Why does Banta exist?
Steve Jobs once said, “People with Passion can change the world for the better.”
Passion a lot of the time comes from something we believe, something we like, something we trust, something we enjoy, but centrally it comes down to belief. You might be passionate about movies, music, eating, or traveling. Passion itself comes from the bottom of your heart, and the process of you engaging in that passion allows you to basically change yourself, it allows you to exude what you enjoy to the people around you, that is what Steve Jobs is saying. He’s saying if you’re passionate about what you believe in, you can translate that onto other people, and they will also enjoy what they are doing, they will also enjoy their lives. That is why we are here, that is why Banta exists.
Now why are we telling you all of this, passion about truth, passion about belief? It’s because a few months ago, a group of people came together with the passion of improving the lives of people around them, and by improving, we’re not talking about charity, by improving, we’re talking about allowing people to have easier lives. It all started from us, we all wanted to make our lives easier, and one way that we’ve learnt to keep our lives easy is through the internet. Now all of the Banta team members have studied out of the country and have seen how internet use is not the same as Nigeria where things are a step behind. Even though most things are good, even though they work, they’re still behind. We got frustrated at how we weren’t able to use the internet to the most of its potential, and that’s what really connected the whole team.
So what is it about the internet that made it easy for us abroad? It was the ‘access’ that we lacked backed home. How easily were we able to access goods that made our lives smoother, easier, more joyful, got us entertained, etcetera. Our reasons had different facets but the connecting factor was how do we get better access to our wants? For Nigeria we had no answer, it did not exist, it did not exist in Nigeria! So what we told ourselves was alright, may be there’s something here, may be if we can find a way to improve our access, we can find a way to get our wants easier and faster. That’s when we looked at the market of how things were done in Nigeria and what we realized was a lot of the people that we depended on were small businesses, they were just small businesses and they were just trying to grow.
They didn't have the time, or internet skill or finance to allow themselves to provide that higher level of access that the rest of the world did. So we thought okay, if we wanted them to have that and no one is helping them get there, why don’t we provide the skills that would allow them to elevate themselves to be able to grant not just us access, but at the end of the day, the Nigerian people access? In the midst of trying to find out how we can bring this access to life, Banta came to life, Banta… came to life. That’s when we believed in something, something that in a way was greater than any one of us, something where we could actually make ourselves happy at the end of the day, but then even making other people happy, make their lives easier, bringing access to and for them, and Ladies & Gentlemen that’s Banta.
So the best way for us to get this access is if we improve the ability of the businesses to make it easier, smoother and faster for us. So we set out on something, how would we make this happen? The way we went about this was if a lot of businesses have social media access to people already, why don’t we provide them with the infrastructure that they need to basically make it easier for customers to approach them. Not just by following them, not just by messaging them or calling them, but actually make it easy for customers to buy from them at any time of the day, from anywhere in the world all with receiving their products as soon as possible. Bear in mind, all of this could be achieved without the current means that they’re engaging in by checking messages, phone calls and bank accounts. So the solution to this was a marketplace, a platform where as a customer you have all this amazing easy access to the products that you already love and enjoy. All this by using technology that makes it better for the small businesses to allow themselves to push themselves further, further in terms of pleasing their customers. And by virtue of that, allow them to leave their cocoon of being an ‘sme’ (small medium enterprise) to being on track of becoming a fully fledged ‘Enterprise’ through ease of access for their customers. Once again, that is why Banta exists and that is why we’re doing what we’re doing at Team Banta, because we truly want to create access for customers, and at the same time allow businesses to grow.
And from what we’ve learnt on following your passion, we’ve also set ourselves a north point, we’ve set ourselves a belief, and that target is plain and simply: Happiness can be achieved by those who try, and we will keep trying.