GIGM: The Story of the Undisputed King of Travel

Although the journey wasn’t always rosy, GIGM has established itself as the travel option for individuals looking to get across the country by road.

The company revolutionized an already saturated industry by standing out as a premium road travel experience.


But What is the History of GIGM?

The company was founded by Mr Edwin Ajaere and his wife Stella in 1998. The idea was to help provide a safer option for individuals travelling by road across the country.

It initially enjoyed relative success until the passing of Mr Edwin Ajaere in 2009, which put the company in a bit of a weird situation for a few months.

If you know anything about small businesses in Nigeria, the structure can leave much to be desired. However, stepping up to the task and filling some big shoes in early 2010 was Chidi Ajaere, the son of Mr Edwin.

Many saw the son grieving the father and helping stabilize the business, but few saw the business icon about to unleash his brilliance on the travel and logistics industry.

Within a few years, GIGM quickly became the market leader in an industry dominated by old money and so-called “logistics wizards”.


What was the Problem GIGM was facing in the Industry?

I remember travelling with various companies while growing up. And you will often be forgiven for calling it a nightmare. Many times, pieces of baggage were more than the people on the bus, which was very uncomfortable.

Other times, drivers drove like they were in a fast and furious simulation. No wonder there were a record number of accidents in that period and, frankly, to date.

Many of these businesses thought innovation was a waste of money. I mean, people would travel whether the service was good or not. Why mess with an already working formula?

You can imagine how difficult it was for the new CEO to grapple with all these while trying to make a change.

But if there is one thing we know, it is innovation is certain; it is only a matter of time. Innovation will always happen. If you do not do it, another business will do it. It is only a matter of time.

With these in mind, GIGM rebranded its services and offered fresh air to many Nigerians eager for a better road travel experience.


How did GIGM Dominate the Travel Industry?

The short answer is guts and some innovative thinking. The long answer? It took hours of research, capital, and much forward-thinking to get the company to become the undisputed king of travel.

I told a story earlier of how the road travel experience was nothing short of a nightmare.

You paid for a service, and the service providers treated you poorly all through the period of engagement. And there was little we could do about it. Air travel very much felt like a luxury at the time, and not many families patronized it.

What GIGM did was simple on its surface, but no business was doing it. They went after what the customer really wanted rather than what they thought was best for the business.

Through its research, the company realised that although people wanted speed, they wanted a more balanced approach between speed, convenience, and safety.

After all, what is the point of going from Asaba to Lagos in less than 6 hours and your legs are paralyzed for a few more hours after that when you could travel in comfort for 6 hours and get to your destination feeling very good?

GIGM splashed money on hundreds of new fleets or buses with more space, ensuring customer safety and convenience. But they weren’t just going to stop there.

There was a new maintenance system that embodied the preventive maintenance principle rather than corrective, as many logistics providers did and still do.

The company installed speed limits on all their vehicles. And trained its drivers to ensure they treated customers respectfully and with dignity. This earned points on customer satisfaction.


The Introduction of Tech into It’s Operations

Tech is the lifeblood of modern businesses. By installing tech solutions in its logistics and business operations, GIGM was able to speed up booking processes and make it much more convenient for its customers.

The company was the first to allow or empower customers to reserve their seats from the comfort of their homes. All these ensured that GIGM could process tickets and bookings much more quickly despite more traffic.



Whatever industry your logistics and supply chain finds itself in, it will always pay to put the customer first. As I mentioned in one of my previous articles, your customers are the sole point of your business and supply chain. Why not treat them like it?

Innovation is not always about