Tradegrid Bails out SMEs with Technology Solutions

Emma Okonji

Tradegrid, a business to business (B2B) marketplace platform has grown to become the largest network of independent retail stations by solving intractable problems of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through a seamless application of their proprietary technology. 

Its solutions, which come in four benefit packages that allow customers achieve a lot, include: Low-cost credit; a formalised and easily accessible credit option, which will allow traders and operators purchase as much product as they need and pay back as they sell; its flagship Non-Fuel Revenue product and Increased margins, which allows traders to increase the margins on their products by cutting out redundant processes.

Others include: Reduced order fulfillment time, which is greatly important considering that efficiency and value is lost in the current long waiting time it takes for traders and operators to join long queues at the depot for new products off take. Reducing this time will optimize their operations and cash flow.

Transition to a cleaner Energy mix is another solution. One of TradeGrid’s Boost product is transforming the forecourt experience from simple fueling stations to holistic multi-experience centers. Making it robust with alternative energy mixes like natural gas, EV charging, wholesome retailing like grocery marts, spare-parts e-stores etc., while also monetising its high footfall traffic and other latent assets through LED advert boards. 

Africa’s Large-Ticket Trade market is faced with a severe cash crunch. In sectors like fuel forecourt, which has influenced results across three key areas; credit, utilization and ownership.

For Credit, given the severe cash crunch, most operators source products on credit through trust-based supplier relationships. Most of this credit remains informal.

On Utilization, most trading outlets under-utilize their facilities due to difficulties in sourcing products and maximizing margins to cover working capital costs

Similarly, on ownership, most trading outlets are being operated on leases as operators embrace a more cash-flow friendly model over direct ownership

Operators need access to swift product supply and formal credit systems that can be leveraged to meet their product demand while being environmentally responsible.

Tradegrid launched last year in Nigeria and expanded into East African markets like Kenya, later this year. It has rapidly become the largest network of forecourt retailers on the continent.

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