Running Retail On Tech

Naivas Supermarkets is among the giants of the retail sector in Kenya and has survived in an environment that has been brutal to its competitors. Running such a big business requires plenty of coordination, and technology plays a big part.

19 Jan 2021 . 4,858 Views

Keeping up with the accounting and management of stock in a shop without an automated system sounds daunting, and it is difficult to imagine how it would be if a large supermarket operated the same way.

But that was the situation Willy Kimani found when he started working in the retail sector 12 years ago. He needed a good memory and a pile of books to keep records of each commodity in their shelves. Books that he would pull up to refer whenever they needed to brief suppliers.

It was a tough grind as it was daunting especially when the supermarkets grew their branches over the years from 1990 when it started life as a shop in Rongai, Nakuru, branched out to Elburgon and then to Nairobi and later grew into the retail giant it is today.

The downside of this method was that there were errors in data entry and management of the stocks.

Things have certainly changed, thanks to technology, and today, Willy and his team can run retail giant Naivas supermarket through his phone. By logging into the system, Willy is able to get a clear brief of the state of all 69 stores he manages as the Chief Commercial Officer on the dashboard.

Naivas was among the first mass retailers to roll out a system that enables the easy payment for goods without using cash.

With a new funding partner on board, Naivas has been on the growth trajectory, and with the retail business running on technology, Mr Kimani explains in the video above how it all works, and why they are confident about the future.


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