Strengthening Partnership

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Aliko Dangote

For their loyalty to Dangote Foods products in 2018, distributors of the products were recently rewarded and reassured of further support, Raheem Akingbolu reports:

President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has commended Nigerian consumers and singled them out for their doggedness and loyalty to Made-in-Nigeria goods, despite the challenges.

Specifically, the industrialist who admitted that year 2018 was challenging for manufacturers, distributors and the end users, applauded distributors of various products on the stable of Dangote food for their commitment.

The president, who spoke at the Dangote Food Distributors’ award and dinner in Lagos recently, advocated the need for robust partnership between brand owners and trade partners to enhance symbiotic business growth. He used this to underline the company’s theme: ‘Better. Stronger. Together.’

He stated that the gathering was in honour of the company’s customers and distributors who through their dogged and persistent efforts have earned their spurs in the distribution of our food products’ range.

While appreciating the distributors, for making Dangote Food products a household name in Nigeria, Dangote also showered encomium on the staff at DFM, NASCON and Dangote Sugar for their exemplary contributions in building the Dangote Foods’ brand.

He pointed out that Dangote brand has remained the dominant brand in most of the sectors it plays, adding that in the food sector, its business units; Dangote Flour Mills, Dangote Sugar Refinery and NASCON Allied Industries are clear leaders in their respective fields.

He said: “We are delighted to have you as our partners through thick and thin. You are all aware that we are celebrating 2018 against all odds. Our Foods businesses recorded mixed results in the year with NASCON growing while DSR and DFM had a very difficult year.

“Fluctuations in performance are known to occur in the life of businesses but the greater part is that you persevered with us.

“My special commendation goes to Dangote Sugarand Pasta customers who, despite the price challenges posed by influx of unlicensed and substandard grey imports stood by us,”

Speaking on why the company took this year’s edition of the reward system seriously, the Chairperson, NASCON Allied Industries Plc, Yemisi Ayeni said her team was delighted that despite the challenges, a number of distributors didn’t only breakeven but surpassed their target.

While corroborating the submission of the president of the group on last year’s challenges, she appealed to the distributors to remain loyal to the brand and that Dangote Foods has consistently worked on modalities to add value to the businesses of its trade partners.

“Let me again congratulate our distributors, who have joined us to celebrate together this evening, especially today’s awardees. You are important to our business because your loyalty drives us. We rely on you not only to distribute for us but to give us feedback from the end users. You are closers to our customers, you know where they are and the language they understand. On this note, let me reassure you that we will continue to fulfill our own part by giving you quality products and incentive to help your business,” Ayeni said.

This was also the position of Chairman of Dangote Flour, Asue Ighodalo, who stressed need for trade partners’ reward in business.

“It is important to encourage and reward wonderful partners by coming together to celebrate and award prizes to outstanding distributors. Over the years, our distributors have displayed a rare love for brand and this has continued to keep us going,”

For distributors and end users of Dangote flour, Ighodalo assured them of the determination of the brand promoters to push it to the driver’s seat of the nation’s flour market in the next five years.

With the award, Dangote Foods clearly demonstrated that of all the tools in its marketing kit, maintaining good relationship with trade partners appear more important to the group.

In the last three years, the company has not only used its annual reward for distributors to strengthen relationship with them but has used it to win more patrons.

To the management of Dangote Foods, the common saying that ‘Customer is King’ has become a watchword, with which it connects distributors. This was again established as outstanding distributors for the year 2018, were appreciated for their patronage and unwavering loyalty over the years.
Objectives
The award ceremony is designed to appreciate the support enjoyed by the company from its numerous customers nationwide and avail the customers of the company’s initiatives aimed at serving them better.

The award, which was spread across 10 categories in Sugar, NASCON and Dangote Flour Mills, had about 80 companies and individuals going home with various prizes.

The peak of the of the event was when 60 year old Alhaji Ali Balarabe, a business tycoon, who has become a household name in trading of sugar, flour, salt and other consumable, emerged from the crowd to pick the apex award for the night. He emerged First Place winner in all the three national categories; Sugar, flour and NASCON. Before then, the businessman had clinched regional and other categories award.

Overwhelmed at his accomplishment and the encomium showered on him by Alhaji Dangote and other management staff, Alhaji Balarabe, expressed gratitude to Allah and the management of the company for the support they have given to his company over the years.

Another winner, Elizabeth Ajibola of the MT Olive Nigeria Limited, who won the award of Best Performing Customer in the South West Region for Sugar, attributed her feat in the business to cooperation she got from Dangote Foods family.