One of the amazing thingt about man is his ability to think. This ability has been fueling thousands of ideas that we know about today. Yesharvest.com (means- Yes, We Harvest’) is one of them.
Nwosu Friday was nursing the idea of
How did you come about the name? And what does it mean?
In coming up with the name Yesharvest, I basically set down some rules. For instance, the world harvest must be in it to reflect that fact our business has to do with fresh farm produce, it must not be more than ten words so that the domain name will not be too long, it must not have a plural version to avoid having to deal with people trying to ‘typosquat’ on our brand name, and it must be easily pronounceable as a single word and easy to remember. So with these rules, I came up with several names and then starting narrowing down the list, and finally zeroed-in on Yesharvest. As per the meaning, Yesharvest simple means “Yes, We Harvest” which will be reflected in our future directions and business strategies.
What is your unique selling point?
Our unique selling point is the fact that our fruits and vegetables are delivered to our subscribers within 48 hours of their harvest, and we’re using proprietary web technology to manage everything from supply to delivery, coupled with exceptional customer service.
Do you think people will buy fresh fruits online?
Sure, people started subscribing within 48 hours of launching the service without any paid advertisement or even any marketing effort, just organic. The product is borne out my inability to find certain type of fruits whenever I need them, and even when I do find them, some are already stale and in bad shape. People love fruits but most fruits you find around are usually no longer fresh and may have lost of some their nutritional values. So we’re optimistic from day one that people will subscribe if we can deliver it while still fresh, and they have already proven us right.
What is your supply chain model?
Our fruits and vegetables are sourced directly from the local farmers and they’re delivered to us within 36 hours after harvesting.
How big is the online food market?
The online food marketing is as big as everyone who has access to an internet enabled device.
How are you scaling? Are you focusing on Lagos alone?
Lagos is just the starting point. We are strategising to be in every major city in Nigeria by the end of 2017.
How many people are on your team?
We are currently five. This is because most of our operations like supply and delivery are outsourced since they’re not every day operations. So we basically focus on building web technologies that can enable us sync all our operations from one central location. So for the start, we’re more of a tech company with focus on exceptional customer service.
Is there any model practiced somewhere that you are benchmarking your brand with?
Sure, businesses especially tech based ones are like scientific laws and every new one is based on an already existing one. So there’s hardly any business you will launch today in the tech space that’s entirely new. All you can do is to come up with a better iteration. So when I noticed the opportunity, I’ve to search what anyone is already doing in the same space in other countries, and then come up with what will really work here in Nigeria. It’s an emerging concept that’s already working in places like USA and Canada.
Logistics is a big headache for eCommerce in Nigeria, as a fruit seller, the perishability of your products makes it a major issue, how do you intend to make your logistics work for you?
You’re absolutely right about logistics and perishable nature of our products. For the logistics aspect, that was the first thing we had to sort out, and what we did was that we developed a location-based software programme that enables us to efficiently map out our delivery routes using our subscribers address with a click on a mouse, so our dispatch just follow a computer generated delivery route. He knows the distance, he knows the direction and even the time it will take him to do each delivery. So we’re pretty much simplifying everything.
For the perishable nature, we do not stock these fruits and vegetables, we only order based on subscriptions for the particular week and they’re delivered within 48 hours after harvesting, all in the same day. So our business model was planned to beat the logistics hiccup and perishable nature of fruits and vegetables. So once they’re delivered to our subscribers, many of the fruits and vegetables can last well over a week, but you know they usually just start eating them right away.
Fruits are good for a complete nutrition, how do you want to push this message through Yesharvest?
People already know that fruits good for a complete nutrition, but we will keep hammering on it through our campaigns using every media within our reach. I like to tell people that in marketing, you can never say too much. So the fact that it’s an obvious knowledge doesn’t change the work we will have to do, all that we’re devising a creative means of pushing the message on the necessity of people eating healthily by making fruits and vegetables a big part of our meal.
Who are your investors and how did you raise funds.
For now, the entire project is funded by me. I’m privilege to know how to write software codes, and happen to be so good at it. So most of the areas where huge amount of cash would have been spent which is the software that handles all our operations, were all built by me. In addition to that, I have also put down some of my own personal money to get the Yesharvest off the ground. In the near future, we will definitely raise outside money as there are interests already. But whatever investment we’re going to take will have to be strategic, not just someone who will write us a cheque.
Can we meet your team
Sure you can meet our team. We can always arrange some meeting when it’s convenient for everyone as we’re intensely focusing on product tooling right now.