While Obi Okolo is trained as an attorney and holds multiple licenses, her passion is in the health care industry.
Mobility equipment services weren’t on Okolo’s radar until she started researching the ways to make her dad’s life easier, as he was recovering from hip replacement surgery.
“My research led me to the mobility space, where I found that there was a potentially large and relatively underserved market for mobility equipment, given the nation’s aging and disabled population,” said Okolo, president of Mobility City of Omaha.
In fact, in its forecast (2023 to 2030) for the “durable medical equipment market,” Grand View Research reports that the now $59.7 billion global industry is poised to grow at a rate of 5.7% (compound annual growth rate) over the next seven years.
Researchers have attributed this growth to “rising product demand due to the growing geriatric population that is susceptible to various chronic disease, such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVDs), neurological disorders, and mobility disorders.”
Furthermore, when asked about what was so appealing about Mobility City, which officially launched in early December, Okolo noted that she is happiest when “helping people, without having to fight or argue with my legal colleagues.”
In fact, Okolo said she has rarely practiced law in the past couple of years and gained rather considerable traction in the entrepreneurial space.
“I most recently operated a commercial cleaning company, which I grew into a million-dollar gross revenue-producing enterprise within a five-year period,” Okolo added. “This was also my first foray into entrepreneurship, and the knowledge I acquired from that venture will likely serve me well in this new business.”
The ability to manage people and solve unstructured problems, Okolo further explained, is one she finds “useful, whether as an attorney or an entrepreneur — no matter the industry.”
In fact, the cleaning company’s clients included Tyson Foods, Douglas County and the Pottawattamie County Courthouse in Council Bluffs.
A Noble Mission
The community is responding well, according to Okolo, to the local provider of service, repair, rental and sales of “mobility-enhancing products” such as wheelchairs, scooters, lift chairs and ramps.
“The people that have visited us at the store have been very welcoming and are quite happy to have us there,” she stated. “We have met all our forecasted sales and employee hiring growth targets, and we hope that this trend continues.”
When asked about the factors influencing such early traction, Okolo referred to her authentic passion and interest in helping others and giving her clients/customers a “measure of relief” by the time they leave the store, located at 4032 North 132nd St.
“We aim to develop personal relationships with all our potential and actual clients,” she said. “The old adage that ‘people do business with people that they like’ is one that rings true for us.”
As it relates to relationships/partnerships, Okolo further noted how at the start Mobility City reached out to all of the assisted living communities within the broader community.
At the time of this writing, Mobility City of Omaha was also developing a plan to provide those communities with “sanitization days,” which involve Okolo’s team going into the community performing minor fixes, as well as sanitizing wheelchairs.
“Short term, our goal is to make our name synonymous with mobility products and services in the community,” Okolo said. “Long term, our goal is to raise local awareness about the challenges and concerns of our mobility-constrained community members, and to be the unquestioned champion for addressing those concerns.”
In the same vein, Okolo reinforced how mobility for seniors and those individuals with mobility challenges is “such an overlooked area.”
“… and we intend to highlight this issue, while also working very hard to solve problems for our clients in the community,” she said.
Pivoting back to a key differentiator: “Service and kindness are our ‘watchwords’ as we build this great addition to the Omaha-area business and service industry.”
Beyond Mere ‘Business’
Back in late November, the Midlands African Chamber announced the Dec. 5 ribbon cutting and grand opening for Okolo’s business. The Midlands African Chamber was formed in 2020 to give African and African American businesses opportunities for growth. Okolo noted the chamber was an organization near and dear to her heart.
The chamber’s support, coupled with her drive to help those in need of mobility equipment, has given the company a strong purpose.
“For us, mobility is not just a business; we are aware of how our services and products can make such a big difference in the lives of our clients,” she said.
As noted in the announcement, Okolo’s new venture is bringing “freedom and independence to the elderly and disabled in the local area.”
Furthermore, according to Mobility City information, the organization is backed by around four decades of home medical equipment experience. And, while the Omaha location serves the metro and surrounding areas such as Bellevue, Fremont, Millard, Bennington, La Vista, Papillion, Elkhorn, and Council Bluffs, the company also boasts some 30 locations across the U.S. – from Washington and California to Texas and Michigan, to Maryland, South Carolina and Florida.
531-204-2225 • 4032 N. 132nd Street, Omaha 68164