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From the Michael Ejekam Blog: Succeeding in Nigerian Retail

Three Tips to Make Your Nigerian Retail Venture a Win

Michael Ejekam has experience choosing the best retail ventures throughout Africa and America. His experiences have served him, the companies he has represented, and individual investors well. This has also helped Michael Ejekam become known as a thought leader in the Nigerian retail revolution, but some of the expertise comes from watching what’s happening in other parts of the world, and knowing which business strategies help businesses succeed in unique economic environments. The retail industry in Nigeria is still strong and a good opportunity for entrepreneurs, but it’s important to include the following three things into your business plan as you start your retail company.

1. Be Prepared to Stay

“Make very sure Africa is where you want to be,” advises Christo Wiese, Chairman of Shoprite Holdings. He’s South Africa’s richest man, and weathering the conditions is easier for him, but he makes a fine point. All too often, new businesses are not prepared to accept losses with their gains. There will be times when business is slow, and smart entrepreneurs allow for this in their long-term strategies. When they come unprepared to stay, they exit the market quickly.

2. Take Advantage of E-commerce Opportunities

The people of Nigeria love online shopping,  more so than the people of other nations. Only 60% of Kenyans use the internet for shopping, and in South Africa, the number climbs to 70%, but here in Nigeria, a massive 90% of the population shops online. Throughout the world, we are seeing a unique mixture, where businesses are providing a seamless experience from online stores to their physical locations. Managing Director at Netplusdotcom, Wole Faroun, says that the key is in incorporating point of sales (POS) systems and using them. Consumers can take advantage of being things online, but they also use systems in places like the movies, when they make use of a kiosk to purchase tickets and avoid a line. There are also companies like Amazon, that operate primarily online but are branching out into small satellite stores, to generate more awareness for the brand and so people can experience the merchandise firsthand. “When you look at the point of sale holistically, and as an e-commerce player you begin to see opportunities where you were not playing before,” explains Farun, “and if you start playing in those areas, you’ll see that there’s a win.”

3. Use Locally-Sourced Goods

Forex shortages have affected retailers quite a bit, but they haven’t affected all Nigerian retailers “A lot of retailers have been able to adapt, and some that initially pulled out have come back into the market,” says Obinna Onunkwo, a co-managing partner at Purple Capital. “Those of them that had the foresight to look for local alternatives or local producers are doing relatively well – those that were not able to make that transition are doing badly.”

Michael Ejekam understands the retail environment in Nigeria and still believes this is a good time for people to begin a business, but also adds that much of one’s success has to do with the strategy a business creates. Although these three tips may not be a comprehensive strategy for success, it’s a good start for anyone looking to get into the game right now.

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From the Michael Chudi Ejekam Blog: Emerging Commercial Real Estate Trends

Michael Chudi Ejekam has been active in the commercial real estate market both in Africa and in the United States. With a core focus on selecting strong real estate investments, he’s had a hand in the creation of millions of dollars in retail space. Naturally, the real estate market in Africa is different than that of the United States, and the rest of the world for that matter, but we are seeing some global trends in how entrepreneurs are making the most of their space and paving the path to success. While the deals that Michael Chudi Ejekam helps bring to fruition are a catalyst, it’s the strategies we’re seeing implemented now that are helping businesses reach new heights in our increasingly connected world.

Shared Space

Although we’re all familiar with the model of having an anchor store or two paired with other smaller venues, one of the newest trends puts multiple retailers under a single roof in a shared space. It’s akin to a traditional market, yet in a formal retail setting. Google is one of the best-known brands to do this. The company launched an immersive shop inside Currys PC World, a London department store. The goal of the Google store was to give consumers a chance to try out Google products and truly experience them before they made a purchase. The company says they plan to open more using the same model.

Pop-Up Shops

Short-term spaces are nothing new, either, but we’re seeing more of them in the formal setting as well. While traditionally reserved for a holiday or seasonal goods, and perhaps even a roadside stand could be considered the same, today’s pop-up shop is highly organized. The trend may have begun as landlords who could not fill long-term spaces agreed to short-term leases, but the concept has blossomed into certain venues only offering up retail space for short periods of time. There are now even companies that specialize in connecting landlords with tenants in a peer-to-peer marketplace. While still used for seasonal goods, pop-up shops have also become an attractive option for businesses that want to improve branding efforts or increase awareness of their normally online enterprise.

Commingling Real World and Online Experiences

Many of the big-name brands, like Target and Amazon, have started creating hybrid stores. These shops have a limited amount of merchandise, giving consumers the opportunity to hold and experience a product before they buy it. This is immensely important in the tech industry, and this is where Amazon shines. Their stores are primarily billed as bookstores, but they have Kindles and other devices, as well as classes on how to use them, so consumers feel more comfortable and familiar with their products. When shoppers don’t find the book they’re looking for in the store, seamless ordering is just a click or a tap away.

As emerging markets continue to grow, these trends throughout the world will likely come into play. Retail has come a long way, and these strategies will help usher them into entrepreneurial success.

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From the Michael Ejekam Blog: 3 Simple Ways to Go Green

Michael Ejekam was part of the team that brought Heritage Place to fruition. As Nigeria’s first green certified commercial building, it has paved the way for other buildings and raised the standards for commercial development. The building, itself, is sleek and modern, very much befitting of the busy commercial district it serves in Lagos and most people wouldn’t realize how much thought went into incorporating green features from the start. This Michael Ejekam blog will cover three of the ways Heritage Place went green, along with some insights as to why these changes are necessary for all structures going forward.

1. Recycled Water

There are two main kinds of recycled water; graywater and brown/blackwater. The latter tends to refer to water from toilets and other dirty sources, while graywater has less impurities and comes from things like washing hands. One may also think of harvested rainwater as recycling, simply because it can be gathered from areas that don’t need it and used in areas that do. Systems that recycle rainwater and graywater are becoming commonplace in commercial structures, built in from the start. The water is cleaned and then used for things like irrigation and toilets. The obvious benefit to this is that less drinkable water is needed for a building, and consumption can drop in the neighborhood of 20-30%.

2. Building Orientation

One of the easiest things for builders to take into account is the orientation of the building. This is a passive way to provide energy efficiency and keep people inside the building more comfortable. Simply by choosing the ideal shape of the building and angling it properly, the building can naturally minimize solar exposure. Heritage Place is set up this way, which reduces the load on cooling units throughout the building, so they run more efficiently and last longer, and it also keeps people inside more comfortable, with less effort. You’ll also note that the structure of Heritage Place has multiple jaunts and awnings, which helps minimize solar exposure as well.

3. High-Efficiency Lighting

Nowadays, we all know that the type of bulb used matters. The old incandescent bulbs are energy hogs and need constant replacement. Fluorescent lighting is a better option, but beyond this, LED lighting is the best available right now. The bulbs last seemingly forever and use very little energy, saving money on power, labor, and replacements. Heritage Place took this a step further and included presence detectors, so the lighting only operates when people are active and in a room.

These are three simple things that nearly any builder can do to help create a greener building, without having to spend huge amounts of money to make it happen. Moreover, they save on the costs of maintaining the building, which seriously adds up over time.

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Michael Chudi Ejekam Shares Insights on $1Billion Longer-Life Private Equity

Michael Chudi Ejekam, commercial real estate expert shares his insights on the recent Wall Street Journal article on the Atlas Partners Longer-Life Private Equity Fund which raised one billion dollars.

New York, NY, United States – May 26, 2016, /MarketersMedia/ —

Michael Chudi Ejekam, an expert private equity investor, provides insight on the emergence of longer-life private equity funds such as Altas.

In a recent article printed in the Wall Street Journal by Chris Cummings, it was reported that the emergence of longer-life private equity funds such as Altas recently hit a new benchmark by raising one billion dollars. Altas as well as other powerful groups, such as Blackstone and Carlyle, are working on similar longer-life funds. Longer-life PE funds allow managers to hold each investment for far longer than the typical 5-year hold period per investment and typical 10-year total fund life. In the Altas case, each investment can be held up to a whopping 17 years.

The typical “medium life” PE model has proven to be highly successful with attractive risk-adjusted returns, however, Michael Chudi Ejekam believes the model can be optimized, particularly in emerging market like Africa. “Following my several years of PE investing in sub-Saharan Africa, I am convinced that long-term life funds would be an improvement on the PE model for emerging markets such as Nigeria” Michael Chudi Ejekam explains.

“When a PE fund is compelled to exit after a 5-year hold period, though the returns may achieve certainly attractive 25+% gross IRR or 2.5 to 3 times multiple on equity invested, I believe tremendous additional value may be left on the table.” The expert demonstrated his point by saying, “Originating, executing and investment managing attractive investments is a challenging process – why be forced to sell/exit a highly attractive investment after only 5 years, only to be saddled with pressure to find another outstanding deal to originate to start the process over again?”

Of course, some other models have emerged to address the standard PE model challenges. For example, in the case when an arm of a PE fund family invests in greenfield deals seeking “opportunistic” higher returns, and the completed projects are transferred to “core” vehicles of the same fund family which are seeking lower, more stable, longer-term returns. “It could be more powerful and efficient to have one fund vehicle simply hold the investment for the longer term”, said Michael Chudi Ejekam. This is especially important in emerging markets, where the deal process is more challenging and deals could take years to originate and close in the first place. There is also increasing investor interest and PE capital raised for Africa for example, therefore deals have become more competitive and could take years to originate and close. “After so much heavy lifting, why sell after only 5 years?” he asked. “I have been involved in a few highly successful full-cycle investments and exits – through the returns were highly rewarding and the possible carried interest/profit distributions exiting, the reality is that excessive additional upside was surrendered to the new owners.”

Charlie Munger, one of Warren Buffet’s longest-serving colleagues is quoted as saying: “The ‘know-nothing’ investor should practice diversification, but it is crazy if you are an expert. The goal of investment is to find situations where it is safe not to diversify. If you only put 20% into the opportunity of a lifetime, you are not being rational.”

“Why sell after only 5 years if you are already enmeshed within a great investment?” Michael Chudi Ejekam continued. “Part of the answer lies in the reality that PE funds need to demonstrate exits/returns to potential Limited Partners (LPs) in order to raise fresh investment funds, and LPs are accustomed to the well-defined and tested cookie-cutter PE “medium life” model.” Of course, there is a desire to exit to realize profits so that carried interest distributions can be made – the perfectly reasonable lifeblood of private equity, from which Ejekam has benefited. Thankfully, there are other acceptable avenues to achieve this objective. According to the finance whiz, longer-life PE funds would be an improvement for emerging markets such as Africa. He thinks it would be helpful if more potential LPs bought into the concept and support the investment strategies of managers with longer-term views.

Mr. Ejekam offered a few closing remarks. “The most successful entrepreneurs and investors in emerging markets such as Africa, hold longer-term views. They do not think in 5-year chunks. They think in terms of decades. This is how to generate outsized returns.”

About Michael Chudi Ejekam

Michael Chudi Ejekam is an honors graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a BSc in Economics, with a concentration in Finance. His early days were spent on Wall Street, as an investment banker for Merrill Lynch, after which he moved into private real estate investments in New York, and then onto work with Nigeria’s Actis. During his seven-year tenure as their Director Real Estate for West Africa, he became known as a leader in the “retail revolution,” helping to bring multiple million-dollar malls into underserved areas throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

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Michael Chudi Ejekam Educates Public About Retail Trend Via New YouTube Channel

Expert retail developer and popular speaker, Michael Chudi Ejekam, releases new YouTube channel to share valuable insights and trends regarding retail development in Nigeria and beyond. Ejekam plans to share videos highlighting various retail establishments. To learn more visit: http://michaelchudiejekamrealestate.com/

New York, NY, United States – June 9, 2016 /PressCable/ —

Michael Chudi Ejekam, expert retail developer, shares his insights on market trends. Now investors or business owners wishing to build retail shopping malls or roll out grocery chains, have access to a new YouTube channel geared to educating about how to navigate the Nigeria market.

To Learn More Visit: http://michaelejekamblog.com/

Challenges in securing land, equity and debt financing challenges, high construction costs and dearth of real estate experience have hampered real estate development in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy. Michael Chudi Ejekam, real estate expert, aims to help commercial businesses or potential investors navigate the inconsistencies and confusion regarding real estate developments in and around Nigeria.

“There are sizable challenges to overcome but in many ways Nigeria represents the perfect storm for real estate investment; huge population, rapid urbanization and a growing middle-class,” said Michael Chudi Ejekam, former Director of Real Estate at Actis, a London-based $7.5B private equity firm.

Ejekam aims to share expert insights into the rapid development and expansion in Nigeria to include full cycle retail investment and development: site origination, equity investment, planning approvals, development management, tenant leasing, asset management and exits. Visit the new site now: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRX5rr-8Jkn90JMP1…

About Michael Chudi Ejekam:

Michael Chudi Ejekam is a renowned leader in the “retail revolution”. He is a widely quoted retail thought leader, with strong local business and government relationships. Michael Chudi Ejekam served as Director Real Estate for W Africa for Actis, a $7.5B private equity firm- most active retail developer in Sub Saharan Africa (ex SA) for 7+ years. Ejekam originated $700+m in retail projects. Projects include $100m Ikeja City Mall Lagos, $120m Jabi Lake Mall Abuja and Accra Mall. Other projects include Heritage Place, Nigeria’s first green certified commercial building. Originated three upcoming Nigeria malls ranging from $150-185M each totaling over 40,000m2 each, which would be largest in the region. Additional information about Michael Chudi Ejekam can be found here: http://michaelchudiejekamrealestate.com/

For more information about us, please visit https://twitter.com/michaelejekamr

Contact Info:
Name: Michael Chudi Ejekam
Organization: Michael Chudi Ejekam

Release ID: 118724

This article was originally distributed via SproutNews. SproutNews, Frankly and this Site make no warranties or representations in connection therewith. If you are affiliated with this page and would like it removed please contact pressreleases@franklyinc.com