How Spare Parts Created A Multi-Million Dollar African Entrepreneur
Success occurs in different ways. Usually due to varying circumstances and how an individual is able to spot hidden opportunities and take advantage of them before anyone else does.
Everyone who ever made it past the million dollar mark started with a plan, and this starts with the individual identifying a great opportunity and taking advantage of it.
Being at the right place, at the right time, and taking the right actions changes everything from your life, to your goals, financial status, and achievements.
This success story is about Innocent Chukwuma Ifediaso, a multi-million Dollar Nigerian entrepreneur who went from selling spare parts as far back as 1979, to building a large conglomerate that manufactures motorcycles, tricycles, spare parts, tyres, cars, and many other commodities.
How Did Innocent Chukwuma Start His Childhood Years?
Innocent, the last of 6 kids, was born in Nnewi, Anambra State, In 1961 to Mr and Mrs Chukwuma Mojekwu.
In 1978 after he was done with his secondary school education, Innocent Chukwuma applied to study Engineering at the university. He waited for a while to get his admission results before resorting to work at his elder brother’s (Gabriel) medicine store. When his university application results were finally out, he didn’t make the cut, and so couldn’t get in that year.
While he worked for his brother, he realised he had a natural talent for trading, and so moved on to serve Chief Romanus Eze Onwuka, where he learnt a trade.
A year later, in 1979, Innocent left his boss and returned to his brother, Gabriel. During which he registered a business called Gabros International. The business was funded by his brother to the tune of 3,000 Naira ($10; which had a considerably higher value back then), and traded in motorcycle spare parts.
With total freedom to run the business his own way, Innocent rented a shop and started purchasing merchandise.
By the end of 1980, Innocent and his elder brother, Gabriel, took a thorough account of everything the medicine store and the spare part business were making, and realised that Gabros International was making 10 times more money than the medicine store.
The Rise Of Innoson
When Innocent Chukuma personally ventured into motorcycle sales, he realised that most people were importing used motorcycles into Nigeria, and that their prices were really high. This prompted him to device a way to bring in brand new motorcycles into the country, at a price far lower than the used motorcycles.
With this goal, he took a trip abroad to see how it was all done. He realised there were four companies bringing in the motorcycles at the time. These were Leventis, Yamaco, Boulous, and CFAO. He noticed that when they imported the motorcycles, they’d bring them in crates, and each crate could only contain one motorcycle, which would take up a lot of space. This meant only 40 crates could be put into a 40 feet container, and upon arrival, the motorcycles would become naturally expensive to buyers.
This insight gave a great idea. He would purchase the motorcycles overseas, and disassemble them before he shipped them. This enabled him ship 200 motorcycles in parts, in one 40 feet container. Upon arrival, he’d reassemble them, and his motorcycles would cost 40% lesser than his competitors prices. This tactic brought down the average cost of a motorcycle from 150,000 Naira to 60,000 Naira, and subsequently exploded his sales and revenues.
As he imported the motorcycles, he realized they usually contained a lot of plastics. This eventually prompted him to setup a plastic factory in Nigeria, which is now one of the largest in Africa.
His Premium Project
Innocent later founded a vehicle manufacturing company called Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM), which manufactures trucks, SUVs, buses, sedans, and even spare parts for the Nigerian army’s fighter jets.
To Sum It Up
Today, Innocent Chukwuma has diversified investments in manufacturing, such as:
- Innoson Nigeria Limited Nnewi; manufacturers of motorcycles, tricycles, spare parts and accessories
- Innoson Tech. & Industries Co. Ltd Enugu; manufacturers of Household and Industrial Plastics, Health & Safety Accessories, Storage Containers, Fixtures & Fittings, Electrical Components & Accessories
- Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) Nnewi; manufacturers of Capacity City Buses, Mini & Midi Buses, Pick-Up Trucks and Garbage Collecting Vehicles
- General Tyres & Tubes Co. Ltd Enugu; manufacturers of Tyres and Tubes.
His companies currently collectively employs over 7,400 Nigerians and counting.
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What are your thoughts on this success story of Innocent Chukwuma of the Innoson Group of companies? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
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