Estelle Nnanna Kalu runs Nectare, an online service directory for entrepreneurs, small businesses and people with skills they want to monetize. It’s designed to help people find a wide range of skills, services and products in any niche you can think of and in every Nigerian city. She talks to Ediale Kingsley about the platform as well as her personal brand.
Tell us more about your background and what prepared you for this vision and mission.
I have a BSc in Sociology from Abia State University and a decade’s experience working in the capital market as a Customer Relationship Manager. Overtime I honed my skills in preempting customer needs and finding quick solutions for them.
Also I’ve always been a resource person both professionally and in my personal space for people looking for varying solutions, subsequently it made a lot of sense to create a database or what I call an army of vetted and efficient service providers to meet those needs.
Nigerians no longer need to ask anyone for referrals, just head to Nectare and find what you need.
Please why should anyone have interest in your platform?
Nectare is offering an opportunity for struggling small businesses to grow their brands nationwide by staying visible online, where end-users can find them with a click without searching through different social media platforms or asking around, we’re also providing a safe and secured scam free platform where the public can source through the most detailed database of service providers. We do not tolerate faceless vendors, on Nectare there’s a face for every business you’re dealing with.
Before the establishment of Nectare, all other existing platforms had some deficiencies such as inadequate information about their listed vendors, and the inability to cover a lot of categories which made it almost impossible for services to enjoy adequate visibility, among other challenges. At Nectare, we have over a hundred major categories not to mention the subcategories which covers a huge number of niche based services, this ensures that almost every niche is covered.
Over the years, the process of verifying vendors has been porous, people are scared of patronizing small businesses due to lack of trust. At Nectare, we ensure that clients get what they want from a verified provider.
So what stands you out from others doing these same thing(s)?
Attention to detail, a business directory with the most detailed vendor information, we don’t just believe in vendors getting listed, we also look for ways to help you grow your brand.
Who are the people that needs to patronize you?
Small businesses and people with monetizable skill-sets looking to position their services better for prospective customers and end-users looking for varying services, skills and products.
What are your core values?
We’re big on Transparency, Commitment, Respect and Accessibility.
What’s your ultimate career goal or goals?
My goal has always been to create a leading service directory which will in simple terms serve as a central meeting point specifically for service providers in Nigeria whose expertise can solve common problems in the society as well as ensure a much more secure and seamless experience for end-users.
Having laid down the proper structure as well as built a great team for Nectare to flourish while consistently upgrading myself with all the necessary skills to turn it into a highly successful service-based platform, in the next 2 years I would have finally fulfilled all the requirements in terms of skill and experience necessary to place Nectare exactly where it should be (as an A-List directory not just in Nigeria but also in Africa); and I’m very determined on seeing this happen.
I’m aiming to discover some new avenues to improve the ways people search and connect with the trio of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) online. I have successfully solved a major part of that problem and also hope to bring it to an end within the next 3 years.
Delivering this promise would help me establish my name as an entrepreneur in the Nigerian online marketing industry and help me gradually build a strong clientele of business owners and service providers.
Tell us about your support system?
So far my main support system has been friends and acquaintances whose wealth of experience and resources I’ve been leveraging to fill my knowledge gap.*
What makes you happy and keeps you going?
Knowing I’m on the right track which ultimately will lead to something big, knowing I’m giving high value for next to nothing, the sense of fulfilment from milestones reached and goals achieved embodies the kind of satisfaction that I crave as a woman in business.
What’s your superpower – that thing you do better than anyone else?
Having a photographic memory comes in handy.
What’s the best way people can get in touch with you?
Our contact details and live chat widget are on the website, you can also reach us through our pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter LinkedIn and Whatsapp.We’re quite accessible
Why do you do these awesome things you do?
I’m built different, I’ve always known that I’m special; so I just do amazing stuff simply because I’m created to do exploits.
What prepared you yesterday for today’s challenges?
I would say experiences I’ve garnered over the years, my personality which can be summed up to my ability to tenaciously hold on to my beliefs in any given situation.*
A word for people who want to be like you.
Thinking you want to be like me or the next person would be setting yourself up for failure, find your own path and diligently work towards making that path yours. Situations, antecedents, challenges and personal quirks differ. This is why we’re called individuals and unique in our individual abilities