Grass to Grace: From A Spare Parts Seller To Owner Of Innoson Motors, The Story Of Innocent Chukwuma

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Innoson: One of the major advantages of been an entrepreneur is financial stability. Having your own business gives you the opportunity to generate revenue and create employment for others.

One can’t talk about cars in Nigeria without mentioning Innoson Motors.

Destiny as they say can be delayed but can never be denied.

Innoson motors owned is by a Nigerian from the state of Anambra who was previously a Motorcycle spare parts seller.

This article takes a look at the Entrepreneur and Owner of the prestigious company.

Innocent Chukwuma was born on 1st October, 1961 into the family in Uru-Umdim, Nnewi, Anambra State.

The names of his parents are Mojeku and Martina Chukwuma, his father, Mojekwu was a civil servant while Martina his mother was a housewife and stayed at home looking after the children.

He has six siblings, and he is the last child.

Innocent has 3 elder brothers and two sisters, He had his primary and secondary education in his hometown, Uru-Umudim in Nnewi.

At the completion of his secondary education in 1978, he wanted to become an engineer.

He applied to study an engineering course at the university but wasn’t offered admission as his score was low.

Before then, he was assisting his elder brother who was a chemist in his shop while he waited for admission into the university.

During this process, Innocent discovered that he has a natural talent for trading. When he didn’t meet the admission cut-off, he easily moved on since he has a loved for trading.

His brother, Gabriel took him to Chief Romanus Eze Onwuka, also known as Rojenny where he served as an apprentice for a year.

His Boss, Chief Romanus Eze Onwuka is a motorcycle spare parts dealer and also the founder of the first private stadium in Nigeria, Rojenny Stadium in Oba near Onitsha, Anambra state.

Within a year of his apprenticeship, he had mastered the act of buying and selling of motorcycle parts.

After that, he returned to his brother Gabriel. At was at this time that his brother registered Gabros International to trade in motorcycle parts and gave Innocent the sum of N3,000 to start the business.

Having been given the upper hand to run the new venture, Innocent rented a shop and bought his first goods.

One year later, innocent and his brother recorded the profit from both the medicine store and motorcycle parts business.

They found out that Gabros International was generating 10 times more money than the medicine store.

Gabriel his brother then decided to close the medicine store and pay full attention to the auto spare-part business Innocent was in charge of.

In 1981, Innocent Chukwuma left his brothers company, Gabros International and started trading in Honda motorcycle parts.

With the savings he had and the cash his brother gave him, he began trading under the name Innoson Nigeria Limited.

He started importing motorcycles.

After a while Innocent realised that people were buying second hand motorcycles because the new ones were expensive.

The new motorcycles were expensive because they were imported already assembled and a 40ft container can only contain 40 motorcycles. This affected the price rates of the motorcycles.

Innocent Chukwuma found a way to cut down the cost of imported new motorcycles so Nigerians can afford new ones.

He achieved this by importing the motorcycles disassembled, that is part by part.

In this way more motorcycles could fit into the container and when they arrived here in Nigeria they would be reassembled.

With this new idea, he was able to import 200 motorcycles in the same 40ft container that could originally contain 40, and reassembled them upon their arrival in Nigeria.

This gave him the edge to sell cheaper than other competitors at the rate of N60,000 to 80,000 instead of N150,000.

As a skillful entrepreneur, Innocent Chukwuma was the first person that introduced Jingcheng brand of motorcycle into Nigeria.

This was how Innocent Chukwuma’s company started coupling popular motorcycles just like the Leventis and Boulos Enterprises.

Today, his company is one of the major importers, suppliers and assemblers of motorcycles and motorcycle parts in Nigeria and West Africa as a whole.

He is a great entrepreneur is always innovative and looking for new markets and new ways to sell good products to his customers.

When asked about his plastic production factory, Innocent Said “…I looked at a motorcycle and realised that there is a lot of plastic on the body. So I set up a plastic factory.

I decided to produce all the plastic components in my factories so that more units of the spare parts can go into a container”

Today, his plastic factory is one of the largest manufacturer of crash helmets in West Africa and also the largest manufacturer of plastic products in Nigeria.

One of Innocent Chukwuma’s notable achievements is the establishment of a car manufacturing company in Nigeria.

The businessman established the first internal vehicle manufacturing company in Nigeria.

According to him, he noticed everyone was involved in motorcycle business, And also, the state governments had started banning motorcycles due to involvement of Okada riders in crimes and accidents.

He decided to go into manufacturing of motors. The company was incorporated in 2007 and commissioned on the 15th of October, 2010 by President Goodluck Ebele Johnathan at Nnewi.

It’s products includes high capacity city bus, safe and cost effective mini & midi buses, pick-up trucks and garbage collecting vehicles.

The company also provides good services for repairs and parts supply.

Innocent Chukwuma is happily married to Ebele Chukwuma and has lovely children.

Innocent’s family stays off grid from the media and reside in Enugu.

On daily Basis, dignitaries come to see him and purchase vehicles from his company.

The current estimated net worth of Innocent Chukwuma is $1.5 billion (₦540,000,000,000) he is one of the richest men in Igbo land.

Indeed God changed his story, from not getting admission to employing graduates.

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