An Exclusive Interview With Kelvin Anukwu, An International Auto Dealer

Kelvin Anukwu of KEVEL SYNERGY LIMITED

In a country where University Education is regarded as the end to all means and little attention is accorded to talent and passion, Kelvin Anukwu at the age of 17 knew where he belonged. Before he attain that age of 17 years as a little boy, he had a vision of what God wanted him to do. And at the appointed time, after he finished his Secondary School Education, he chose the part of being a motor mechanic and a car dealer. Not even his father could convince him to drop his ambition and further his

education to the University, he had his mind made up. Today, the part he chose to follow at that age, has brought him to limelight, fame and greatness. He has cut rich as one of the foremost Nigerian Car Dealer in Cotonou, Benin Republic and in Nigeria at large. He also has a big eye on the entertainment Industry, combining it too auto sales, repairs and entertainment to make him an auto entertainer mogul. In an interview with Mike Etim of Rhodies World Magazine, Kelvin Anukwu justified that with zeal and guts, you can excel in your desired profession.

 

Let Have A Bit Of Introduction Of Who You Are And What You Do?

I’m Kelvin Uche Anukwu, a native of Okpanam, Oshimili North L.G.A of Delta State, Nigeria. Born and bred in lagos, Kiri-Kiri town, Nigeria. I am into auto sales, repairs, importation and entertainment business.

 

When You Say Auto Sales And Repairs, What Exactly Are You Referring To?

I am talking about selling of cars and repairs of cars, That is what I mean by auto sales and repairs.

 

How Long Have You Been In This Business?

It’s been a long journey coming for me. It’s a business which I learnt when I was at the age of 17 years, I started as a trainee at “Alfa Merit Motors Limited”  the year 1997 to the year 2000. after my Secondary School Education at Doctor Lucas Memorial High School, Kirk-kiri town, Lagos, Nigeria. In 2001 I attended a technical school in Accra Ghana to ain my trade test. 1, 2 and 3. I got my first employment as a staff at “Muram Autoland Limited” the year 2002 to the year 2004. I left and joined some group of Lebanese men in Apapa, Marine road, working together the same year 2004. In the year 2006, I became a boss of my own, which I have been in till date.

 

You Said, You Started Selling Cars At The Age Of 26, What Motivated You To Car Sales?

A lot of things motivated me into car sales, like getting to meet people and I have a passion for the business, car sales business was the reining business at that time.

Aside from that my late father Chief Augustine Anuku who was a retired Prisons staff had a friend who owned a workshop and dealt on cars. He was popularly known as Jerry More Motors. At that time my father was driving a 1979 model Volks Wagon Passat. The man was his best friend and owned a workshop and a car stand. As a little boy, I love to follow my father to the man’s workshop and in the process I found out that I was developing interest on the way the man was going about his Motor Mechanic Works and car sales. That is how my motivation started.

After my Secondary School, my father wanted me to further to the University, I vehemently said no.  I told him I wanted to go to that his friend workshop and learn his business. My father refused and left me for the while.

Kelvin Anukwu of KEVEL SYNERGY LIMITED 2

Was There A Conflict Between You And Your Father Then?     

There was a little conflict in the sense that he wanted me to further my education, and not end up as a motor mechanic boy.  He refused to sponsor me in the area of motor business until my uncle  Chief Patrick Iweduno, a retired staff of Julius Beger Plc. told him

“This time you don’t force children to do what they don’t want to do, allow them to do what they want to do”.

That was how my father allowed me to have my way. But it was his brother the Chief, who took upon himself to take care of all the expenses for the learning of the job.

 

How Did You Raise Your Initial Capital To Start Your Own Business?  

After serving as a trainee for three years and attending a technical school, I worked for two years  in addition to “Muram Autoland Limited” and with some group of Lebanese men that where into auto sales and repairs of cars, at Marine Road Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria.

With the salary I earned, and other jobs that I was doing outside for my own clients, I was able to raise some money to start my own workshop, when I set up my own workshop, I started buying certain fairly used vehicles from certain customers. And some who brought their cars for repairs will tell me if I have a buyer I can sell. I used my expertise to refurbished these cars and put it on for sales. This is what is referred to as customize cars. This is how I grew up in the business.

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Where Was Your First Workshop And Your Car Stand Located?

My ever first workshop and car stand was in Lagos and it was located where I was residing back then, which was Kiri-Kiri town, Lagos, at the Medium Security Prisons Barracks, behind Mac-dons fast food off Dillion street. In the year 2010, I extend to FCT Abuja, set up a workshop and a car stand, at Garki, area 11 off ahmadu bello way by garki supermarket/automatic car wash.

 

How Many Cars Where In Your Stand When You Started?       

I started my car sales business with four cars. A Mercedes Benz 190E, V-Boot 230E, Nissan Laurel and a volks wagon golf-3.


Did You Serve As A Boy To Anyone Before You Went Into Your Personal Business?

I work as a boy under an employee named musibau. His the MD/CEO of Muram Autoland Limited.  I worked with him as a boy for two years plus then left and join a group of Lebanese men in apapa, lagos.


When Did Your Business Go International?

My business as a car dealer and as an auto engineer, went international when I was with the group of Lebanese men in Apapa, and some clearing agents that where my clients linked me up with some car importers that do import cars from America, Canada, Switzerland, Japan and Dubai, who would give me cars to sell for them. That’s how I went international in the business.

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Kelvin Anukwu’s Car Stand in Cotonou

How Do You Bring In Cars Into The Country Without The Customs Troubles?

Firstly, we buy cars from America and Europe. American cars are cheaper than the ones from Europe. We bring in the cars passing through the normal and official process. We pay our duties and meet all the necessary requirements when you bring your car from Cotonuo before bringing it to Nigeria. We called it imported by land. If your bring in a car and decide to use the illegal routes and not paying your custom duties and your are caught, your vehicle would be impounded. It’s a 50-50 chance.

On my own part I go through the normal routes. I pay the duties, I drive the car by myself from the Port to the Custom office at the Seme Boarder to Badagry and deliver it to the client.

 

As A Car Dealer In Nigeria. Do You Encounter Problems With Clients?

No! I don’t. As a person, to avoid problem and disappointments from clients, when it comes to payment terms, I tell my clients to make a payment of 50-70% first before I bring in the vehicle, on delivering the vehicle the remaining payment will be made because sometimes, they might turn you down by saying things like ‘oh! I got it elsewhere, If you had come earlier, I would have paid for yours’. After all the stress and time you the dealer had gone through.

 

When People Are To Purchase Cars What Should They Look Out For If The Cars Are Not Brand New?

For some, who want to buy a car which is a “tokumbo” also called “Belgium” cars they should check the mileage. As an auto dealer and auto engineer I advise people to look out for the mileage, some time the mileage can be reset but not all, depending on the make of the car. The new cars come with digital mileage- I mean the one that have the figures and cannot be rewound. Aside from the mileage, go with a trusted engineer, or a mechanic, to ascertain the condition of the car. My advise is, don’t allow the mechanic to get in touch with the dealer. If the vehicle is faulty, the dealer will tell him and both of them will strike a deal without your knowledge and you will end up buying a faulty car. Go with a good and a trusted mechanic but make him happy. What I mean is, give him a good offer and don’t allow him to have any closeness or conversation with the dealer. Take him to the car and let him drive the car to detect whatsoever is wrong with the car.

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Apart From The Car Business, Are You Thinking Of Diversifying To Other Business?

Yes I have thought of diversifying long before now, but car sales business is still my business and I will still be in it, it’s a business that I learnt and I like and has been an eye opening for me while growing up.  Entertainment business has been a huge passion for me and I’m already in it, the passion for entertainment came into me way back, the year 2002 in Festac town, Lagos. When I became a family friend to the NJAMAH’S. John, Aquila and Empress. After selling a Nissan Maxima car to John Njamah in 2002, then I became Aquila Njamah mechanic on its 3-series BMW car, later Empress Njamah bought an Acura Legend car from me the year 2006, through them some well known Nigeria artist started patronizing me in my car business as a car dealer and auto engineer, people like, Klint D’ Drunk, Gandoki, Ruggedman, Jazman Olofin, 2face Idibia, Sylvia Edem, Daniel Lloyd. and many more of them.

 

How Are You Combining Auto Sales And Entertainment Or Should I Say Auto Entertainment?
It is not by my power or my making, I give God all the glory for making it an easy going for me till now. When I wanted to register my business name at {CAC}” KEVEL SYNERGY LIMITED” In Nigeria, I told my lawyer I didn’t want the registration my company  only on auto sales and repairs, but also on entertainment, so it will cover the purpose of auto sales, repairs, importation and entertainment as a whole and she did It that way and it came out the way it is now.


Have You Engaged Yourself In Any Form Of Showbiz?

Yes I have, I do night club music shows! Which I do often in Cotonou, Benin republic and different states and cities in Nigeria, such as: Lagos, Port Harcour and Calabar. Presently am working on three big projects, which will be coming up soon, that will take place this year 2016. A music and comedy concert, a reality TV show and a movie project.

Finally, What Had Been Your Challenges And What Do You Want Federal Government To Do To Encourage You Guys On Auto Business?

My challenges so far, has been base on the high rate of custom dutie charges and exchange rate of “CFA and DOLLAR” currencies, which is really affecting us on our auto business, the federal government have a huge role to play on this, because a lot of us in the auto business are looking up to God first, then the federal government to come in.

 

It was Nice Speaking with you Mr. Kelvin

Thank you

 

 

Kevel Synergy Autoland Limited 
RC:1256714
Auto Sales, Repairs & Genuine Spare Parts
EMAIL: kevelsynergyautolandltd@gmail.com

PAGE: www.facebook/kevelsynergyautoland.com

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “An Exclusive Interview With Kelvin Anukwu, An International Auto Dealer

  1. Ifui

    Wow. Interesting story. Following passion is always right. Nice . Good inspiration for some of us who don’t like too much schooling.

    Reply

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