Her passion to be distinct and self-employed led Susan Asakpa to venture into the cab business. And though women have started emulating men in the area of commercial transportation, Susan Asakpa, a young university graduate in Abuja, is determined to take the venture a notch higher, by building a reputable organisation out of her cab business solely for other women that may be interested in her line of business. She is also hoping that it outlives her.
The graduate of accountancy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is no stranger to business. While observing the compulsory one-year National Youth Service in Taraba, she was into food business on the side, providing lunch packs for civil servants.
Going down memory lane, she says: “I have really never been the kind that favours employment, though I always had this mindset of graduating and getting a job in the background. So, I started out with a banking job as a marketer, from where I moved to a hotel job as a manager. It was after spending almost three years, coupled with the low income that triggered my desire to go into driving.
“My father took a loan of N720, 000 from his friend with a promise that I will pay up in February this year. At the end of that month, I was able to pay N500, 000. So I still owe N220, 000.”
And though Susan says she feels fulfilled driving a taxi, she always have some misgiving when people tell her she shouldn’t have bothered going to school, if she had to end up in this line of business.
“But I believe that education is important in whatever one does, it makes a difference. I love what I do presently and I intend building it into an empire. The plan I have for the business is such that women running cabs won’t do it from 5:30am in the morning till 6pm like I am currently doing. There will be shifts with each lady taking the car for six hours and returning it at the end of six hours. And so, nobody gets overworked, but then I know when I am married and I have a family, I might not be able to put as much hours. I don’t think that even if I slow down, it would affect the business negatively; it will still grow,” she says.