The rags to riches series aim to inspire young entrepreneurs and artisans by telling the stories of successful entrepreneurs who started with nothing, but out of sheer will and perseverance, they were able to build and sustain an empire.
The first person to be featured is Vincent Obianodo Amaechi, founder and chairman of the Young Shall Grow Motors, a parent company with many subsidiaries spanning from hospitality, to real estate, oil & gas, dredging & quarry, and transportation.
He started out as a Vulcanizer in the Northern part of Nigeria before becoming a bus conductor, setting up and eventually growing a conglomerate over many years.
Vincent was born in Umueze, Nnewi, in Anambra State. From a humble background with little to boast of, he moved to Kano in his teenage years. He learnt to fix punctured tyres and started out as a vulcanizer. His admirable ability to fix tyres got a lot of people queuing up with their motorcycles, bicycles, and vehicles.
After being a vulcanizer for a long time, he decided to change careers and move into something that’d give him a brighter future. After he left the vulcanizing trade, he moved to a transport company as a bus conductor. After a while, he understood exactly how the business model worked and in 1972, he quit his job and set up a transportation business with just one mini-bus that was plying Enugu to Onitsha.
In 1973, he moved his key operation base from Onitsha to Lagos and ventured into a more urban commuting transport business, which started with two Mercedes Benz 911 buses. Within seven years of operating from Lagos, his bus fleet grew to over 40 buses.
Vincent Obianodo’s exceptional customer service delivery got a lot of faithful customers, and in 1978, he decided to expand his business by opening up a new interstate route, plying Lagos to Onitsha to Owerri with a Mercedes Benz 0362 Luxury bus.
This expansion gained his business more loyal customers, and within six years, his bus fleet grew to over 150 luxury buses.
Vincent’s accelerated growth all happened while his business was just a mere enterprise and not a registered company. With dreams bigger than anyone he knew could imagine, he decided to incorporate his business in 1984, so he could access every part of Nigeria, as the leading inter-state luxury bus company.
Today as one of the largest luxury bus companies in Nigeria, his bus fleet boasts of over 500 in number, and isn’t just limited to Nigeria, but also covers other West African countries like Cote d’viore, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, and The Benin Republic.
Vincent Obianodo’s life tells a story of perseverance, aggressive seizing of opportunities, good customer service, expansion plans and brand extension. He is an intelligent man, an entrepreneur and an inspiration to the youths of today’s Nigeria, who feel they have particular shortcomings, such as the lack of a degree, or lack of capital.
We want to remind you that the ability to become a titan in industry rests upon your entrepreneurship potential, not just a certificate, or a fancy degree. Have a great weekend