Success stories rooted in humble beginnings provide the best inspiration for young entrepreneurs.
They show that anything is possible, and that a person with pure resilience, a keen eye for both observing & taking advantage of opportunities, and a disciplined approach to managing their finances can achieve whatever they set out for.
This is the case of Frank Nneji Uzoawuotu, the founder and CEO of the ABC (Associated Bus Company) Transport Company, one of the largest road transportation companies in West Africa.
Frank Nneji Uzoawuotu, a native of Ezuhhu Nguru, in Aboh, Mbaise Local government area of Imo State, was born in Kaduna on the 30th of April, 1960, to a retired Soldier and retired nurse. Having tried his hand on series of small scale businesses right from his university days, it affirmed he has had his entrepreneurship spirit long coming.
Interestingly, Frank regulraly experienced discomfort while traveling interstate during his early business trips. He was irked by the fact that most buses always had an overload of passengers, and their staffs, especially the drivers and bus conductors, were utterly rude.
Trying a figure a way forward, Frank remembered his days in the university as the first campus director of the student union, and how he used to make money by conveying students to various events in his personal car for a fee.
With a glaring opportunity and a strong will, Frank Nneji prepared a comprehensive business plan in 1991 and approached Diamond bank for a loan. The bank cleared with him and provided a credit facility of 1.5 million Naira, which he used to lease five hiace buses to start up is business, which he named The Associated Bus Company (ABC). At the early stage of his startup, he employed his younger brother Jude, whom was a trained pharmacist, to begin work with his company immediately after his youth service.
Fast forward today, ABC Transport today is a multi-million dollar business holding one of the top spots for road transportation in Nigeria and employing well over 1,200 people.
The transport company is the first of its kind to be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), and has subsidiaries ranging from ABEX services to City Transit (hospitality for travellers), along with a 50% stake in Transit Support Services, a trading company engaged in the importation, sales of vehicles spares, installation of motor vehicle speed governing devices, and the assembly of heavy duty trucks.
Conclusively, Frank Nneji’s business journey has built up to be a remarkable success story anyone can learn from, and has shown that your background, no matter how poor or rich, does not determine your future. Only your resilience and the will to act can take you from where you currently are to the next destination.