FastPace Logistics start-up gets $150,000 Worth of Prizes from Forbes Digital Accelerator Programme.FastPace logistics is a Nigerian logistics company with a global reach . It began operations in 2019 and has since developed a track record of providing reliable, efficient and fast delivery services to it customers.
In our interview with the founder of the company Umoh Effiom, A Business Development enthusiast involved in building and growing Technology enabled enterprises, he talks about what winning Forbes Digital Accelerator Pitch competition means to him and the future plans for FastPace logistics
What did winning the Forbes Pitch Competition mean for you?
The Forbes accelerator programme was an important moment for all of us at Fastpace Logistics because there were thousands of companies who applied but we were selected amongst the first 100 people.
The knowledge we gained was vast, and the networking, invaluable. We also made it to the top ten finalists and emerged as number one. This reassured us that we were on the right path, while also giving us momentum to push the business to the next level. It is all very exciting because this happened for us in the first year of business operations.
What did you do differently that made you win?
One of the greatest secrets we deployed with fastpace logistics was our social capital. We deployed all our social networks, every platform and contact we had. This enabled us attain the highest votes. The credit we received from Forbes; digital credit from Amazon, IBM and Google cloud, was useful to us as it helped us develop our digital door-to-door solution that connects us to our customers. The social capital and network helped us a lot.
How much would you say Forbes Accelerator Program has contributed to your growth?
The four weeks Accelerator program was very intensive, and the knowledge gained was invaluable.
We also had a great opportunity to network with other like-minded entrepreneurs whose businesses are making tremendous impact. Interestingly, a huge percentage of the cohorts are now our customers as they have need for the door-to-door package delivery services we offer.
We received a $150,000 digital credit from Forbes, which came in form of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google cloud drive, and IBM cloud storage space. We also received credit from Sendgrid and a couple of other digital infrastructures.
These digital infrastructures will be helpful to us in our deployment of our web and mobile apps and this saves us a huge amount of money. For the next couple of years, we won’t need to buy hosting servers and cloud storage space.
What makes Fast Pace Logistics different from every other Logistics Company out there?
Fastpace Logistics, as a brand, was founded to solve the problem of speed and reliability in door-to-door package delivery services.
We set the company to be unique to provide our customers with the fastest and most reliable delivery service. This is enshrined in all we do, our customer service; how we treat our customers and attend to their requests.
We are building a customer-centric organization where our clients are provided with speed and reliability. We also practice corporate governance. At fast pace, we are building a company based on trust, partnership, and collaboration. Corporate governance was key from the start, we have our business properly documented in all areas and this reflects in how we execute our services to deliver excellent door-to-door package delivery services.
Leveraging on the media attention, the network and other benefits from this experience, what are the future plans for Fast Pace?
For us at Fastpace logistics, We are digitalizing our door-to-door delivery services. We want our customers to easily request a dispatch with just a click and have their packages delivered anywhere in Lagos and Nigeria. Something uber-like, but for package deliveries. We are also expanding to other markets as well.
We at fast pace are entering Abuja before the end of the year and within the first quarter of next year, we will enter the other major cities in Nigeria. So, going live with our platform and expanding our business is what our customers can expect from us at Fast pace n the near future.
Looking at the requirements, fees and other regulations by Nigerian Government, what can you say about the future of logistics companies in Nigeria?
Concerning the recent issue with NIPOST and change in fees, to be honest I agree that the logistics industry needs to be regulated.
If NIPOST wants to play the role of regulating it, providing a form of barrier to entry, that is fantastic. However, we need to understand that in a place like Lagos for instance, door-to-door package delivery business is powered by SMEs and you don’t expect an SME to get Ten Million Naira for license, I believe it’s unrealistic and inconsiderate.
It’s imperative for the government to go back to the drawing board and re-design the packages and make it SME friendly while still meeting the legal and statutory requirement.
Let there be a form of structure in terms of regulation of parties that come in to play. For instance, for you to have a door-to-door delivery business, you need to have a physical business and be registered; have a statutory documentation. But raising the registration fee will put a lot of people out of jobs and there will be other ripple effects. We appeal to the government to review the prices to make them SME friendly.