In this special report, youngNigerian.com, features Subomi Owo-Odusi, the 23 years old Nigerian who invented an app that delivers fuel to consumers.
- What prompted him to invent the app
- The challenges and how he plans to be ahead of his competitors
- His vision for his newly established company
Nigeria is indeed a great nation. With more than 150 million people and abundant of natural resources, it remains the most populous black nation in the world and largest economy in Africa. People all over the world have found Nigeria a good market for their products. China, for example, is one of the largest importers of finished goods and technology in Nigeria. The South Africa’s telecommunication giant, MTN, has its largest subscribers in Nigeria.
Young Nigerians are begining to pick up challenges and to hold the bull by the horns. Thanks to Alico Dangote, the Founder and Chairman of Dangote Group, and Innocent Chukwuma, the founder of the indigenous motor manufacturing company, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company.
Early This year, the media was awash with the news of a 23-year old Nigerian who is said to have developed app that delivers fuel to users. Immediately after Subomi Owo-Odusi’s interview with CNN went viral, people in Nigeria and beyond started questioning the viability of the app and how it could help the Nigerian frequent fuel crisis.
The young start-up entrepreneur believes that the current economic downturn of the country, which is exasperated by fuel crisis that often leads to long queue in the filling station and traffic logjam especially in a large city like Lagos, can be resolved by applying technology and social awareness.
In the words of great Ralp W. Emerson, ” Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better”. Owo-Odusi has refused to be timid, down cast and held down by the issues bedeviling this very important sector of the Nigerian economy but has instead opted to experiment using his invention to finding a lasting solution to the problem.
Subomi Owo-Odusi founded FueledUp, a company based in Lagos, which among other things, aims at supplying fuel right to comfort of your home or office without having to go to filling station to queue up.
In his interview with CNN he described his new invention as “insane” and said it “..will take away a lot of the pain and pressure and stress of people waiting for hours”, as fuel will be delivered straight to consumers in Lagos.
Speaking to NashabaNotables, he explains:
“I have always had it in me to disrupt, create, innovate, and be an entrepreneur. I do not like to follow rules, I have a vision and it is the vision that I have followed suit. This journey started out of failure, last December I was at my rock bottom, my business (into distribution of fuel and marketing) wasn’t doing too well. The few transactions I had were not moving at all. I remember crying to God and challenged him, luckily I stumbled on company in the US doing on demand refueling I got sent the link on Facebook, read up on it, did a few intense research and I asked myself why can’t I do this here, I decided to take the bull by the horn“
Nigeria is a leading oil producing country and has the largest chunk of its revenue comes from oil. Over the years, it has not been able to supply adequately its vast population numbering more than 150 million. But the Lagos-born entrepreneur saw that as a huge opportunity for his business. Being a company that basically relies on technology, he says he has devised a means to keep him ahead of his competitors and to always meet the needs of his customers:
“I have been able to reach people and educate them on what our objectives are, we intend to create an avenue that would cater to everybody not just the rich or middle class. We want to get to every Nigerian that needs Fuel. Yes it is a tech company, the truth about tech is if you are not in line you will get left behind, so we intend to do some form of sensitization towards technology with the help of the android phones which are cheaper and easier to learn with, that is the way we intend to keep ourselves ahead of anybody who will come next”
He laments that finance has been his major challenge in the flag up of his company Fueledup. He has to rely majorly on family and friends. Another challenge, is having to reduce the cost of the product to his customers. Notheless, he believes his new venture will be successful. Said he,
“Success is when I am on the Forbes list. Success is when I am able to inspire people from my generation to stand up and fight for what they believe in, the truth is nobody is going to do that for you, the educational system here is about going to school and then NYSC after which you are basically back home stranded looking for a job. They are not a lot of avenues for you to be creative, innovative and contribute to humanity. Although a lot of people start something for the wrong reasons like the money, I started this to provide convenience to people, I started this to solve a problem faced by millions of Nigerians, and money will come eventually. Success for me is been able to help people put food on their table, as well as put Nigeria in a positive light”
The app, according to him, is simple to operate. While downloaded by users in any device including an android phone, users can touch the “Get Fueled up” button and get price list of fuel per litter. Users can decide how much fuel they need and enter their vehicles information and choose a delivery time frame.
He plans in the future to operate in other states of the Federation and even beyond the shores of Nigeria, as he said, “The vision is past Lagos.”
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