CEO of Kwik Delivery Sees COVID-19 as an Accelerator for the Logistics Industry
In 2018, a 41-year old French entrepreneur named Romain Poirot-Lellig made a decision to explore the Nigerian tech ecosystem. Along with his business partner, Olivier Decrock, he came up with an idea that would revolutionise the country’s logistics sector and facilitate eCommerce activities. So, he came to Lagos and established Kwik Delivery which is also known as Africa Delivery Technologies SAS.
It’s been two and a half years down the line and Poirot-Lellig (now 43) and his team have been able to successfully build the startup into a major player in the industry. Kwik Delivery has also been able to raise funding from a number of investors, including the Co-Founder of Ubisoft Yves Guillemot, investment company Marlinvest SAS, and SC Nabuboto, a private investment vehicle.
Business Elites Africa recently caught up with Romain Poirot-Lellig and asked him a number of questions about Kwik Delivery, including expansion plans and funding options on the horizon. Enjoy the read.
BEA: Nice to meet you, Sir. Briefly tell us about yourself and how your entrepreneurial journey began.
Romain Poirot-Lellig: I have had a diversified professional career since 1996. However, launching a startup has always been on my mind. I grew up with the mythology of Silicon Valley and I covered US and French companies at a very young age as a tech & financial journalist. Then I became even closer to this ecosystem by working as a fundraiser for startups during the early 2000s in Europe and Asia. I also worked extensively for the new media and video games industry as a talent agent and as a lobbyist.
BEA: Tell us about your company (Kwik Delivery) and the services you offer.
Romain Poirot-Lellig: Kwik Delivery is a software platform that aims to bring innovative services to the logistics space in large African cities. Our first service is a last-mile delivery app that allows merchants and corporations to streamline their last-mile supply chains. With Kwik, they know that their retailers and customers will be delivered on time. We have plenty more innovative ideas coming up.
BEA: How would you describe the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the eCommerce and delivery sub-sectors in 2020?
Romain Poirot-Lellig: Covid-19 is a human tragedy for many people around the world, but as with every crisis, it is also an opportunity for African economies to reorganize and to accelerate their digital transformation. Many large companies come to see us with digitalization and eCommerce projects that require of course efficient delivery services.
BEA: Did the economic fallouts of the pandemic adversely impact your operations at all?
Romain Poirot-Lellig: Not at all. It was rather an accelerator, actually. I want to take this opportunity to salute my staff who had to work from home in these challenging conditions.
BEA: In April 2020, there were media reports that your company was seeking to raise €2 million for expansion purposes. Did this materialize eventually?
Romain Poirot-Lellig: Yes. We will announce something soon.
BEA: It’s a new year. What are your expectations/projections for the Nigerian delivery ecosystem?
Romain Poirot-Lellig: There will be more growth for digital platforms as economic actors in Nigeria aim to be more efficient and to focus on their core business.
BEA: Recently, the delivery space seems to have become quite competitive. What would you say stands you out from the competitors and what are your expansion plans going forward?
Romain Poirot-Lellig: Our positioning is quite different from our competitors. We are an asset-light business; we own no bikes. And we aim for the full stack of delivery options. It’s a huge underserved market…
EDITOR’S NOTE: Read the rest of the interview on page 14 of our latest magazine edition: 25 Entrepreneurs and Brands to Watch in 2021.
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