Mike Adenuga, An entrepreneur with the nine lives
Success story: Mike Adenuga, An entrepreneur with the nine lives
Mike Adenuga has shown remarkable drive in managing the uncertainties of the marketplace by surviving succeeding and building a conglomerate. He runs Globacom, ETB and Conoil and he is listed on the Forbes list of billionaires as Nigeria’s 2nd richest man. He started off as a cab driver and went ahead to deliver great feats only daring men could pull.
Mike Adenuga was born on April 29, 1953 in Ibadan, Oyo State Nigeria. He hails from Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State. His father, Chief Mike Adenuga Senior was a school teacher and the mother, Chief Mrs. Onyindamola Adenuga was a successful businesswoman in Ibadan. It is argued that Mike was influenced by his late mother’s business acumen.
Also, Mike is unique on the billionaire’s business success stories as he wasn’t a dropout. But he graduated with a degree in business administration from Northwestern University, Alva, Oklahoma, and had an MBA, majoring in marketing from Pace University, New York, all in United States of America. He holds an honorary doctorate degree from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye Ogun State. While schooling in the United States of America, Mike Adenuga worked as a cab driver and security guard to pay his tuition fees.
It is told that he returned for USA and took over his Dad’s sawmill business while later he got into commodity trading. By age of 22, Mike proffer a solution to stolen stereos by importing them and also lace too which later made him his first millions.
With the government ‘s liberalization of the banking sector of 1980s, he obtained a banking license and incorporated his bank, Devcom Bank on June 9, 1989 and that was followed by acquisition of another banking license that same year which became known as Equatorial Trust Bank. They would subsequently merged together, retaining the name Equatorial Trust Bank.
He went into the oil and gas business and struck at the black gold in the 80s when he could have sold the license. Today he is a major player in that sector.
Then came GSM opportunity, he went for the license and entered into strategic partnership with Alcatel of Germany, that set the business on the upswing. This wasn’t to last long as the license was cancelled. He would have sucked but he had faith and made history.
With a massive sum of $285 million which he raised from Bank Paribas of Paris, he would loss the GSM license, along with the $20million application fee. But today Globacom is a huge success story, having been named as the fastest growing GSM network in Africa. It has won Thisday award in 2004 while Mr. Adenuga has been named African Entrepreneur of The Year at the maiden African Telecoms Awards (ATA) on August 15, 2007.
Keys to success
Follow your instinct, start small, dare the odds, take the risk, leverage strategic partnership with technical partners, never suck, courage and persistence wins.