Our company is called Kel International (Nig.) Ltd. and we are based in Lagos, Nigeria, West Africa. Our activities include imports and distribution of branded toiletries, cosmetics, personal care, household & general cleaning, generics, foodstuffs, drinks, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and consumables and many others too numerous to list. We import and distribute products of such companies’ as Kimberly Clarke, Walls, Haagen Daz, Kraft, Heinz, AB Mauri, Hellema Biscuits, Maryland Biscuits, Applied Medical Resources, Ansell Perry, Alimed, Bird & Cronin, Quidel, Beutlich Pharmaceuticals, Unilever, Stiefel Labs, Del Labs, CCA Industries, Proctor & Gamble, Biersdorf, Henkel, Creme 21, Rico Cosmetics, Coke, Red Bull, Church & Dwight, Zimmer and other products to numerous to mention. Some of these we deal direct and others we purchase through third party wholesalers and dealers.
Our distribution network extends to most of the trading centers in and around Nigeria. These are served through a network of our sales representatives who are each responsible for a number of customers and distributors in their particular territory. Our customers and distributors include wholesalers in Mass Markets, hypermarkets, supermarket chains, other smaller supermarket outlets, clinics, hospitals (army/teaching/state/referral/private), local and international NGOs, oil companies including off shore oil rigs etc.
Nigeria’s population is estimated to be 150million and is therefore construed to be the most lucrative in the African Continent. In addition, traditionally Nigeria is seen as the hub of the West Africa Basin wherein all the neighboring countries converge in Nigeria to make their purchases in whatever field – be it electronics, pharmaceuticals, electrical, hardware, motor spares, foodstuffs, tools, equipment and so on. This makes a potential customer base of approximately over 230million consumers and this probably explains why major multinationals such as GSK, Pfizer, Unilever, P&G, Heinz, SC Johnson, and others choose to have a distribution and also in some cases manufacturing base here.
As much as this market potentially being the largest and most lucrative, it would not be proper for us NOT to also mention how unscrupulous certain importers/manufacturers/suppliers have contributed in tainting this market too. Being haven of imported products in general, there are widespread imports of counterfeit and fake products which ultimately result in local population being duped and also creating artificial pricing point in the market place, which, legitimate company like ours, have tremendous difficulty in competing against. However, our company has always dealt with mostly branded companies’ products and we believe we have built a reputation here locally whereby customers/distributors know that our products are both genuine and as competitive as is possible against other similar products imported from cheaper sources of Asia, China & Far East. In most cases, some of the principals have recognised the potential of this large and lucrative market and have therefore sought to work with us in trying to accommodate us with a pricing parameter commensurate with local market conditions.