Twinsfaja is a performance driven organization powered by an exceptional workforce
How did Twinsfaja Nigeria Limited that started as a building materials dealer grow into a strong brand with bragging right as one of the conglomerates with interests in supermarkets, oil and gas, real estate, and more? Meet the Chief Executive Officer of the group, Chief Mrs Kemi Fajana (JP), the extraordinary female entrepreneur who has all the story at her fingertips.
She is the woman with growth mindset. Her Husband, Chief Taiye Fajana started the building materials business before she joined him after marriage, and since the past 20 years, the business has grown so much, providing basic needs, and connecting millions of buyers and sellers around the country, empowering people, and creating economic opportunity for all.
It started with focus on cement. Today, it has not only become the number one cement distributor in Lagos and Ogun states with more than 65 branches, but it is also number four in Nigeria and the entire West Africa. Aside cement, the product lines now include local and imported TMT iron rods, nails, binding wire, electrodes, and BRC Mesh Wire.
She told Pleasures Magazine: “My husband started the business. I joined him after marriage. We are now working together. He is the chairman. His name is Chief Taiye Fajana. That’s where the name of the group Twinsfaja Nigeria Limited derives from. We started with building materials, mainly Dangote Cement, 20 years ago. We are the number one distributor of Dangote Cement in Lagos and Ogun states. In Nigeria and West Africa, we are number 4.”
So, at what point did Twinsfaja branch out to glean other opportunities in the market and expand into supermarkets, oil and gas, and others? Mrs Fajana says that the business instinct in her draws inspiration from her mother who was deep into trading. She added: “She sold so many things that attracted my attention. So, when I got married and started travelling to other parts of the world, I always had that desire to have a supermarket in Nigeria one day. Along the line, I built a small supermarket on a piece of land I had then, and that was how the idea of the supermarket started.
“My parents sold provisions and so many other products in the markets. So, we were used to going to the market to sell. I travel a lot, and when I travelled to various locations, I continued to tell myself that one day, I would have a supermarket in Nigeria. To the glory of God, we now have our supermarket brand in 8 locations in Lagos. We are opening one on the Island, around Oniru area on December 24. We started from the mainland and are now expanding to other parts of Lagos. We have a minimum of 300 staff for the supermarkets alone.”
The challenge of managing a successful brand and a conglomerate with business interests in oil and gas, supermarket, building materials, and real estate is neither stray nor incidental. The business of building materials, for instance, requires so many staff. “We have more than 100 trucks of 60 tons capacity for the business line. There are also some smaller buses with lower capacity. The supermarket is stressful. Is it also rewarding to compensate for the stress? Yes, it is. If I don’t get any money in it, I will not do it again,” she further stated.
From the ideas she got from travelling to Cotonou, Lome, Ghana, and later to Dubai, America, London, and other countries, the desire to diversify the business base began to build up. She usually travelled to Ghana to buy iron rods but also moved to Accra market to buy baby products to sell back home. “It was when Nigeria banned those things that I bought from Ghana that I met a friend who introduced me to Dubai, and I started buying from there,” she said.
Hear more from her: “While still visiting Ghana, I saw that people made T-shirts for their staff in their shops, and I replicated this with Ankara materials for my staff in Lagos. At that time, it was difficult to identify me and my staff because we dressed the same way. We ended up with so many shops and so many products in Ikotun market. It was such that you must see Twinsfaja in any part of Ikotun market that anyone visited then. It got to a point when the staff working with my husband were not performing as expected, and at that point, I decided to team up with him to drive the business. I could go to the office in the morning and stay till 5:00 p.m. before going back to see how things were in the market. I always replicate things I see whenever I travel out of the country. I ask to be put through whenever I do not understand what I see. It is not by my power. It is the grace of God.”
With the stress and reward in managing the business, what are the real challenges? Kemi Fajana says: “For the building materials line, controlling the drivers is not an easy job. You could be called around 1:00 a.m. for issues such accidents, insurance, and others. Sometimes, one could be distressed, but life continues. Challenges in the supermarket line have to do with the staff. You may get 20 staff today and by next month, they will go, and you will be left with the issue of recruiting and training new staff to enable them to perform perfectly. There are also external factors. During the EndSARS issue, for instance, one of our supermarkets, a two-storey facility in Ikotun, was completely looted with the computers and air conditioners removed. I was only given N4.5 million as compensation. The exchange rate, among other challenges, is another external factor that business is grappling with.”
Where Twinsfaja Group sees fresh opportunities for nourishment in the Nigerian market? The building materials sales guru says: “We have started small in real estate business. Apart from this, we are planning to go into manufacturing to support our building materials business, starting with nails. We are the number one customer of most of the factories in Nigeria.
What has helped her to run a successful conglomerate? Truth and trust are the main keys. “One thing that is helping us is that we are always standing on the truth. The trust is always there. It is exactly what you ask for that you get from us. Our customers can send money to us and stay assured that they can have what they want. We are working with all the major real estate developers in Lagos. Alhaji Dangote supports our business in so many ways. He intervenes when the need arises. Sometimes, he gives us trucks and sends staff to us when we need some. He sends helmets and drivers’ kits to us.
We supply major real estate developers. Our biggest office is around Sangtedo. It is on one acre of land. If you need ten or more trucks of cement today, you will get it as soon as we confirm your payment to us. We are also open to partnerships with organisations that want to be supplied with building materials, such as cement, iron rods, and more. Those who love shopping can reach out to our supermarkets for unique experiences. Our supermarket is unique and different from other supermarkets in Lagos. It is so because it is available and affordable. What we are selling, such as household items, wears, and babies’ needs, can change the buyer completely.”
To buy or partner with Twins Faja Group. Kindly reach out today:
Address: 127, Abaranje Road, Ikotun, Lagos state, Nigeria
Tel: +234 (0) 700 021 1211 , +234 (0) 803 358 1338
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