Meet ‘Mr Abuja Car’ the game changer in car dealership in Nigeria
NEWS DIGEST – Sadiq Saminu Geidam is a multi talented entrepreneur and the Chief Executive Officer of Abuja Car Limited, one of Nigeria’s capital biggest car dealership. In this interview with the News Digest, the young entrepreneur speaks on his passion for launching new businesses into the market and rebranding the car dealership industry in Nigeria.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Sadiq Saminu Geidam, CEO Abuja Car Limited. I won the entrepreneur of the year Award at the CEOs Network Under 30 CEOs Awards 2021.
I started Abuja Car basically as a joke, I’m a very serious gamer and I just really liked cars too. So starting Abujacar was not something I started for money but to follow my passion. My father was a big time car dealer and I think I got it from him.
He was quite popular because he has his own brand named Geidam motors. But when I started I wanted to bring something new to the industry. I also wanted something to connect with fellow young people like myself so I actually was the first person to start posting pictures of cars on instagram to sell. As you can see today that has motivated a lot of youths who are now selling cars off Instagram and making legitimate money for themselves.
How did you start the journey of becoming the CEO?
I started off the streets on OLX before it became Jiji. As I mentioned I’m a gamer so I started with calling my brand GTA Abuja City where I just took random pictures of cars off the streets and edited them to animations.
So, from there the idea started and I thought to myself if I can make a living from it and I said why not. So, I started moving into the streets of Abuja to find good spots ideal to take pictures of nice cars in 2014/15. I started snapping on the streets every day, averaging 15 to 20 cars per day, and with time I got to find this perfect location that helped a great deal to bring my brand out and also help gave me a brand identity and signature as Abuja Car. This location is the famous Central Bank of Nigeria.
What were the challenges you had initially and how were you able to surmount them?
One of my biggest challenge was when an international footballer ordered a car from Abuja Car to be delivered to Lagos, on its way the car got involved in an accident where it was completely wrecked and I didn’t know what to do because it was damaged beyond repairs It was a Range Rover and I was driving an accord then, I didn’t know what to do or how to go about it. So, I had to get someone to give me a payment plan for another one after I dropped my accord to raise money. It was the main thing that motivated me because since then I couldn’t sleep much. I had to go out very early before 7am to snap whatever pictures of cars to sell to make money to pay up because I don’t like debt.
A lesson I got from that experience was that as a young entrepreneur, you have to have your own integrity and you have to let people understand the type person that you are which is why the guy trusted me with his car and knowing that I would pay him back because then I couldn’t afford a Range Rover.
What CSR programme is your company presently involved in?
I want to leave a great legacy that’s why we launched the Abuja Car foundation and one of the things we do is to help and mentor young people who are still in school to begin to walk on the path to achieving their dreams because I started from school myself.
What are your company’s plans moving forward?
My exposure has shown me the need to diversify which is the reason I have a café which is the first automobile café in Nigeria. I’m the first person to bring the idea home. I also have rentals whereby people who can’t afford to buy a car can rent to meet their needs even though we all know that the security system in the country is not as what it should be but then I just have to try and see how I can meet the needs of people who fall into that category. Also, people who have a short stay can drive themselves around even with their limited stay in the city. Then I have haulage whereby you can haul your car to whatever destination irrespective the distance when you buy from us just to avoid what happened with the Range Rover.
What’s your Advice to fellow young Entrepreneurs like yourself?
If you have to be great you have to be creative and think outside the box. You need the guidance of God and experienced persons in whatever you field you intend to go into. You can’t start alone and your mistakes should be your best teacher.