Many companies need to better understand what drives their customers to make their purchasing and lifestyle decisions. In Nigeria, entrepreneur Abiola Olaonipekun, founder of BanahGrace Nigeria Limited, is providing the insights needed.
LoA chatted to Abiola Olaonipekun to find out more.
What does your company do?
BanahGrace is a specialist consumer behaviour research and data company connected to the cultural context, values and pulse of the Nigerian society. We provide market research services to companies within and outside Nigeria.
What inspired you to start your company?
Helping people gives me so much joy. So, while working at one of the big 3 research companies in Nigeria we are unable to help some companies due to different reasons ranging from type of work, scope, budget etc. I felt we could do more. I saw an opportunity to help people get the insights they need to make an informed decision. So, I started and now I’m able to do more than just one thing. I provide data, I introduce people to great service providers, broker relationships, recommend insights that cut across market research, publicity, advertising, marketing, user experience and so much more. It’s so exciting being in this position.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
BanahGrace is a specialist consumer behaviour research and data company connected to the cultural context, values and pulse of the Nigerian society. We approach every assignment with empathy, respect, clarity of thought and global standard research methodology and innovation. We are hired because we are incisive and focused on finding the quickest and most insightful way to deliver clients’ projects. Our goal is to help our clients build their businesses in Nigeria with the actionable insights and data to power their decision making.
Therefore, the ability to deliver quality projects with actionable insights within a short timeframe and resources makes us truly special. As a small business, we are often under-priced, yet, we don’t compromise on great quality and standard. We don’t allow current pay cheques to deter us from producing top-notch work to our growing client base because we believe in excellence.
Tell us a little about your team
The team is made up of 4 smart and driven ladies whose specialities are in qualitative research, large-scale quantitative projects, field coordinator (she finds the right respondent from anywhere they are hiding) and we have a super-efficient project manager.
The beauty of our operation is that we often work remotely. We are millennials; we don’t believe in the constraint of time and space. We have flexible arrangement and get the work done. This way, we are not only efficient, we keep the overhead low as well.
“Our goal is to help our clients build their businesses in Nigeria with the actionable insights and data to power their decision making.”
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
My father is an entrepreneur, but it has never been the driver for me because being broke sometimes should have been a negative indicator for me. I was really scared to start out, but God provided all the signs and support I needed.
Currently, we have our office at Ikeja, Lagos; we have current clients in different industries ranging from Technology, Automobile, FMCG – yoghurt, milk, noodles, drinks, non-governmental organisations, banking, facility management, to oil and gas etc. We work with local and foreign direct clients and some research agencies also sub-contract their work to us. It is exciting to be able to bring this wealth of experience into our work and continually learn to become better. Nevertheless, we still experience downtime occasionally. It’s been an exciting journey and I look forward to many more exciting years of bringing solutions to clients’ burning issues.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
We have 2 key plans for the future– specialized products for our market and training to increase human capital in the industry. We plan to design and develop market research products targeted at micro, small and medium businesses within Nigeria and foreign investors who are interested in this market. We need to make market research and data more affordable and accessible to organizations.
In addition, we intend to develop training programmes for young people who are interested in gaining market research skills. Currently, there is a death of skilled workers in Qualitative research in Nigeria– from transcribers, client service executives, to those who are simply interested in drafting proposals and reports. We intend to grow the industry as well as empower these young people with skills that can stand the test of time.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
My greatest satisfactions come from delivering impeccable projects and being able to own my time. There are some opportunities I have enjoyed and spontaneous decisions that I have made that would have been impossible if I were employed. In addition to that, it has become easy for me to diversify and pursue my interests in other spheres.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
If you love it so much, go for it! Be ready to do something that will outlive you. Be excellent.
Source: Lionesses of Africa