Asaba Group Holdings, Victor Edozien: The Prince of Steel
Nigeria-American businessman, Victor Edozien, has quietly built a $400m portfolio in the American automotive manufacturing industry. He towers elegantly as Nigeria’s image builder in the global community.
MANUFACTURING plants across the United States of America have faced steady close-downs as businessmen move their operations to Asia and Latin America to reduce cost and optimize profits. This has led to high unemployment and dislocation, leaving industrial centres such Detroit in ruins. If the situation is to be resolved however, it will be due to brave souls such as Nigerian American investor and business personality, Mr. Victor Edozien, whose string of plants are keeping thousands of people in jobs and last year returned a healthy $400million turnover. Edozien’s Asaba Holdings operates manufacturing, consulting and lifestyle businesses and has operations in five states in the US. Its portfolio companies include the AG Manufacturing Inc, which is an Electrical and electronics sub-assembly manufacturer for the automotive, marine and military defense industries; the SET Enterprises, which is a major provider of steel processing services to the automotive industry and the Asaba Group which offers strategy consultancy to the automotive industry and the US Air Force. The companies operate manufacturing plants in Michigan, Illinois, Alabama and Indiana. ‘We have a portfolio turnover of $400m last year and our goal is to reach $1billion by the end of the decade,’ Edozien told The Guardian at his office located on the 66th floor of the iconic Empire State building in New York. ‘The basics are there. We have over 700 highly motivated employees and our businesses are well run.’
It is hard not be infected by Edozien’s optimism about the ability of his businesses to continue its dizzying growth, after all the total portfolio turnover of the operation was a mere $1.2million in 2004. So, how has this man, who grew up in Nigeria been able to leverage his talents to build a successful business in the United States?
Edozien said: ‘What I do is seek competitive white space to invest in. I usually use my own money to do business, so I have independence in decision-making. But I also have a strong management team to run the various operations. I rely on them a lot. I just provide guidance and strategic visioning. The crucial question for us is always, is there opportunity for us to move in? Once this is clear, I take the decision to invest or not.’