Friday, October 30, 2015

Openmall targets 34m small scale businesses

The Computer Warehouse Group (CWG), a leading provider of information and communication technology solutions has brought Openmall, an online shopping platform to the International Trade Fair Complex (ITFC) Lagos even as it targets 34 million small scale businesses, ITRealms reports.

The Chief Technology Officer, CWG, James Agada, said the intention of creating the platform is to provide online shop for small scale businesses to display their goods and services for prospective buyers, adding that it is designed to make them grow bigger than what they are currently. He also said that Openmall ensures about 20 per cent discount compared to what is bought in other e-commerce platforms because his company, unlike others, does not have its own products so there is no quest for profit maximization.

Agada who was speaking at the ITFC Openmalllaunch,Thursday, stated that Openmall will enhance job creation, saying that if eachof the 34 million small businesses can  employ one more person in their business, another 34 million jobs willhave been created, adding that the platform will put in value to the Nigerian economy disclosing that if this number of businesses came on board with a minimum of N10, 000 each, it will definitely inject billions of Naira into the nation’s economy.

He said Openmall has neither shop nor product to sell but operates a customer desk that interfaces between the buyers and sellers, saying that Openmall operates an escrow account system in which the platform ensures that both the buyer and seller honour their terms of agreement.

“When the buyer confirms interest in a particular goods or service he pays and the money enters Openmall account, the seller provides the item which is delivered to the buyer before the money is then released to the seller, all these within 24 hours,” Agada said.
He said the group is partnering with market associations, NGOs, market, leaders,currier service companies in case of distant customers and banks, adding that arrangement is on the way to work with the banks to provide soft loans to the small businesses in order to enable them stay on business. He said while the smallest online shop costs N2,500 a month, the biggest size goes for N10,000 a month.

The Business Development Manager, Openmall, Chidi Asiegbu, ITRealms gathered, said the society is changing with emerging technologies and people should embrace the change and advised business owners to own a website through Openmall platform, saying that the platform will remove logistics both on the part of the buyer and the seller, adding that the online shop also offers the seller platform for advertising his goods and services on his own shop which is embedded in Openmall.

Asiegbu informed guests that the company will be in the Complex for another five days to enable interested business owners to come and book their online shops.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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