Big Plans for Big Brands
Writer: Emily Jarvis
Project Manager: Sammy Wilkinson
With a presence in 18 markets across West and Central Africa, JANUS SERVICES is targeting internal improvements - including upgrading the supporting structure of technologies used by the Company - in order to improve efficiencies, drive better customer engagement, and keep up with the demands of the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market.
Established in West Africa in 1996, JANUS SERVICES is today considered an instrumental regional trading partner for the supply of foods to the local markets.
Seeing strength in shifting high volumes of a smaller selection of food products led the Company to gradually expand into further African territories, investing heavily in promotion techniques and building a reputation as a trusted supplier of high quality trademarked products such as milk powder, coffee, tea, rice and vegetable oils.
In 2008, JANUS SERVICES opened a new office in the Netherlands due to the country’s well-known status as a commodity trader and exporter into Africa. “Targeting the eventual aim of operating along the entire west coast of Africa, this strategic expansion has better positioned us to reach our own goals, as well as meet the goals of our clients,” says Sunil Lachmandas Samtani, Managing Director (MD) of JANUS SERVICES.
Eight years-on and the Company is investing back into the business in 2016, placing an emphasis on technology and enhancing the already substantial role that it plays within the business.
Leveraging the Company’s strong family culture, JANUS SERVICES is committed to providing a good quality product from a good quality source in accordance with the needs of the customer. “We foster a family-like environment which is engrained in our Company culture and activities, and how we conduct business. As a consequence, we have garnered many longstanding, mutual relationships with suppliers and customers which play a huge role in our day-to-day operations, and we hope that our latest set of investments further strengthens our industry ties,” he further highlights.
Invest for success
Pairing together its expert service delivery methodologies with innovative technologies that support the overall business efficiencies and sustainable production levels, JANUS SERVICES has developed a much-improved internal software system in recent times, capable of monitoring all business procedures including financial data.
“The all-encompassing software allows us to digitise more of our data than ever before, making us more efficient and allowing our staff to focus more on the customer, and how best to optimise our service offering,” Samtani explains.
The Company’s emphasis on technology also extends to its brand strategy; which has resulted in recent updates to the JANUS SERVICES website - specifically improving its compatibility with mobile devices – and activeness on social media platforms to grow brand awareness while analysing possibilities in new African markets.
“Of course, it is important that we continue innovating our processes and looking for the best technologies to run our operations as smoothly as possible. Health, safety and hygiene are also vital considerations that get our close attention and internal investments in trainings to support these policies are in place,” he further notes.
“Ultimately, technology is playing a huge role in the way we conduct our business and, coupling this with our family-orientated mindset, we have a winning formula that keeps our customers satisfied and our business retains its cost-competitiveness.”
Maintaining a sustainable business offering in the FMCG sector requires careful listening to the customer in order to gain their trust and create a relationship that bears fruit. To stimulate this kind of relationship, JANUS SERVICES is able to call upon its own experience and valuable network of associates spread across Africa, Asia and Europe and learn what the next big thing is that customers are looking for in a food supplier.
“We have demonstrated our familiarity with the market in West and Central Africa. Drawing from this, we have been able to offer our support to local customers, further educating and upskilling local companies to solidify our relationships and willingness to go the extra mile,” Samtani emphasises.
Based on this strong relationship with customers on the ground, JANUS SERVICES now has a much clearer idea of its future direction and ideas of how to expand its product range. Equipped with a focus on achieving stability in an increasingly saturated marketplace, the Company is also exploring opportunities in several additional markets when the time is right.
He concludes: “Going forward, it is vital that we remain focused on securing close-knit relationships with our customers, welcoming them into the JANUS SERVICES’ family; while continuing to uphold professionalism and a good track-record throughout our value chain and internal processes in order to remain a prominent figurehead in the FMCG sector.”