture and food systems by innovating sustainable growth that benefits consumers, customers, employees, partners, and the communities and environments in which it operates.
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