Rebuilding Nigeria: Essential Items For an Affordable Price

PriceBreakers Limited

8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 17. Partnerships for the Goals

Overview

In America, it is easy to think of any necessity and get it within minutes at your local supermarket, but in places like Nigeria, even some essentials were scarce until PriceBreakers came along. PriceBreakers was used to help the people of Lagos, Nigeria gain access to things that are commonly found in first-world nations, such as toothpaste, paper towels, and similar products. As many advances as Nigeria has made socially and economically in the last several decades, they still struggle to be implemented into world markets and lifestyles.

As the rest of the world continues to move forward and gain economic growth as well as social growth, Nigeria struggled to keep up with modernizing its country. Little by little we see more of our community heading to virtual lifestyles which even include our shopping experience. However, that was Nigeria's chance to join in and have the closest to the same opportunity for many goods. PriceBreakers would help order and organize ways to get the products to families in Lagos without increasing shipping rates and the price of necessary items.

This innovation would not have happened if it were not for Anu and Latif Giwa's help, who, although do not live primarily in Lagos, now felt the need to help their loved ones as well as those who needed it most. The families who were isolated to the necessary goods previously had to wait weeks if not months on end for their products to be received, but now have access to them the way the rest of the world does. These small steps forward will continuously help the Nigerian economy grow and develop into a nation status similar to the US, France, and more.

Authors

Abiola Giwa

Abiola Giwa

Jessica Livianu

Jessica Livianu

Nicholas Trusnovec

Nicholas Trusnovec

School

St. John's University

St. John's University

Professor

Charles Wankel

Charles Wankel

Innovation

It's hard to imagine, but the usual handling of business in third world nations like Lagos, Nigeria is your request from a friend or family in the US the product(s) you want and they ship it to you directly or you must wait until they come to visit. To an American who has everything they ever wanted at their fingertips, this is preposterous but in places like Lagos, this was normal life until PriceBreakers. Not only was this an expensive request but also a timely one. With PriceBreakers, the people of Lagos had access in a civilized manner just like the rest of the world. Not only has PriceBreakers brought relief to the Lagos people, but also helped their economy start growing in the right direction.

The goal of PriceBreakers is to bring the essence of variety and freedom to places that did not experience that before. PriceBreakers focuses on bringing first-world nations goods that are not usually affordable to people who do not have access to them. This innovation was inspired by Anu and Latif Giwa. As immigrants who lived in a place where you could have everything you wanted for very cheap, it was hard to observe the hardship for things that were taken for granted in places like Lagos. The Giwa's cared profoundly about the Lagotian community and wanted to find a way to help them succeed and be a part of the rest of the world.

The retail market of Nigeria was fragile due to many reasons, but most importantly, because of the orders needed to be processed if they wanted them shipped. While there was a demand for these products, many could not afford such a proposition that would involve investing in these necessities, so it was easier to have friends and family to ship what they could individually. PriceBreakers changed the common struggling lifestyle many people in Lagos went through to have daily necessities due to the amazing work of Anu and Latif Giwa. In their continuing work, hopefully, they will expand to help many other third world nations receive assistance to accommodate citizens as well as build their economy.

Rebuilding Nigeria: Essential Items For an Affordable Price

Aerial view of the Marina Market in Lagos, Nigeria. This is the future location for Price Breakers

Inspiration

Many of the Giwa's local Lagos friends currently own and run businesses with a similar objective to their own: uplifting the economy of Nigeria. The couple's fondness for their community, as well as the work of their friends, led the business owners to create the company they run today. “Even though I don’t live in Nigeria, that’s where my heart is,” Anu Giwa stated. The specific inspiration for PriceBreakers comes from personal experience, the Giwa’s often heard of complaints from their community about receiving essential products from international markets.

“When I would vacation there and visit family, I noticed that many essential products were not readily available for people who wanted them. I would receive calls from friends and family members who wanted me to send all these items from the U.S.”

Due to the lack of essential items provided by the Nigerian retail market, many within the community were forced to rely on shipments from outside of the country, leading the Giwa’s to establish PriceBreakers. As Anu Giwa stated before, their heart is in Nigeria, and they look to assist the Lagos community with the products they need to progress and thrive. The products provided by PriceBreakers are imported from the United States and other first-world nations, which is why the Giwa’s take such pride in helping the people of Lagos to receive the products they deserve.

Overall impact

With PriceBreakers Limited, people living within Lagos, Nigeria can receive access to essential products. This leads to an upgrade in the quality of life that Lagosians would not have easily had access to without the company.

"A person living in the suburbs of the U.S. can easily drive 5 minutes to their closest Walmart and drive back home. This is not the case in Lagos! There is a lack of a cohesiveness system when it comes to shopping for essential items in Nigeria" said Anu Giwa. That lack of a cohesive system is the main mark of what makes this such a significant company.

Selling items in bulk allows for the owners of PriceBreakers to reduce international shipping costs. The reduction in shipping costs helps customers to receive essential products at an affordable price. “We cut out the high shipping costs that Lagos citizens would normally pay for basic international products,” said the Giwa’s.

Using their U.S. status to leverage the company, the owners make essential products more feasible for people in Lagos. Beyond the high shipping costs, selling the products in bulk lowers consumer prices even more. They do this by selling products at “U.S. industry packaging sizes”; while providing household items and grocery items available for people to use. Without companies like this, the people of Lagos would not receive an adequate amount of access to essential products.

Business benefit

Based on the innovation of PriceBreakers Limited, the founders have been able to connect with respectable business owners located in Lagos, Nigeria. "Local businesses in the area reach out to us when they are trying to add new and unique products to their inventory," said Giwa. Since PriceBreakers namely offers high-quality U.S. products, local businesses can buy in bulk. The company was even offered the opportunity to be a part of a local fundraiser that followed a Chinese auction format.

PriceBreakers aims to set a standard that upholds the integrity and safety of its employees. In our interview, Anu Giwa stated:

“We find it necessary to pay our employees with livable wages and benefits, even though the country's government does not hold us accountable as business owners.”

In Nigeria, business owners within the multi-line retail industry are not obligated to pay their employees a wage that will help them to sustain a proper standard of living. Giwa believes that their employee benefits model will encourage other businesses in the area to make improvements to their own employee models. PriceBreakers has received an increase in prospects who are looking to work for the company due to the wages that the company offers.

Since the COVID-pandemic and #ENDSARS movement, PriceBreakers has had a difficult time with shipping international items to Nigeria. With the 24-hour government-mandated curfews and violence, people are not shopping as much as business is slower. However, the business owners are remaining hopeful that business will increase when these crises come to an end. They believe the changes within the corrupt government will open an opportunity for new international suppliers to conduct business in Lagos.

Social and environmental benefit

PriceBreaks Limited allows Lagosians to have an easy shopping experience, similar to those in first-world countries. "Nigeria has been ridden with corruption, deregulation, and embezzlement for years," Giwa says. PriceBreakers has the opportunity to create a culture of ethical business in Nigeria. The business owners encourage the enrichment of their community by rearranging the way that multi-line retail companies work within the Lagos market. Giwa stated:

"The people of Lagos need to know that they are more than deserving of a healthy system, especial when it comes to obtaining items for daily provision. In the past, foreign hands have used their capital to take advantage of Nigerian markets."

Many business people from the US, China, and the UK have participated in business operations that did not benefit the people of Nigeria. For example, profits made from Nigeria's oil operations only benefited a select few of Nigerian officials and foreign traders. It is rare to see for-profit organizations that are using their earnings to invest in the development of Nigeria's infrastructure. In the future, PriceBreakers plans to use the growth of their business to create more jobs and open more locations throughout Lagos, Nigeria. The owners believe Nigeria is more than capable of becoming a world power. It's going to take ethical business leaders to bring economic and structural change to this country.

Interview

Anu Giwa, Co-Founder

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PriceBreakers Limited

PriceBreakers Limited

Lagos, NG

Business Website: https://N/A

Year Founded: 2012

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

PriceBreakers Limited focuses on supplying a wide variety of items to the citizens of Lagos, Nigeria. The multiline-retail company was originally founded in 2012 by Anu Giwa and her husband Latif Giwa. The couple noticed the need for a stable wholesale retailer that would provide essential items to the people of Lagos at an affordable price.