Innoson is no stranger to many Nigerians. To some, he is strong where many dread, to some he is a businessman that is never afraid to experiment and try new ideas even when the journey may look quite uneventful. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, please join us as we look into the lives, time, story of how Innoson motors and group was established, the facts, the gist and many more.
IntroductionAn Indian adage says, “Pursue Excellence and success will chase you, pants down” such can be said of Innocent Chukwuma Ifediaso (Innoson).
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 build a large conglomerate that manufactures motorcycles, tricycles, spare parts, tyres, cars, and many other commodities.
In The Beginning
Just like an average Nigeria home, Innocent was the last of 6 children of his family, he 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 working 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.
As the university admission did not work out, he decided to get busy and he used that period to work for his brother who has a store just as the case of an average Igbo guy. 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 the 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.
According to Vanguard Newspaper, 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 devise 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 to 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.
Just like Oliver Twist, Innoson wants some more and so he decided to do some more research on how to reduce the cost of importation and see another way to devise and make life more easier. As he imported the motorcycles, he realized they usually contained a lot of plastics. This eventually prompted him to set up a plastic factory in Nigeria, which is now one of the largest in Africa.
It is on this success of motorcycles that Mr. Innocent decided to set up 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. Recently it was reported that Innoson Motors have started producing vehicles for the Nigerian Army, Police and many more.
While it is worthy of note to give credit to Mr Innocent who has weathered the storm and how he was able to beat his competitors to their game despite having the money, the influence and technological power more than him, we felt it will be good to note the following:
Innoson is not a car manufacturing company, instead what they do is similar to what they did to the motorcycles brand and this is where they import a car which has been dismantled and they have to assemble it back as a whole car here in Nigeria, as Innoson does not have a factory for producing cars, engines or anything that has to do with car production in Nigeria. The term for this is called CKD (Complete Knocked-Down cars). Innoson has partnerships with more of these auto firms in China and all over the world.
The Innoson Brand
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.