Nigerian multi-millionaire Cosmas Maduka heads east, to the city that taught him courtesies, culture and the value of promises kept.
Nigerian automobile entrepreneur Cosmas Maduka is unassuming and soft-spoken. His hallmark is a ‘Jesus is Lord’ brooch that hewears and has over the years become synonymous with his style. Maduka is President and Chairman of Coscharis Group, franchise holders of over eight automobile brands and one of the largest distributors of spare car parts in Nigeria.
The company also has interests in real estate, banking, technology, medicalequipment, petrochemicals, elevatorsand agriculture. On average, the company sells more than 400 cars per month with prices around N150 million ($417,000) for the top end of its luxury fleet, which includes Rolls-Royce,BMW, Jaguar, Range Rover and Ford. But the man who also holds the number two position in the ICT market in Nigeria through his brand, Coscharis Technologies Limited, and its pool of partners which includesHP, Microsoft and Lenovo, had to overcome some extreme difficulties to become the success story he is today.
Maduka lost his father at the age of four and had to fend for himself and his family selling bean cake (a local delicacy) on the streets. By the time he was seven, he was alreadyworking as an apprentice and continued for seven years without pay with the shop floor he was trading on doubling as his bed at night.
Today, with those dark days firmly behind him and an estimated net worth of $500 million, Maduka spends most of his time on the road, or in the air, building new partnerships for his various entrepreneurial pursuits. Forbes chatted with him as he waited in the business class lounge at Murtala Muhammed International airport in Lagos for a flight to Bangkok, about what it is like to travel the globe and how certain cultures resonate with him more than others. They’re efficient with time and always keep to promises; that’s why in my organization, I always under-promise and over-deliver.
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