House of Diberr (HOD) is a Nigerian-based fashion company founded to solve the need for affordable and excellent quality men’s fashion, as well as to ease the burden of finding, selecting, and packaging gifts for men.

As the CEO of HOD, Bolanle Deji-Jemiyo is responsible for providing strategic, financial, and operational leadership for the business, coordinating with stakeholders to deliver on the company’s service promise to customers, and ensuring that every member of the ecosystem is engaged in a customer-centric culture. In this interview, Bolanle Deji-Jemiyo discusses her company’s mission, challenges in the Nigerian fashion industry, and the impact of technology on the sector.

What are your responsibilities as the CEO of HOD?

As CEO of House of Diberr, my core responsibilities are to provide strategic, financial, and operational leadership for the business. I work closely with all relevant stakeholders to deliver on our service promise to our customers. Additionally, I am responsible for continually engaging every person in our ecosystem on why we are a customer-centric brand, what it means to be customer-centric, and how to continuously improve on this centricity.

Finally, I am responsible for clearly defining the vision, getting everyone to buy into the vision, and constantly clarifying what winning means to us – delivering exceptional products through excellent customer experience to our customers.

What made you establish the company?

We established House of Diberr to solve a need we saw in the market – men’s fashion is generally underserved, especially when it comes to finding excellent quality at the right price. We believe men can look great without necessarily breaking the bank. We also wanted to ease the burden of finding, selecting, and packaging gifts that women encounter whenever they want to celebrate the men in their lives. Our goal is to contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s economy by creating employment opportunities, knowledge and skill exchange programs with some foreign manufacturers, increasing foreign revenue from our international sales, and showcasing African culture with our native attires.

What are the problems the Nigerian Fashion industry is facing?

The fashion industry in Nigeria is faced with a range of challenges, starting with over-reliance on importing raw materials. There is also a dearth of skilled labor force and most crucially, an energy crisis. If we cannot produce at a competitive rate, we cannot compete on the global stage. While our youthful population should be an advantage, the lack of a structured technical education system or artisanal programs leave most manufacturers overwhelmed.

In what way is technology changing the operations of the fashion sector?

Technology is changing the fashion sector in many ways. Robots that sew and cut fabric, AI algorithms that predict style trends, and clothes to be worn in virtual reality are just a few examples of how technology is automating, personalizing, and speeding up the fashion space. One of our manufacturers just launched a fully automated production line, allowing for precision and excellent craftsmanship.

What were the challenges you encountered when you started the business?

One of the biggest challenges we encountered when we started the business was finding the right partners along the entire value chain, especially employees who are willing to deliver excellent customer experience. There were also issues around language barriers in some of the countries where we manufacture.

What impact do you see your company making in the fashion sector?

We see ourselves raising the bar and redefining quality in the fashion sector. Additionally, we are bringing an amazing range of exclusive and excellent quality men’s fashion to the digital space at an amazing price.

How do you make sure you render excellent customer service?

We ensure excellent customer service by having a committed and customer-centric team whose primary goal is to make shopping with House of Diberr easy and memorable. We also use cutting-edge technology to ensure that all our touchpoints deliver an outstanding experience. Data and feedback from all customer journeys are also mined to continuously improve our products and services.

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