MARIO RADOSAVLJEVIC IS THE LORD OF THE RIMS.

mario-radosavljevic
Meet Mario Radosavljevic, a Serial Entrepreneur

HOW DID LOMA WHEELS BECOME A GLOBAL  PLAYER WITHIN A DECADE? 

A new animal is in town; when we say animal, we mean  it in the most pleasing way possible. That’s what this  Serial Entrepreneur is called by friends and his  competition. An excentric workaholic that has the ability  to run multiple businesses at the same time. 25, to be  exact. 

One of his babies, as he is calling the company, is  LOMA Wheels. A company that has been creating alloy  wheels since 2008 and is now one of the three most  known aftermarket custom wheels manufacturers  worldwide. By searching on the internet, we found that  pre-owned forged alloy wheels from LOMA are on sale  for an incredible amount of over $30,000 per set for a  Ferrari LaFerrari! This price was not posted by LOMA  Wheels but by its resellers. 

Of course, we wanted to know what and who is behind  this custom wheels brand that opened its doors in Dubai  in 2022. 

When you visit their website at www.lomawheels.com,  you will quickly recognize that their products are for  Ferrari, Rolls Royce, and Co., not really for the working  class. On average, their custom alloy wheels are going  for over $8,000 per set over the table. 

What is so astonishing is that Mario Radosavljevic started this company with only 50 bucks in his pocket.  After being a successful football player in the 90s, he  lost all his wealth. He fell into a deep depression after losing his mother to Cancer. It went so far that this guy  was homeless and slept for over six months on the  streets of Germany. But if you think that’s horrible, wait  until you hear this. 

He was living with his dogs and didn’t want to give them  away, but because he did not have money to buy for  them and for him food, he bought dog food in cans and  shared it 50/50 with his dogs. Yes, you read right. He ate dog food for over 6 months! 

No wonder we wanted to talk with him about this and ask him how he made it from being Homeless to this incredibly wealthy life in Dubai. 

The Emirate Times: 

We already had the pleasure of interviewing you on  some other topics, and our readers seem to like what  you have to say. The click-through numbers don’t lie. We came across this incredible story from one of your  business partners, and we couldn’t resist asking you, how did all of that happen? 

Mario Radosavljevic: 

First of all, thank you for having me, and secondly, my business partners are obviously talking too much  (laughter). Well, how did all of this happen? Life is writing crazy stories, and sometimes they are not very nice.

The Emirate Times:

This is for sure true for all of us, but we have been told  that you were an excellent football player, so we  assume you have made a lot of money. So how did it  happen that you became homeless? 

Mario Radosavljevic: 

I was very unhappy with my life because I did not  understand back in the day what my purpose in life was.  After watching my mother die for 1,5 years of Cancer, I  fell into a deep hole and could not find the way out of it.  You would be amazed how quick your life goes down if  you don’t see a way out. 

The Emirate Times: 

We have been told that you ate dog food from canes  and shared it with your dogs for over six months. Is that  really true? 

Mario Radosavljevic: 

(Laughing) Yes, that is really true. 

The Emirate Times: 

But why? We were talking in our office about it, and  nobody can wrap his mind around it to understand why  you ate dog food instead of regular food for humans. 

Mario Radosavljevic:

That’s easy to explain. I had to make a decision. Giving  my dogs away or sharing their food. It was not their fault  to be in this situation to live and sleep on the streets. It  was my weakness and stupidity that created this  situation. So how could I possibly believe that God will  not kill me straight on the spot if I allow a living creature  to suffer because of me? 

Saying that, it was clear what I had to do, and it  changed everything. 

The Emirate Times: 

It changed everything? What do you mean by that? 

Mario Radosavljevic: 

It showed me that I am willing to do what it takes to  master my current situation. And so one day, I woke up  half frozen as concrete can be cold, and my brain fog  disappeared, and for the first time, I had a clear vision of  what I would stop doing. 

I will stop being sorry for myself. I will stop seeing myself  as a victim. I will start taking responsibility and sacrifice  everything to return to normal life. So I asked my sister if  she could help me with 500 bucks to create a new life.  Well, you can imagine her face by hearing that you start  a new life with 500 Euros in your pocket, but she gave it  to me. 

The Emirate Times: 

So you had your family in the same City but did not ask them for help? 

Mario Radosavljevic: 

Yes, I was simply too proud, and I blamed them for the  whole situation instead of blaming myself. 

The Emirate Times: 

Before we ask you about what happened next, our team  is dying to hear how dog food tastes (laughter). 

Mario Radosavljevic: 

Let’s put it this way. There will never be a Drive-in where  you can order it. It is disgusting, and you have a terrible  breath from your mouth for days. Besides that, this was  the smallest problem. My biggest problem was that this  food was not made for humans. So the digestion does  not really work and causes a lot of stomach pain, and  what comes out on the backend can be described as  rocket fuel (laughter). 

The Emirate Times: 

OMG! So how did it come to the point that you started an alloy wheels company? 

Mario Radosavljevic: 

Well, I said to myself, let’s do something that will be fun,  and I can make money with it.

The Emirate Times: 

Was it fun? 

Mario Radosavljevic: 

Hell No! At least not in the beginning. Banks didn’t want  to talk with me, not to speak about any loans or similar. I  started with a private label with factories that I found,  and with the first custom wheels under my arm, I started  polishing some door handles. 

I drove up to 1000 kilometers per day, visiting hundreds  of companies per month all over Europe, asking if  anyone wanted to work with me and sell my brand  LOMA

Most of them kicked me out in a friendly way, but still. 

The Emirate Times: 

But how did you finance all of this? 

Mario Radosavljevic: 

You don’t want to know that (laughter). I recognized  quickly that walking into car dealerships would not work,  so I tried another strategy and created my first website.  Back in 2008, which is not that long ago, online  shopping was still in the very beginning, and selling alloy  wheels online was more of a science fiction idea than a  reality. People wanted to see how custom wheels look in  real life, not in pictures. 

While more and more websites were popping up, 

customers slowly started understanding that online  shopping is the future instead of driving through half of  the country to see a product. 

The Emirate Times: 

But how did it become such a success? To our  information, you are selling around 12,000 alloy wheels  per year. 

Mario Radosavljevic: 

mario-radosavljevic

That was true before the pandemic hit us that hard. Now  it’s a bit less but still a considerable amount of alloy  wheels we sell. 

The significant change came in 2009 at the Motorshow  in Germany. I was able to get a pre-owned C6 Corvette  and modified it heavily. With 20 bucks in my pocket, I  attempted the Essen Motorshow at a booth I shared with  5 other companies. So for all of us it was clear it would be a disaster. Nobody can present his product alone and  with enough space so that the total picture to the  customer looks better. 

The Emirate Times: 

And there you sold the car? 

Mario Radosavljevic: 

mario-radosavljevic
Mario Radosavljevic

My idea was to create a Limited Edition Corvette that  would be sold for 250.000 Euros ($300,000 back in the  day) which was an obscene price for such a car. But I

said they were tuned Porsche, Mercedes, and other  luxury cars for that price, so why not try it with a  Corvette. 

Once I realized that only eBay sellers with cheap plastic  helicopters and similar stuff were around our booth, my  chances of finding a customer were below zero. 

The Emirate Times: 

So what happened? 

Mario Radosavljevic: 

It happened that my hidden marketing talent changed the game forever, not only for me but for the whole industry. I gave my creation the name C6.BlackforceOne, as I wanted it to sound a bit like the  Airforce One, and the car was painted with the original  paint of the EuroFighter. 

Germany’s biggest newspaper, called the “Bild Zeitung,”  with over 60 Million copies daily, had 3 headliners one  day before the opening of the Motorshow.  

Angelika Merkel, the Swine Flue, and my car were on  the front page and have been exposed to over 60 Million  Germans. Only one headliner on the front page, “The  Prince of Darkness is coming to the Essen Motorshow,  “with a big picture of my car. 

This day the server broke down as we had over 40  Million clicks on the website in a single day, and  something amazing happened. The Managers of 

Kroymans Netherlands, which was Corvette Europe  back in the day, visited the booth and asked me to  become their “House Tuning Company” and gave me a  cheque of $250,000 to get started. They ordered all 25  cars, and the rest is history. 

The Emirate Times: 

Incredible. So you were a lucky guy these days. 

Mario Radosavljevic: 

Honestly, I don’t believe in being lucky. I believe in  looking for opportunities. I risked everything to be on this  show. This little bit of money I made, I invested in the  car and in the booth. With only 20 bucks on a 10-day  exhibition in your pocket to eat and drink was not that  much fun, if you know what I mean. 

I was risking everything and won. But staying in your  comfort zone will bring you nowhere, no matter how  much you believe in luck. 

The Emirate Times: 

So what advice would you give young entrepreneurs  and startups that are trying to become successful? 

Mario Radosavljevic: 

Be patient, take your time and trust the process. The  more you force it, the more it will become a disaster.  You need a bulletproof strategy because this way, you  will not make random decisions.

The Emirate Times: 

Thank you for your time.

Find Mario Radosavljevic on LinkedIn

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