We catch up with Chris Nkwonta, founder of VROOMO, the online used car business that just launched in the UK.

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. As the business just launched in the UK, we talk to founder and serial entrepreneur Chris Nkwonta to find out more...

The biggest challenge is... More recently, I have come to see events and situations that I used to describe as problems or challenges as “opportunities” for action, for personal growth, and for positive change. I believe that choosing to believe a circumstance or situation is an opportunity, rather than a problem or a challenge has the potential, at least, to significantly influence the outcome I experience and this is the same mantra that is emulated throughout the VROOMO team.

The average day is spent... The typical VROOMO day consists of a team meeting in the morning where we set our targets for the day be it via the phone, emails or face to face. The rest of the day is usually spent implementing processes and procedures which look to make our customer experience as pleasant and easy as possible. Being in our infancy, investment is also huge for us, so along with our current Seedrs campaign, I am also busy organising and meeting VCs most days.

The team consists of... We have a team of eleven people at the moment but the three that are predominantly based in the office are our Solutions Architect & Lead Developer, Senior Developer and our Front-End Magician. We expect the size of the team to grow in line with VROOMO’s growth in the industry.

My favourite quote is… "Quant Je Puis" meaning ‘All that I Can’. This was embedded into me from my time at Stonyhurst College and has stuck with me in to the world of business.

I am where I am today because… Of the people around me. We have a great team behind what we are trying to achieve with VROOMO and we wouldn't be here without the hard work and dedication of all our staff, family and friends.

I am who I am because of… My family. They have been a constant source of support to me both personally and professionally. Perhaps, while other parents may have wanted me to ‘get a proper job’, mine were very encouraging when I outlined my plans and ambitions to start my own business. They always backed me to trust my instinct and take risks – so far it has been a good decision!

The best advice I've been given... Is appreciating and learning the skill of delegating. I used to be guilty of wanting to do everything and be hands on with all activity but you have to trust others to do their jobs. That is why I have hired such talented people which enable me to let them get on with what they do best and flourish in their roles.

In five years I'd like to be… Very much still leading the VROOMO charge! In 5 years we would like to have made a lot of progress as we continue to redefine the used car market place and buying experience in particular. To be a household name operating across multiples countries would be ideal and something we feel is achievable with our expertise and business model.

The thing no one ever tells you about running your own business online… The importance of hiring people more talented than you – a CEO cannot be the best and most knowledgeable when it comes to every area of the business. We have some incredible expertise at VROOMO and I am extremely grateful to have them on board. You cannot have too much of an ego as a founder and CEO and must empower others in the business who will have strengths in areas which you do not. That is really when you notice a business develop.

Our biggest mistake and what it taught us... From a personal perspective, I wish I’d have founded VROOMO earlier! Although I have learned a huge amount from my two previous businesses, operating a business with a clear purpose is where I feel most at home.

The most rewarding experience we've had to date... For me, reaching and exceeding our funding on Seedrs was hugely satisfying. I always believed we had a great platform and offering for customers but this really confirmed to me that many others were on board and believed in us as well. You can’t underestimate the feeling when your brainchild is validated by some of the most influential investors in the UK.

November 2015