Remember the jeep given to the winner of Big Brother Naija, a popular Nigerian reality show winner?
Yes this one! Innocent Chukwuma, is the brain behind the company that manufactured it , and currently the chairman.
Innoson Group of Companies is the first indigenous automobile company in Nigeria which is a great milestone.
Now learn take you through his entrepreneurial journey; as all big things start small, Innocent Chukwuma started his entrepreneurial journey as an apprentice with a motorcycle spare part seller at oba in Onitsha. From his diligence and concentration at the dealer shop, he grasped the whole process of buying and selling under a year.
Innocent chukwuma finished the apprenticeship and was set up by his brother with N3,000 to trade under his brother registered business ‘Gabros International’.
With his never relenting spirit, innocent chukwuma started dealing in Honda motorcycle parts and gradually moved into importing motorcycle under his own trade name Innoson Nigeria Limited.
In a bid to cut the cost of motorcycle and also expand his business, he began importing dissembled motorcycles and assembling them in Nigeria.
He furthered his business venture, into manufacturing of plastic components needed for the assembling of motorcycle, as at that time ranking with the likes of Boulos and Leventis companies.
The innoson group of companies has its subsidiary spanned across vehicle, motorcycle, tricycle, Tyre, plastic, as well as agriculture. innoson Motors was incorporated in 2007, and commissioned in 2010.
Alongside his entrepreneurial strides, he has a lot of awards to his name:
▪Industrialist of the Year by Nigerian Union of ▪Journalist, Enugu State 2006
▪ Justice of Peace by Enugu State Government 2006
▪ Award of Excellence, Manufacturers Association of Nigerian (MAN) 2008
▪Meritorious Awards by Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) 2008
▪Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) 2008
▪Best Customer by Bank of Industry, 2011
▪ Business Person of the Year by the Sun Publishing Limited 2011
▪Officer of the Federal Republic 2011
▪Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business ▪Administration by Enugu State University of ▪Science and Technology 2011
▪Entrepreneur of the Year by Wesley University of Science and Technology, Akure 2012
▪Auto Personality of the Year by Guild Motoring Correspondence 2013
▪Most Innovative Entrepreneur by Vanguard Newspaper 2013
▪ Accomplished Contemporary Entrepreneurs’ ▪Award by Federal Government 2014
▪Entrepreneurial Ambassador by Nigeria Arise 2014
▪Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business ▪Administration by University of Nigeria 2014
▪Professor Barth Nnaji Prize for Technology at Igbo Awards 2017
The entrepreneurial journey is a dogged one, but with determination and a clear vision, success is inevitable.