Portable, wireless cash register is designed for informal economies

Running a business in environments such as Africa is a completely different challenge than in the Western world thanks to lack of access to electricity and unreliable internet infrastructure. In the past we’ve seen portable devices such as the eChaja enable anyone to sell phone charging facilities wherever they are. Now Nomanini has created a rugged point-of-sale register that can facilitate cash payments for airtime, electricity and insurance. READ MORE…

Customer questions

So recently a lot of customers have been asking me very specific, technical questions about products like batteries, cleaning products, electrical goods. I’m a cashier; I move items from one side of a checkout to another, I talk to you, and I take your money. I know about our reusable bags, I know about our several of our longer term offers, I have a general idea of where you might find something, I can see a loose fruit or vegetable and tell you what its PLU code is, but I have absolutely no idea if that printer will work with your computer, or if that detergent will discolour your clothes. It would take years to learn all the technical information about all the products we sell, and by that time we’d be selling different things.

If the packaging doesn’t have the information you’re looking for, go to customer service, and they’ll try to get someone that knows what they’re talking about. I’m flattered that you think I have all the answers, but I don’t. If I did, I would have a better job.

Idiot customer I had at work today: *looks at package of soap* Made in china? *scoff* I don’t think so. *shoves soap into impulse candy and knocks everything over.

Me: ????????

Apparently, the consumer markets craze sweeping through Africa as a result of rising disposable incomes has caught up with the Lagos State Government as Governor Babatunde Fashola has joined the likes of Shoprite to plan the development of more shopping malls and complexes in the state.

He hinted this at a meeting with Global CEO of Unilever, Paul Polman while also expressing his optimism that more shopping centres would spike demand for goods by manufacturing companies, eventually leading to job creation.

“We are supporting the development of more malls and shopping complexes. Apapa has just opened and in about 10 years we have had Ikeja, Lekki, and Adeniran Ogunsanya. We hope that it will represent a major demand pool that will stimulate you to give more supply and in that way employ more people,” he said.

Governor Fashola asserted that the “story of Unilever was the story of Nigeria,” reminiscing that all of the state’s shopping outlets during the decade after Nigeria’s independence heavily featured Unilever brands which, at the time, included Lifebuoy and Sunlight soaps.

In a related development, the governor gave assurances that his administration was doing everything within the limits of the rule of law to tackle the power menace that has impeded on further productivity from the state.

“Government is currently deploying a multiplicity of solutions. I have just signed an allocation of land for a company to generate about 125 megawatts of electricity in Ikorodu,” he said.