• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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How Stanley Uzochukwu transformed Cosmas Maduka’s mentorship into a million-dollar empire with Stanel Group

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Stanley Uzochukwu, at 39 years old, is an outstanding example of Nigerian success, philanthropy, and entrepreneurship.

His rise from humble beginnings to leading a multibillion-naira enterprise, as chairman and CEO of Stanel Group, is evidence of the value of hard work, perseverance, and mentoring.
After his graduation with a Bachelor of Botany degree from the University of Jos, the young man decided to venture into entrepreneurship and started Stanel Oil in 2012, specialising at first in providing petroleum products to businesses.

In addition to his formal education, Uzochukwu’s learning was significantly shaped by mentorship and real-world experiences, gaining insights from industry heavyweights, like Tony Elumelu and Cosmas Maduka through mentorship was crucial to his journey.

In 2021, Cosmas Maduka, CEO of Coscharis Motors spoke during the ‘Access More With Stanel’ on how humility was the first attribute he recognised in their first encounter as the young man whom he knew nothing of back then came to his knees seeking words of prayer.
He had never encountered anything like that and soon enough this young stranger drew closer and he saw him as a friend. Soon after he invited Uzochukwu to Lagos to show him some of his establishments to humble him.

Giving him an insight into his business, he gave Uzochukwu the drive he required. Soon after Uzochukwu came to him, not in search of money but the right connection as the person who initially supplied him diesel had passed away and he needed a new partnership with First Bank. The Coscharis Boss saw this as an opportunity to make an impact in this young man’s life and took the opportunity.

He said, “The young man we are all here for or celebrating his impact on youth development today could be my fifth son if I had a child every two years. But I am going to tell you a story of how Stanley came to me.

“There was a day I went to the Villa and I saw this young man. This boy was just coming close to me. I paused and said to myself; who is this boy? Is he not a 419? I avoided him like a plague but he kept coming very close to me.

“Each time we meet, he would like to give me money. That act made me to be afraid of him. Why should this young man give me money?

“One day I was coming down from NICON Mega Hotel, Stanley saw me and knelt down before me and said, “Please Sir, just lay hand on me and say a word of prayer”. I told him, Stanley, get up let us go inside but he said no. He said, “Do it here”. I couldn’t help but to lay my hands on him and said, Lord, whatever virtue that is in me that this young man desires, grant it unto him.

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“All of a sudden, while I was laying hands on him, I felt his hand in my pocket. I grabbed his hand because I felt he wanted to steal my money! But behold, Stanley stocked fifty thousand naira (N50,000) in my pocket. As I entered my car going to the airport, my head was pilling, thinking; where is this boy coming from? Why should he give me money? I was thinking about all of these but it wasn’t long that a boy that is about my fifth son became my friend.

“Stanley walked himself up to me. He was not coming to me to take money. He was not disturbing me financially and I became his friend and started talking to him.

“One day, I invited him to Lagos. I took him round Lagos to show him a few of my investments to humble him. I took him to about eight or nine different corporations I have in Lagos. In the end, I said to him, when you go back, you will know that I am not a small man you should be giving money.

“One day, Stanley called me and said that he wanted my favour to introduce him to First Bank if the bank could do business with him. I then asked him if he had an account with the bank and he said yes I then asked him to send me his statement of account to see his inflow.

“He didn’t ask me for money. But when I saw his statement of account, I surprised him! I transferred 150 million naira to his account. I don’t need to introduce him to the bank. I told him to do whatever he wanted to do with the money and return it to me without interest but I warned him to be careful. There was no agreement between us but he faithfully returned the money in full at once after a year. We didn’t go to court. This was several years ago.
“We are not here to advertise Stanley but I feel very proud that he is a billionaire today and I share in his success because I impacted his life.”

Stanley Uzochukwu in one interview said, “The least thing you can get from a great man is money, one of the greatest things you can get from a big man is when they invest their credibility in you”

Investment in strategic sectors can be said to be one of Uzochukwu’s strong points. Over time, Stanel Group ultra-modern complex in Anambra State that houses a farmers’ market with standby home delivery cars, a French bakery, a pharmacy, an automated automobile maintenance centre, a car wash, a 1,000-capacity chapel, a warehouse, a supermarket, staff quarters, a laundry, a spa, and a mega-event centre was launched.

These coupled with Chicken Republic, Stanel Car Clinic, Stanel Fuel Station, Stanel Tyres, Stanel Engine Oil, and Stanel Gas Cylinders are just a few of the businesses that his company has founded over the years, giving thousands of Nigerians numerous job opportunities.

With chains of stores and multiple divisions operating under the same brand, Stanel Group is one company that is really evolving. Moving from oil and gas, to bakery, and then laundry, car repair, car wash, tire repair, event centre and so on.

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Last year, he diversified into the hospitality sector with the coming of the architectural masterpiece hotel situated in the heart of Victoria Island, Lagos, The Delborough Lagos Hotel. It was constructed by Kasso, a renowned company with a reputation as the biggest builders of façades in the world, Uzochukwu said the hotel has come to redefine luxury and hospitality. To show how efforts are being made to ensure the quality of this hotel, a 9-man board with top personalities like the Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe, Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal (Abisogun II, Oniru of Iruland), Mike A.A. Ozekhome, Usman Alkali Baba, Yemisi Suswam, Olajumoke Benson, Valentine Ozigbo, Matt Aikhionbare and Linus Idahosa was set up.

Uzochukwu has a vision of exporting hospitality from this part of the world to other parts.
He acknowledged that one of the challenges he has had is people challenge, that is having unemployable youths and creating more employment is one of the goals of the Stanel Group, Uzochukwu had said.

He then said, “In the journey of growth, you never run away from challenges”
Having invested over N10 billion in projects across Nigeria, in 2017, he won the Forbes 2017 African Achievers Award for his outstanding achievements in the areas of job creation, reaching out to widows, orphans, Internally Displaced Persons, Prison inmates and people with disabilities. In 2018, the Commonwealth University honoured him with Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Honoris Causa due to his excellence and commitment to the development of youths.

Uzochukwu is passionate about empowerment, which can be reflected in his corporate social responsibility initiatives. He partnered with Access Bank to do the ‘Access more with Stanel’, a programme that has proven to be successful in empowering young people through mentoring and training. There is also a widows’ programme that has empowered over 1500 widows across the states. The prison outreach where foodstuff and drugs are donated to inmates. He built a town hall in his community and a scholarship scheme was set up to enable young people to attain education. A board was set up to ensure that the system is sustained, medical outreach in various states and many more.
Uzochukwu cherishes family above all else, as shown by his marriage to Irene Tallen Uzochukwu and their four daughters.

He credits a combination of faith in God, perseverance, hard work, consistency, resilience, and a dedication to continuous improvement for the success and resiliency of Stanel Group.

Stanley Uzochukwu’s rise from a young businessman to the head of a multibillion-naira conglomerate is evidence of the transformational potential of hard work, dedication to social impact, and mentoring. He keeps uplifting and inspiring communities through Stanel Group, making a lasting impression on Nigerian business and society.

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