To every man his favorite whim: to some, its girls in white dresses, many more have a thing for damsels in blue satin sashes, and others crave for silver white winters that melt into springs, but for Austin Avuru, the MD of Seplat Group, the world revolves around good life. Forget the private jet, Nigeriaâ€™s super-rich have other means by which they pay homage to elegance and elitist-consumption, and thereâ€™s no better way to flaunt their wherewithal than by buying a brand new European sports car.
The sense of deprivation felt by most Nigerians is closely related to the phenomenon of luxury fever. The desire to emulate the lifestyles of the superrich has led to booming sales of trophy homes, luxury cars, pleasure craft, cosmetic surgery and professional quality home equipment. The scaling up of â€˜needsâ€™ often outpaces the growth of incomes so that many people who are wealthy by any historical or international standard actually feel poor. Austin lives big and collects expensive cars same way he collects wrist watches. He exudes an uncanny mÃ©lange of zeal and fervor that becomes his charm.
Intellectually, he flaunts a visceral approach that only a few of his contemporaries can rival. Hard work has designed him a wide-grin and leads him across the lane of fame to the realisation of his dreams.
That is why men are talking about him excitedly while many a woman drool excitably and gesticulate animatedly while describing him. Thatâ€™s the magical effect Austin has on people these days. His popularity rose notches higher when he won, recently, the highly prestigious and coveted Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Master Category for the Nigeria and West African sub-region.
He, therefore, joins the league of globally recognised entrepreneurs like Aliko Dangote who won in 2012. A vocal advocate of indigenous participation in the exploration and production sectors of the Nigerian oil industry, Avuru is a 1980 graduate of Geology from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. An avid speaker and author, he worked at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for 12 years.