For turning Oando into a global brand and creating wealth that has impacted scores of businesses and thousands of lives, Wale Tinubu is LEADERSHIP Business Person of the Year 2014.
Forbes Africa magazine described the Chief Executive Officer of Oando plc, Mr Wale Tinubu, as “the Nigerian Oil Baron Buying up America”.
His successful spearheading of the Conoco-Phillips deal marked him out as one of a kind in the corporate world. Oando, which he heads, started 20 years ago with no money and today are probably an enterprise of $3.5 to $4 billion. By the time it completed its last acquisition, Oando has a valuation of USD $6 billion with zero equity. Explaining the success of his enterprise, the oil chief said he had relied essentially on the minds and intellectual prowess of his workforce. However, Wale believes that it is one thing to have an idea, or a team that can execute it and it’s another thing to raise the capital for it and noted that most of the time, the capital for business in Nigeria is unconventional and said that his first loan was at 10 per cent per month in interest and paid back at 120 per cent a year. Wale is excited by the rise of the indigenous entrepreneur who enable capital to flow into the continent and effectively bridge the economic gap by pulling in global sources, technology and knowledge. He attributes the success of Oando to the emphasis on people who are not only intellectually superior but people who have a curiosity and aspiration to understand how things are doing in other markets.
In particular, having a “first world” mentality helps in the process of implementing and executing on things and in a manner that you can extract a valuable return. More importantly, he not only works hard but also works smart and has been able to attract to his organisation the super smart, people with a certain intellectual capacity, who are able to deal with problems and challenges. “In my experience, I found that the only way you are going to get someone to lead is if they are very knowledgeable in their area of expertise, they are confident and they have a sense of right and wrong.” That is our Business Person of the Year.
Wale Tinubu started his career with the family law firm, K. O. Tinubu and Co, where he was responsible for corporate and petroleum law. In 1994, he partnered to found Ocean and Oil Limited, an indigenous oil company, to supply and trade petroleum products globally. He also co-founded Oando PLC, and guided its strategic development leading to the acquisition of Unipetrol during the Federal Government of Nigeria’s privatisation exercise in 2001.
Beginning of Acquisition:
In 2002, Tinubu led the largest ever acquisition of a quoted Nigerian company, with the acquisition of Agip by Unipetrol through an international bid conducted by Agip Petroli International B.V. In 2003, he oversaw the merger of Unipetrol and Agip Nigeria to birth Oando.
Oando Heads for the Skies:
Oando is the first African company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of more than three billion South African Rand. This is considered to be the biggest single listing since telecommunications giant Telkom came to the South African market a few years ago. Oando also became the first Nigerian company to achieve a cross-border listing.
Wale Tinubu is widely recognised for his role in the successful transformation of Oando from a petroleum marketing company to an integrated energy group, adding international supply & trading, gas & power, energy services and exploration and production. Presently, Oando PLC has investments across the energy value chain, and is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s foremost indigenous integrated energy solutions group providing employment to over 15,000 direct and indirect employees.