Getting to know you: Chris Nkwonta

What do you currently do?

I am the founder and Managing Director of VROOMO. VROOMO replaces the used car salesman and the used car lot with a platform that connects buyers and sellers in a 21st century way. No haggling, no trips to the dealer or costly multiple trips to sellers homes, no expensive surprises – and no commission to the guy with the nice suit; which means a better price for everyone.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

It was a very personal experience which saw the birth of VROOMO. Having spent considerable time, energy and money travelling to different dealerships looking for the perfect car, I was shocked to discover that the car I eventually purchased had a serious oil consumption issue which the dealership was aware of. No compensation, no apologies and no refund.

Although I had been stung, I was well aware that there was no way in which I could be the only one and as such VROOMO was placed in the pipeline. I knew there had to be a better way to reduce the level of information asymmetry that plagued the used car market whilst increasing the level of convenience on the car buying experience. 

Who do you admire?

I admire the movers and the shakers disrupting industries through innovation and sustainable technology. Businesses and individuals that make a real difference to people’s lives who are able to marry purpose with profit are rare and that’s who act as my inspiration.

Things you would have done differently?

I’m not a person who tends to dwell on things and as such don’t have any regrets per se. I think the worst decision people can make is not to make a decision. Being paralysed by fear of failure is unhealthy. Nobody can make the right call all the time but all you can do is come to the best solution based on the information you have – and of course learn from any mistakes you do make along the way! 

What defines your way of business?

We try to be proactive in our approach, identifying potential roadblocks miles ahead and even when we think we have got the job done perfectly we critique our methodology and listen to valuable feedback from our customers. Our customers are the heartbeat of our business and it is vital that we listen to them and making sure they have a positive experience as making sure VROOMO is at the front of people’s minds when thinking about buying or selling a car.

What advice will you give to someone who is just starting out?

If you’re just starting out: never make assumptions. I know from experience how easy it is to get excited about an idea and thinking too big and planning too far ahead, stay grounded! 

Make you sure you listen to the experts, validate your idea as early as possible with potential customers. You hire people for a reason, so take on board their opinions as it will save you time and also help you to develop your understanding alongside them.