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‘Turning Nigeria to automobile manufacturing hub in West Africa’

By Eniola Daniel
08 January 2022   |   3:54 am
COVID-19 has been an era of pain, losses and decline for many businesses across the world. Kudos to Nigeria, the government and the people, who stood together to sail through the tough times.

Manish Rohtagi

Manish Rohtagi presides over Stallion Auto Keke Limited and VON Automobiles of Nigeria as managing director. In this interview with ENIOLA DANIEL, he spoke on the importance of the transportation sector to the economy and his company’s focus on creating jobs for the teeming youths.

How has your company fared particularly at this post COVID-19 era, considering the fact that every aspect of life is adjusting to a new normal?
COVID-19 has been an era of pain, losses and decline for many businesses across the world. Kudos to Nigeria, the government and the people, who stood together to sail through the tough times.

Our organisation, in fact, started during the peak of the pandemic and thankfully, we have fared very well. We were able to take care of the health of our team, dealers and other stakeholders. While we crossed the highest figures of Bajaj Keke in Nigeria, our support to our staff and riders through our dealers and fleet owners has been a major point of satisfaction to us.

Despite the challenge, Stallion Bajaj had been able to empower 75,000 riders and sold 75,000 units in less than a year.

What strategies have you used to sustain Stallion Group in the last one-year?
Our ideas are new, but aligned to Nigerian economy. We are equipping some unemployed youths with riding skill and how to maintain the tricycle while some microfinance banks provide the liquidity. This is to ensure that they have a daily income as micro entrepreneurs. 

Our core strategy revolves around inclusiveness with strong desire of spreading prosperity. We believe in the empowerment of Nigerians, including our staff. This has helped us to create a winning team that has fetched the company unexpected results.

What has it been working in this sector?
The Nigerian economy is expected to boom in coming years. And it is worthy to note that transportation is the key to growth for any underdeveloped economy like Nigeria. Stallion Group is committed to work shoulder to shoulder with the key policy makers to ensure that the automobile sector contributes significantly to the growth of the economy.

We align with major government bodies like MAN, Ministry of Trade and Investment and others to ensure that Nigeria’s economy grows faster.

What are some of the tough jobs you have had so far?
The toughest job for any professional is the retrenchment of staff. Fortunately, Stallion Group is a pro-employees organisation. We have neither asked people to go nor have any salary cut.  The other challenges have been ensuring high standards of ethics and culture.
 
What is your vision for the company in the next five years?
My vision is to see Nigeria becoming a force to reckon with in the auto manufacturing and supplying sector across the West African sub-region. Nigeria has all it takes to be in the lead in West Africa. In the next five year, our company will surely lead; we shall be the flag bearer of the Nigerian automobile industry.

Besides, we are working with local vendors to develop spare parts locally in Nigeria. We are also working on a ‘made in Nigeria” plan. Stallion Bajaj is set to boost the Made in Nigeria drive.