Kogi State born luxury entrepreneur based in America, Mike Oludoyi, in this interview with Sunday Ehigiator reveals how he followed up on his passion for automobiles, even as an undergraduate
When it comes to luxury cars, the name Mike Korede Oludoyi; a Mopa born luxury entrepreneur, might not be too unfamiliar among the initiates, but for the uninitiated, he is one that has always had a knack for business, having grown up in a family with a business tradition. The young inspiring ‘Mo Autos’ founder, who is a graduate of Accounting from one of the top universities in the world, had earlier started his career as a banker with one of the new generation banks in Nigeria before his foray into dealing with luxury cars. Excerpts:
How was your growing up?
I was born into the family of Chief Biodun Oludoyi. It’s a family of six; my dad, mum and three siblings. We are Christians. My dad was one time Chairman of Kogi State Pensions Board while my mum has always been a business woman. I grew up always being around my mum, to help her business and learn from her.
I grew up in Mopa, Kogi State and went to primary school there. Growing up, I have always had passion for automobiles. I grew up with the dream of being an automobile engineer and work in car production fields.
But eventually, I found strength in accounting. Hence I found myself briefly in banking, until I found my way back to my true passion.
How did your interest in cars begin?
Growing up, my dream was to become an automobile engineer. I loved cars so much, that I wake up every morning before school, I would always wash and clean my father’s car. Though I later took interest in Accounting and studied and graduated as an accountant, but cars have always been natural with me. I wouldn’t want to say I was obsessed with it; but it kind of occurs to me without stress. I take note of every nice car I saw while growing up. I registered the names and models to heart. Sometimes, I would sleep and dream of those cars I saw and registered to heart. It was a nice experience and I am glad I was able to retrace my steps back to my passion.
What about ‘Mo Autos’ and what grades of cars does it trade?
I founded Mo Autos in December 2016, after I left the banking system. I got her wholesale operation license in February 2017. The company has since grown her name in the Dallas/Fort worth area as the “go to” dealership for clean grade-A cars, ranging from luxury to regular brands at affordable prices.
Following this success as the preferred car dealership for many immigrants, professionals and Americans alike, we created an online platform on instagram with the handle @Mo.Autos to bridge the divide and extend our services to interested clients around the world with a taste for exquisite automobiles at affordable prices.
Currently, our online business map focuses more on Nigeria and we have done businesses with, and delivered beautiful cars to numerous Nigerians; both individuals, corporate and political entities. We also ship to three other African countries; Benin Republic, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. And trust me, it is a brand that can be trusted and recommend to all.
How long have you been in business and how did it start?
I have basically been in business generally for over 10 years; but I founded and started Mo Autos three years go. It started with me trying to sell my older car when I got a new one and I was able to sell it within 24hours for a profit. That encouraged me to do it more.
Car entrepreneurship is one that is capital intensive, how were you able to startup?
While I was schooling as a student in University of Texas, Dallas, I made a decision to deprive myself of somethings I can do without so I can save money. I saved enough money to get me a second car, and I bought the second car and decided to try and sell my older car. Like I said earlier, I sold it for a profit within 24hours and I quickly went to buy another car but this time, I marketed my both cars for sale and managed to sell both for a profit within three days. From then on, I bought and sold cars for about a month, before I decided to start up my own dealership.
What makes Mo Autos unique?
Unlike many others, we built our name on the core values of integrity, empathy and customer service. We take pride in every car we buy and sell, because it’s an embodiment of our name and brand reputation. Our services and delivery is currently the fastest of any African-American dealer, and we always deliver quality. No client can ever say we didn’t deliver a car that brings them joy. Because we put in our time to hand pick cars in perfect condition for the perfect prices.
Our prices are also always cheaper than indigenous dealers in Nigeria. It’s always cheaper and more affordable when you import through us.
What are the major challenges faced in this line of business?
This is a business where trust is needed. So many people are too scared to do business with an online entity, but the world is moving fast and with time many more will join the many other people who are buying cars online, and getting it imported at incredibly affordable prices.
One other challenge is short delays from freight shipping companies due to weather or other constraints. Though delays are very rare, it’s also a challenge because as a dealer we cannot exercise any control over such delay.
You have a client data base here in Nigeria, so how easy is it to deliver goods to them?
We have done businesses with top business executives, politicians, corporate entities and people in the entertainment industry; amongst them is Ubi Franklin.
Delivery to our client is quite easy, as we proceed to clear cars from the port immediately it arrives and go on to deliver to their addresses. We deliver our clients’ cars Door to Door.
What is the maximum duration it takes since you are based in Texas?
Maximum duration from the moment a customer orders for a car to when the car is delivered is 45days. We usually deliver faster than that most times.
Let’s talk about the quality of cars you deal; are they brand new or used, and how clean and affordable are they?
We sell brand new cars and certified pre-owned cars. Any car we sell is always very clean; inside and outside, in excellent condition and always affordable.
Have you considered opening branches here in Nigeria?
We are looking into that but currently we have a liaison office in Apapa Wharf, Lagos for clients and potential clients who may like to meet and speak to someone on ground in Nigeria as they order.
What is the channel of Patronage?
Currently, we have an Instagram page where we post our activities as a business and encourage more potential clients to patronise our service. Other means of patronage is via our Whatsapp +12149316342 or email Mo.firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there a website or social media platform where prospects can checkout your stocks?
Yes, we are on Instagram. You can find us with the handle @MO.AUTOS
You left the banking industry to pursue entrepreneurship, would you say it has been a jolly ride?
Even though bank job is quite stressful, I’ll say entrepreneurship has not been a jolly ride. The highs and lows are always there and sometimes you feel the weight of the responsibility you owe to your clients and people who look up to you. At the end of the day I’ll say entrepreneurship is very worth it but it’s surely not a jolly ride.
Your advice to young entrepreneur
Keep your eyes open to growth and self-development. Always look for business opportunities around you, more importantly be prepared to grab the business opportunities you spot.