Top 10 Distinguished Nnewi Businesses in Igboland
The Igbos are regarded as the most intelligent black African race as reported by U.S academic research. They are also known for their business acumen. The average Igbo man or woman has a natural flair for business and a penchant to succeed at it, researchers say.
However, among Igbos we know one thing for certain, some businesses have made it to the top radar and distinguished themselves through their methods of operation, innovations, and the determination of the propellers.
Below are 10 Igbo businesses that are distinguished in their various sectors. These businesses are classified as top because they are the pioneers of the business in their various fields.
Note that these businesses are not distinguished by their networth but by the value they create. Some businesses in the open markets like Ariaria or Nkwo Nnewi control more turnover than some of the businesses stated below.
- Ekenedilichukwu Transport Company
Founded in 1955, Ekenedilichukwu set the pace for the transport system widely used in the country today. With the advent of transportation by road through vehicles, Ekenedilichukwu went into partnership with Leventis motors to purchase its vehicles on hire. He further created terminals to distinguish it from the chaotic motor parks at the time. As the business grew, he diversified to buy Mercedes Benz’s luxurious cars, known today as luxurious buses. This has been adopted by many today. He put a new face to the transportation business that outlived his name
The owner of Ekenedilichukwu transport company is Chief Augustine Ilodibe. The transport had over 500 fleets, operating Abuja, Kaduna, Yaba, Lagos, Onitsha, Owerri, Enugu, and Port Harcourt.
- Roban stores
Roban stores are the only indigenously owned chain stores in Igboland more so because it is resident in southeast Nigeria. The proponents of the business walked into a virgin market and created something different and unique and the business has thrived then since. Their presence in Enugu formed the basis of Shoprite’s foresight of a possible thrive in the southeast.
Roban owns a total of 6 stores in Anambra, Ebonyi, and Enugu and looks to expand to other cities in the south-east and south-south in no time. The store has been in existence since 1999 and has employed over 1,000 staff in its various outlets. The CEO of Roban stores is Chief Sir Onyebuchi R. Anwatu.
- Crunchies Fast Food and Restaurant
Very few people know that crunchies fried chicken limited is owned by an Igbo man of Arochukwu in Abia state. Mazi Jude Nnamdi Nwosu (Ugwu Aro) and the chairman Mr. Mike Anazodo (who likes to remain behind the scene) followed the footsteps of Mr. Biggs and revolutionized the fast food and restaurant business in Nigeria.
Unlike Mr. Biggs which has since gone below the bar, crunchies in all its location are considered a standard fast-food evolving with modern trends and serving premium services and delicious food since its inception in 2003. Crunchies has 15 plus branches in Nigeria.
- Emzor Pharmaceuticals
Emzor is one of the leading pharmaceuticals in Nigeria. The CEO of Emzor pharmaceuticals is a woman of Anambra descent. The producers of the famous Emzor Paracetamol, EmCap, Maldox malaria tablet etc. Her company has distinguished itself in the field of pharmaceuticals.
Emzor remains one of the few if not the biggest, long-standing pharmaceutical businesses owned by a Nigerian of Igbo descent to this day. From a modest beginning with four products in 1987, they now manufacture over 120 products across analgesic, anti-malaria, vitamin/haematinics / multivitamin supplement, anthelmintic, antibiotics, and therapeutic categories. The company’s net worth is $17.50 million in sales (USD) per annum. Part of the reason for her nomination is in recognition of her ability to stand tall in a sector dominated by the opposite gender.
The CEO of Emzor Pharmaceuticals is Mrs. Stella Okoli. She is currently the Vice President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture having served as Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.
- Innoson group
Innoson group the parent company of Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing, Innoson plastics, Innoson motorcycles is a trailblazer in any business it ventures. In the 80s, motorcycles were mostly imported by Leventis and other foreign brands. Innoson creatively started to import CKD (completely knocked down) spare parts and re-assembled them in Nnewi and sold at nearly 69% off the original price of a brand new.
This contributed to the virality of motorcycles in Nigeria wherefore it became affordable. He also brought innovation to the plastic business.
Outside of Nigeria, Innoson has gone ahead to be the first indigenously manufactured vehicle in the whole of Africa. Its IVM brand of cars has been described as suitable for the African roads. Made for Africa by Africans.
Innoson group is owned by Chief Innocent Chukwuma. The company was started in 1986.
- Megalectrics Limited
The media sector is not left behind. Starting in 2009, Beat FM Lagos aired and has not stopped providing premium innovation in the media sector. The Beat 99.9 FM is a Lagos based English speaking radio station centered on music, information, and the Nigerian entertainment industry.
It is the first radio station privately owned by an Igbo person that is highly recognized nationally and internationally. It has won awards as the best radio station by Beatz Awards.
Christopher Ubosi is an Nsukka born broadcaster, quantity surveyor, and project manager. He is the managing director of Megalectrics limited the owners of Beat FM.
- Ibeto Group of Companies
The Ibeto Group commenced business in the cement sector in 1997 with the importation of ship-loads of bagged Portland cement through the Apapa ports. The company was conceived in 2001 when the federal government banned the importation of cement. The company started producing bagged cement at its terminal in June 2005 before its foreclosure in November 2005.
The chairman of CEO Ibeto Group, Sir Cletus Ibeto delved into the cement sector and conquered. His terminal is an ultra-modern plant with a flat storage capacity of 50,000 metric tons and a production capacity of 1,500,000 tons per annum. Which is that not less than 6,000 bags of cement are produced daily. He dominated the cement sector in Africa.
Ibeto group has diversified into other businesses such as automotive parts (union auto parts and Ibeto Batteries and accessories), petrochemical, hospitality, banking and finance, and oil and gas.
Ibeto still remains one of the top 3 richest Igbo men and top 20 richest men in Nigeria.
- Coscharis Group
Coscharis Group was born in 1977 with a modest beginning of importation and distribution of genuine automotive spare parts, accessories of Japanese vehicles, and several kinds of automobile-related products. This would serve as the foundation for which Coscharis would consolidate its automobile business.
It grew to become the sole representative of the BMW brand in Nigeria. Thereafter it expanded to great brands like Jaguar Landrover, Ford, Mini, Morris Garages, and finally the luxurious Rolls-Royce brand bringing them into the Nigerian market with Coscharis as the second franchise in the whole of Africa.
Serial entrepreneur Chief Cosmas Maduka is the founder of Coscharis group. He has other ventures such as the CosFarm, Coscharis technology, Coscharis beverages, among others.
- Chicason Group of Companies
The AZ oil inaugurator is the number one engine oil producer from and in southeast Nigeria. Credit to his nomination is the fact that his mega plant is situated in Nnewi, Anambra state.
Founded in 1981, Chicason Group has over the past 36 years built the following brands: A-Z Petroleum Products Limited, Rock of Ages Properties PLC, RIMCO Mining, Cason Travels Limited, RIMCO Nigeria Limited, Afro-Asia Automobile & Plastics, Promotex Nigeria Limited, etc.
The Group is headed by Dr. Alex Chika Okafor is the Founder, Group Executive Chairman, and principal shareholder of the Chicason group.
- Tonimas Group Limited
Tonimas group revolutionized the Chain gas station business with its first oil business in Aba Abia state. It opened up various gas stations under its brand name Tonimas oil and gas limited. He was a pump attendant at Total filling station before going ahead to set up his starting from the south-east. He became the first indigenous chain gas station owned by an Igbo man in the southeast.
Since its Incorporation in 1982, Tonimas Nigeria Limited has proven itself a leader in the marketing and the distribution of refined petroleum products throughout the country. They are also involved in the manufacturing and marketing of high-quality lubricants, Aluminium Roofing sheet & Nails production plant (Tonimas Aluminium), Tonimas Drinking Water, a Haulage & Shipping Line, and the prestigious White Castle Hotels.
The late Chief (Dr.) Anthony Obiagboso Enukeme was the founder, Chairman, and Managing Director of Tonimas Nigeria Limited. At the time of his death, he was estimated to worth over 200 million dollars.