Ikwu Onyeka is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), one of the leading nigeria’s car marketplaces. In this interview with some selected journalists, he spoke on how he built carmart.ng to an enviable height.
In an environment where many are disenchanted because of the seemingly few opportunities to excel, a hard thinker such as Ikwu Onyeka, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Carmart.ng, one of the leading Nigeria’s car marketplaces believes opportunity abounds in the country.
Carmart’s success story will not be surprising to those who have followed Ikwu Onyeka’s life story, as times without numbers, he has shown that he possesses the Midas touch to run a company to an enviable height.
Ikwu Onyeka is a man of many interests. He’s a frontend developer, has some experience as a social media manager, and has engaged car dealerships. Onyeka has successfully brought these aspects of his professional life together at Carmart Nigeria, which he launched in 2019.
Despite not having an engineering or communications-related background, Ikwu tells us that he always loved technology.
This drove him to start the company after learning from his elder brothers who are into car part selling. Hear him: “My elder brothers are into car parts sales, and I know within myself I won’t further my education after secondary school at that time. I perfectly understood my family can’t afford me going to higher institution, so I was thinking what i can do to help my brothers sell their parts so they can make more money so to assist me in growing, and only way I can do that is bringing customers to them, so i ended up creating a Facebook page called Naija Carparts, so when you request for a car, I will forward that to my brothers, so i do get requests outside the locations my brothers where, so i was like how can I make this possible in connecting everyone not minding the location without having to be there none my brothers.
His highly reputable expertise in web development earned him an opportunity to get a job at Alabian solutions, an integrated web solution provision firm based in Lagos with expertise in web development, mobile app development, I worked as personal assistant to the CEO and also a tutor of web design and digital marketing, so in the process of learning i understood that building a web application can make it easy for the process, then the idea of carmart.ng came, instead of connecting only my brothers, i can as well connect more vendors in all kinds of auto related, It was late in December 2018, and i had initially planned to spend Christmas in my hometown, away from Lagos. When the idea of starting Carmart.ng arose, I jettisoned the trip and spent his travel budget on building the Carmart.ng website.
Speaking with some selected journalists, Onyeka said what makes Carmart.ng unique from others is that “On carmart.ng, we allow dealers or individual to list their cars, including the car conditions, features, pricing (negotiable or not) and damages if any, people all over Nigeria with comfort of their mobile device not minding their location will have full access to view those cars, car pricing, car condition and other info made available by the dealer, including the dealers contact info, they will get across to the dealer via Online chat, WhatsApp chat, or direct phone number to either negotiate or get more details on purchasing process.
He believes that the success so far achieved is as a result of the mindset that went into the task as he posits that, “Organisation do not become the best by themselves but can become the best if the individuals who drive them have the necessary mindset to make it so. This is why I say vision is nothing without the right attitude or mindset to push it to success.
On what brand of cars do Nigerians love most, he said “For decades now, different car trends yearly, It started with Toyota cars, down to Mercedes Benz but now both cars are just within us now, but Lexus cars are taking over the trends. According to Onyeka, Cars are for the rich. I must tell you the truth, nothing to lie about, most times cars don’t bring income rather it is for easy movements and less stress, except if you are in the transportation sector that is the only way you make money. So that is why most people that own and drive cars are referred to as rich people, Some car maintenance costs millions yearly, so why would you want to involve yourself with less stream of income.
Speaking further, he said: Cars are not cheap rather the condition of the said car will make it cheap, most people think buying cars with 1million naira is cheap, that is Know, because the said vehicle might not last for just a year, so why spending such amount of money towards something that won’t last longer, So i will say, it’s all about your budget, their cars for 500k and also a car for 3 billion naira.
One of his cardinal points of his life is mentorship, and he is involved in mentoring the youths over the years, as despite his busy schedules, he still mentors and gives direction to the youths. He believes by developing their emotional intelligence, his influence can outlive him in their minds. This is what a leader will be remembered, loved, and celebrated for, according to him.
He believes carmart.ng will be the only preferred choice in all kinds of auto purchase in the next five years.
Carmart also has a scheme where you can buy a car and pay twice. According to Onyeka, “in April 2021 we partnered with Credpal. CredPal is a revolutionary credit solution geared towards providing seamless credit access for businesses and individuals across developing economies. So with Credpal, potential buyers; both salary earners and self-employed can get a credit to finance any car of choice, making full payment to the car dealer/owner while paying monthly to Crepdal, and it has been working smoothly, We get more than 10 requests daily for this scheme.