Smartpreneur had an insightful session about the business of distribution with Otunba Akinbo Akin-Olugbade, MD of Kawai Technologies Ltd.
Kawai Tech is the largest Bosch and Siemens distribution company in West Africa. More recently, Akinbo has become a regular participant in the startup ecosystem, lending his knowledge and support to budding firms. He is also an active member of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Akinbo shared business experiences and lessons learnt from his journey in Kawai Tech which every entrepreneur, no matter the field, should note and apply. The MD stated that accounting is a highly important part of business and should not be ignored especially in the early days of any business. Founders or CEOs should normalize invedsting in accounting or getting the services of a good accountant from the inception of their companies. “I would say sacrifice a little bit of your profit early on to get a good accountant. For every business that is starting, it is the number one thing you need” emphasized Akinbo.
He mentioned that Lawyers come next depending on the nature of a business.
Another point made was equipment. Invest in the best equipment or the best you can afford while starting out. It could be a laptop, a software, etc “Anything that will increase your productivity.”
On managing human resources, Akin said “Nigerians often make the mistake of doing something for themselves because they are the bosses and then they do something else for their staff” He said founders and CEOs must learn to invest in their staff, providing them with the right tools and resources for the best output.
Speaking on the major departments that has to be setup for a smooth sailing distribution company, Akin said “You need someone on business development and then someone for operations and someone to ensure that the cargo or shipment gets to the client” with these three areas sorted, one can definitely start a distribution company.
Watch the session here.