Lanre Drinks.ng Success Story, How I Met Lanre
I met Lanre Akinlagun on November 23, 2022, at his Drinks.ng office in Victoria Island Lagos in the company of our colleagues from Lithuania, the makers of The Nines Herbal Liqueur.
It was a familiarisation cum marketing expedition that exposed me to the revolution Lanre brought to the wine business in Nigeria.
Lanre, as he is fondly called within the industry circle, was raised in London and previously worked in digital departments of companies like Universal Pictures, Vizeum and IBM, before taking up the role of marketing director for iROKOtv, an online streaming service for Nigerian films.
Challenges & Success:
Faced with the frustration of picking up premium drinks at a one-stop shop for a friend’s party in Nigeria, an easy task he effortlessly performed in the UK, he saw a significant gap in wine distribution in Nigeria.
With the initial $100,000 capital, Lanre relocated to Nigeria in 2013 and started drinks.ng, to provide convenience, authenticity and great pricing to Nigerian wine enthusiasts.
Just like most businesses in Nigeria, it was not an easy ride for Lanre, who was operating from his bedroom, delivering with his private car, frustrated by an inefficient online payment system and with fewer smartphone options for consumers, his tenacity and faith in his mission paid off after few years.
With more than 40,000 customers nationwide, with an average of about 200 orders a day, including both B2B and B2C customers, Drinks.ng is one of the biggest wine distribution firms in Nigeria, grossing about 10 Billion Naira selling genuine wines and spirits.
The Growth And The Vision
Lanre is a visionary entrepreneur who identified a gap in the Nigerian market and took proactive steps to fill it. His background in digital marketing and his experience working with iROKOtv likely gave him valuable insights into the consumer landscape in Nigeria, which he used to his advantage in establishing drinks.ng.
Plans are ongoing to establish a physical presence in Ghana, Rwanda and Kenya while expanding the brick-and-mortar outlets across the West of Nigeria and Abuja.
It took a few texts on July 13, 2023, to get him to think about South East with solid interest. He made an instant decision to visit Onitsha the next day.
Meeting with Celestine Ebubeogu, CEO Tiger Foods
At the meeting with Celestine Ebubeogu in Onitsha, we noticed that we have a lot of similarities with Lanre and share the same burning desires for authenticity, good corporate structure and modernisation. No further meeting was needed to convince him to extend his franchise to the South East of Nigeria.
Today, one year after our first meeting, Lanre is hoisting Drinks.ng at the only intersection in Onitsha where 6 busy roads meet, beside Onitsha Stock Exchange, abutting Sports Club, and Holy Trinity.
Lanre’s journey is a testament to the potential for entrepreneurship and innovation in Nigeria’s business landscape. His ability to understand and address market needs, navigate challenges, and pursue strategic expansion speaks to his entrepreneurial acumen and leadership capabilities. It’s inspiring to see individuals like Lanre making significant contributions to the business ecosystem in Nigeria and beyond.
Ain’t you gonna see Lanre at Drinks.ng Onitsha and share success tips with him?
(Lanre Drinks.ng Success Story)