Nigerian transport company ‘God Is Good Motors’ (GIGM) entered the nation’s transport space with tech-driven innovations. Having gained a considerable market share, it expanded to logistics and has built a powerhouse in that space – GIG Logistics.
The company was founded in 1998 by the late Edwin Ajaere, who passed away in 2009. Following his death, his son Chidi Ajaere assumed the role of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Edwin established the business with the vision of providing quality bus services throughout Nigeria. To fulfil his father’s vision, Chidi reinvented the company in 2010.
He changed the transportation company’s business model and leveraged innovative technology to power the transportation business from the bottom up.
Through the power of technology, he transformed the transportation business into a world-class organisation.
Building the logistics powerhouse – GIG Logistics
Chidi Ajaere assumed control of the company with a definite aim and strategy. While conceptualising the ideas, he anticipated opposition since his plan may not resonate with ordinary bus drivers.
His first call was to change their thinking and way of doing things. For instance, ‘bus parks’ became ‘terminals’, and ‘drivers’ are addressed as ‘captains’. He changed the dressing culture from casual attire and bathroom slippers to uniforms and suits and ties.
The personnel were trained to become tech-savvy, and talented people were added to the team to enable a smooth transition to technology.
Through this, Chidi incorporated technology into their ticketing system and other fundamental activities.
Aside from the terminal renovations to incorporate customer-centric features, he launched a new website in 2015 that allows customers to order tickets and select a preferred seating location online.
In 2016, the company also released a mobile app for Android and iOS that allows customers to book tickets on the move and provides additional customer-friendly features.
For instance, an app-exclusive pick-up service is available along travel routes, eliminating the need for customers to go to significant bus terminals.
With the technological upgrade, 80% of the company’s ticket reservation comes from online bookings.
The cost of building the logistics powerhouse
Enlarging a ‘bus park’ into a multimillion-dollar logistics company entails considerable finance.
One of the strategies used to reduce the expenses is making everything in-house. For instance, GIG Mobility’s Intelligence Control Unit (ICU) platform was designed and maintained by an in-house team of software and IT professionals.
However, some expenses cannot be avoided. For instance, all GIGM cars are equipped with internet-enabled tracking devices to maintain an ongoing connection with the ICU. The annual data costs are in the millions.
The advantages, however, exceed the costs. The ICU provides insight into the company’s activities. It generates real-time data that helps make decisions, such as whether to replace buses and identify cost-inefficient operations.
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