- Paul Orajiaka, a Nigerian businessman, has succeeded greatly as he thrived in toy trading that he went into as a side hustle
- The man's entrepreneurial spirit was heavily influenced by his background when he would have to sell his crafts to buy playthings for himself
- With a good eye for opportunities, the man was able to break the glass ceiling in Lagos and became a self-made millionaire at a very young age
The story of Paul Orajiaka is a perfect example that Nigerian youths have great entrepreneurial spirits that could turn the least sought-after thing into an empire.
The CEO of four-story Auldon Toys building, Paul has his business situated in one of the busiest places in Lagos state, the nation’s economic valve.
He never had it easy as Paul had to start from a very humble place. He began his toy selling business at the young age of 18.
At that age, he would buy from a big local trader and resell it to Park ‘n’ Shop just for a very tiny profit. It is interesting to note that he was doing that as a side hustle to his day job, How We Made IT In Africa reports.
“I am passionate about toys because I didn’t grow up with them. My dad had a strict worldview of work over play, so he brought us up working in his craft shop to learn how to make wood carvings rather than letting us play with mates,” he said.
Paul said growing up, he never had the luxury of getting toys from his parents like most children his age. The young man had to use proceeds from his craftwork to give himself that infantile luxury.
After a failed attempt to travel to the US to study, the Nigerian man started helping his brother-in-law in his importing business in Lagos.
However, his can-do spirit made him observe that Park ‘n’ Shop supermarket was lacking in toys, so he went into a deal to become their supplier.
He did not only succeed as a toy supplier, but he became a millionaire at the exact age he wanted to, even surpassing his own set-out goal.
“I wanted to be a (naira) millionaire by the time I was 21. I beat my own target. I rolled up my sleeves and became a real market boy. I was making good money with two income streams by then - one being market traders and the other the supermarkets," he said.
Paul was soon able to cut middleman-ship in his line of business as he travelled to Dubai himself to secure a business deal with a toy-making company.
The Nigerian man later launched a toy model called the Unite Girl Doll, which really succeeded and saw people knocking on his doors for more.
“We not only created a relevant, value-added product, we also created employment. There is a strong social component in this product that now drives the business model,” he said.
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