Meet the Nigerian graduate who became a millionaire repairing cars ~ Welcome to Obinna Onyenali's Blog Welcome to Obinna Onyenali's Blog: Meet the Nigerian graduate who became a millionaire repairing cars

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Meet the Nigerian graduate who became a millionaire repairing cars

a motivational story on the Nigerian graduate who became a millionaire by repairing cars

The rate of unemployment in the country today is a concern to many, however, if one can just think outside the box, opportunities abound that can help translate the challenge of joblessness to success stories. The undoing of many is the crave for white-collar jobs, which as it appears are scarce commodities. Taiwo Abiri's story is an eye-opener, which should teach every unemployed graduate in the country to look inward, discover your passion and align it with meeting the needs of people. And it won't be belong before the profiting starts coming in.

So let me let the cat out of the bag, read after the cut the story of Taiwo...
He studied Economics because his sister said it was a good course. After his degree, Taiwo Abiri, a 30-year-old graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State, was advised to put in for Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) by his parents, who had high hopes that their son would end up in an exquisite office, where he would earn a six-figure salary. But, all these were never Taiwo’s dream. All he wanted was to be an auto mechanic.
In Lagos, the country’s commercial nerve centre, the Ibadan-born Taiwo is living his dream. He is making money by getting his hands dirty.

After years of learning on Youtube and reading books on how automobiles work, Taiwo’s interest was kindled.This made him to shelve his plan for MBA as advised by his parents. In pursuit of his dream, he set up a makeshift workshop in Lekki, Lagos.

He said: “I wanted to go to a technical school in the United States (U.S.) to learn about car repairs but I could not go because my parents did not initially support what I chose to do. A school gave me admission in the U.S. but I did not have the money to pursue the career. My parents wanted me to go for MBA. My dad said it is a bad idea for a university graduate to think of becoming an auto mechanic.”

Without his parents’ support, Taiwo, then unemployed, was financially constraint to start up his business. To raise money, Taiwo decided to work as Assistant Portfolio Manager at a real estate firm.

He said: “I had just one thing in the mind when I got the job. I said I would work for a year and save enough to learn how to repair cars and start my car repair business.”

Taiwo explained how he saved throughout the year to establish his own business. He resigned after 13 months at the real estate firm and enrolled for apprenticeship at an auto garage owned by Lebanese businessmen in Lekki. He said he made sure that no one knew he had a degree.

“I wanted my technical instructors to treat me the way they treated every other person there,” he said, adding that he worked for the Lebanese company for 20 months without being paid.

While at the Lebanese workshop, Taiwo said the knowledge he got from Youtube gave him an edge over other trainees and made him to use computerised tools, which his colleagues found hard to operate. After his stint at the Lebanese firm, Taiwo started buying auto repair tools from his personal savings and donations from his U.S.-based brother. He established Motomi, his own auto repair firm, in Lekki.

Starting with the repair of family and friends’ cars, Taiwo today boasts of several corporate firms as clients. He said his company is the official mechanic for corporate organisations, such as Century Energy, Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Falcon Gas, AA Rescue, Structon Construction Company and Computer Warehouse Group, among others.

To him, the video streaming platform played a critical role in shaping his dream for the future. Last year, he made N25 million and he is just starting.

“I haven’t even done up to half of what I have in my business plan even though people see me as a millionaire,” Taiwo said, adding: “I can’t tell you all.”

He went on: “But, we will soon start our express service. Clients can invite us and expect us to get to them in record time to fix their vehicles; whether their cars broke down on the highway or the fault happened while they were at home.”

While he nurtures his brand, Taiwo said he has provided jobs for a number of youths, who work with him as trainees and partners.

He said there were plans to start Motomi Express 24/7 to ensure his clients are served round the clock.

While he makes money from his vocation, Taiwo said it is not all rosy for his business. He said accessing loans to boost his business remains a major challenge in his bid to implement his business plan. He said: “I approached the Bank of Industry to see if I could get a loan but they told me that they only give loans to manufacturing companies and not to service companies. I was discouraged because people like me need to be encouraged to set up world-class business in auto repair and servicing.”

Taiwo said he was hopeful there would be investors to fund his big plans, one of which includes setting up a model technical school where graduates would learn auto repair skill to make them self-reliant.

Credit: The Nation

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