Arinze ChinazomBy Arinze Chinazom|April 28, 2022|8 Minutes|In Risk and Glory

Risk and Glory

Driving ambition

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step Lao Tzu My first step beckoned when I was born in a small hospital in Warri, Delta state. I am from Awka, Anambra state and I just turned 24 on Monday, 11th April. I am grateful to be able to tell my story to inspire other young girls that they too can build something for themselves all by themselves. 

I have always thought about this day; The day I tell my story. It won’t be as grand as I imagined because I have decided that it is not yet time to tell the full story. I will tell it all when Autogirlng has raised its seed B funding, but for now we still have a long way to go. I will only give a background to my journey so far. So here goes;

I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but, fortunately for me, it was taken out of my mouth when I entered university. I say fortunately because I believe that if I had not been pushed into such tight circumstances, I wouldn’t have strived and persevered this hard.

I remember crying in the hallway of my new private Babcock University where I got admission to study law when I found out that my dad’s number one client was dead.

My dad is a civil engineer (still practicing). He had one major client that kept him busy and he (the client) died a week after I entered the university. This tore a huge hole in our family’s pocket as my parents had lots of responsibilities, including my hefty school fees.

My pocket money had to be cut down but I wasn’t even bothered about that. I was more bothered about how my parents will meet up with my hefty school fees and was more than grateful every time they did. Shout out to my wonderful parents that were able to send me to one of the most expensive universities in Nigeria, despite the tough situation.

There was a problem however, I loved the good life. I was not okay with just ‘managing’. I loved enjoyment and was still a rich kid at heart. I started thinking of ways to make money legitimately. I first signed up as a real estate marketer with a real estate company in Lagos and made my first 100k selling Ibeju lekki lands.

 

I later got bored with real estate (although once I am called to the Nigerian Bar, I will work on building a real estate company that will set the pace for others in the country) and decided to follow my passion; cars.

I have always been fascinated with cars from the first time I laid my eyes on my dad’s Mercedes 190, Nissan bluebird and my mum’s brand-new Kia Rio. I had a friend at the time who imports cars and sends them down to Nigeria for sales. I jokingly texted him one day; ‘’How much would you pay me if I brought you a buyer and he said 100,000 naira ”; That was exactly how Autogirlng was born.

I started marketing vehicles and then I started reading about great entrepreneurs and successful people like Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs and Seth Godin.

I learnt that to have a profitable product, you must have a sizable target audience, you must be able to effectively solve the audience’s problem and articulate clearly your solution to your prospective customers. I started seeing my company as an actual company and not a side hustle. So, what did I do?

 

I thought long and hard about my offering and decided to put more value instead of being just an agent that markets other people’s vehicles. I started educating people about their cars and how to take care of it. I shared my knowledge on social media and sometimes it would trend and other times, no one would pay attention to it but that did not deter me. I started building a brand people could trust and then I discovered something that changed the game entirely for me.

I noticed most people could not afford to buy cars outright buy cars and some who could, like corporate organizations who need cars for their guests or executives who were not often in Nigeria believed that it made more sense to rent cars whenever they needed it and cut down on costs such as driver, fueling and maintenance. We then started a peer2peer vehicle rentals platform with three vehicle categories; cars, boats and private jets. We have been able to achieve daily revenue records for the past one year.

Now, we essentially help vehicle owners save (through our content) and earn money through their vehicles (through our peer-to-peer rental platform). Our service offerings include; vehicle sales , vehicle rentals (boats, cars and private jet categories), car entertainment (educative content)

 

We are not there yet, not even almost but we are moving with the speed of light, recording daily growth, learning new things about our target audience, tweaking and implementing.  I got more awareness for the brand when I got into the Next Titan Entrepreneurship reality tv show and made it to the top 8 entrepreneurs in Nigeria. A few months ago, Tony Elumelu and his team recognized me for the work done at Autogirlng and I became one of his mentees. This little girl from Warri is growing up and making strides…

I am determined to make this company a billion-dollar company. It is a worthy challenge and I am a worthy contender. The goal is to build the airbnb of vehicle rentals with a vehicle maintenance reminder/journal product as its unique selling point. I hope the world is ready.