Every week, African Start-Up follows entrepreneurs in various countries across the continent to see how they are working to make their business dreams become reality.
(CNN) — Buycommonthings.com. It’s hardly the catchiest of brand names and Olumide Olusanya knew it. Six months into running his online grocery business, the Nigerian entrepreneur was desperate to find a shorter, more memorable name — but he’d run out of ideas.
And then it him. Like so many others, his Eureka moment came inside that steamy cocoon of inspiration where dirt is cleaned and geniuses are born: the shower.
“While I was in the shower one day,” recalls Olusanya, “I just had an epiphany of sorts and then, ‘yay, it will be Glue!’” he adds. “For the six months that we were in operation,” explains Olusanya, “people were coming to site and then you see them coming back repeatedly — so it looks like our service has a glue effect.”
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To make it more appealing, Olusanya changed the word’s two last letters and that’s how Gloo.ng was born, Nigeria’s leading online grocery store.
A former doctor helping trauma patients in a Lagos hospital, Olusanya says he decided to go into business with his wife to try to cater to Nigeria’s busy women with no time to shop at the supermarket.
“I saw the stress; I saw the love and passion of trying to keep up a very happy home, a very happy family; traveling up and down and then (being) busy on a daily basis,” says Olusanya. “And then you have a husband that is totally useless at cooking or taking care of the house, so all this pressure you see coming on,” he adds. “This for me was a way of trying to relieve her of that stress — my own expression of love.”
Since then, the company has grown to employ nine staff, operating from inside a 20,000 square feet warehouse. And although it’s yet to make a profit, Olusanya hopes he can expand the brand as more and more Nigerians turn to online shopping.
Check out the video below to find out about Olusanya’s efforts to ensure his customers are stuck like glue to his business and how he navigates the challenges of running an online store in Nigeria.
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