So, did you hear of the recent development that is almost motivating people to char their college degree certificates to cinders? Did you catch the news that’s making everyone have second thoughts as regards why they’re paying so much money and working their butts off to claim a bachelor’s degree? Well, in case you didn’t, the verisimilitude is that Google recently joined the league of big-name companies who no longer require a college degree as part of job requirements. This means you can pursue a career as Google’s Project Manager without spending four, five, six years in the university and still snag home a USD 45 K pay at the end of 30 days.
Apple, IBM, Publix, Whole Foods, Penguin Random House and other multinationals have each had their doses of epiphanies which reveals to them that fancy words such as ‘GPA’ and ‘transcript’ are almost of no worth when it comes to hiring talent. What does this mean for the academic industry? Well, the way the world is taking several hops in different directions, I must say this is a tremendous leap. But the real question is: ‘Does going to school guarantee success in life?’ I heard about a guy who flunked twelfth grade and is still employing smart people from across the world, another who dropped out of the university and still became and oil-dealing tycoon. But have you heard of the Nigerian entrepreneur who never even got to finish elementary school?
Cosmos Maduka CON is a Nigerian businessman and well-known philanthropist, the founder, president and chairman of the Cocharis Group – an indigenous conglomerate with a diversity of interests in manufacturing, ICT, petrochemical, auto care and auto parts, automobile sales and services, agricultural and agro-allied business sectors. Maduka draws his fame from Cocharis Motors, which is today a leading automobile sales and servicing company. Adding to his reputation as a dealer on brands such as Range Rover, Ford, and Jaguar, this senior is the sole distributor of BMW in Nigeria. This means he’s the only person in trading terms with the Bavarians in Germany and the one giving Nigerians series of badass beamers.
Maduka was featured in Forbes Africa TV Series in 2015 “Worst Day With Peace Hyde,” during which his net worth was estimated to be USD 500 Mn, while also being reported to have swindled USD 579,87300 Mn by Ubah of Capital in a business transaction. This entrepreneur has also appeared in CNN Marketplace Africa interview by Zaner Asher. But Cosmos Maduka wasn’t born with a silver spoon dangling from his infant mouth even though he was born on Christmas Eve. He wasn’t born in the big scene and certainly didn’t accrue his wealth in one day – without the many storms, all entrepreneurs have to best on their quests to greatness.
Maduka, a native of Nnewi in Anambra State, was born into a low-income family of Mr. Peter and Mrs. Rose Maduka in the northern city of Jos in Plateau State, Nigeria. His birth somewhat came as a Yuletide present to his family, as he was the only issue the couple had. Seemingly getting an early shot of the survival gene that ran in his nuclear family, Maduka took his first step down the long path of entrepreneurship at the age of six, exactly two years after his father passed away. As a result of his father’s demise, the six-year-old had earlier had to bid farewell to classroom walls, budding mates, and basic arithmetic to take on a little business. To eat, survive and cater for his bereaved mother, Maduka hawked bean cakes (locally known as Akara), which is still now a popular staple food in Nigeria.
At the age of 17, Cosmos formally went into business, after being wrongly dismissed with an NGN 200.00 sum by his uncle who had earlier gave him the opportunity to become his automobile apprentice – little wonder where he got his drive from. Cosmos added the sad turn of commitment to his impending success story and went on to co-found a spare parts company known as CosDave with his friend named Dave. The conglomerate startup failed quite sooner than the duo could expect – to as of now no one’s surprise. Zestfully, Cosmos went on to found what was to be the breakthrough in business with just NGN 300 – that’s less than a dollar According to him, the name of the company is a clip-and-blend of his first name, Cosmos and his wife’s, Charity, who said yes to him at the age of 19. Maduka started striking gold with Cocharis in 1982 when the Nigerian government granted ten automobile companies with import licenses, among which Cocharis was a benefactor.
Currently, Cocharis is a conglomerate worth USD 500 Mn with a fleet of subsidiaries, and as a leading distributor of several brands of luxury cars, including the Jaguar. The company became BMW’s sole Nigerian distributor in 2015. In the same year, Cocharis became the first company to build an Assembly Plant of Ford Ranger in Nigeria and won the Auto Brand of the Year at the Ghana-held Marketing World Awards. In 2016, the government of Anambra State approved for a 5000-hectare land to be used by the Cocharis Farms to cultivate rice – a project that was reported to have created 3000 jobs upon completion. As a matter of fact, this from-the-ashes group is rated one of the top 50 brands in Nigeria by Top 50 Brands in Nigeria.
The automobile dealing beacon attributes his success to his affiliation with the Japanese, with whom he had an early contact that made him catch the bugs of commitment, humility precision, and hard work – all of which were fundamental to his success in business. This soft-spoken and unassuming entrepreneur whose hallmark of existence is a “Jesus is Lord” brooch he wears, seats on the board of several reputable companies. He served as Director in Access Bank Plc., one of the leading banks in Nigeria for 12 years. This man holds the number two position in the ICT market in Nigeria through his brand and its pool of partners including HP, Microsoft, and Lenovo. On average, Maduka’s Cocharis sells over 400 cars in a month with prices around USD 420 K for the top end of its luxury fleet, including Rolls-Royce.
And the irony of this thousand-word-plus story is that Cosmos Maduka never went back to school.