- Billionaire Businessman, JIMOH IBRAHIM
Right now in Dubai, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, the Group MD of Energy Group is one of the Nigerian businessmen playing big in that country. He now has a big investment office there and a beautiful house where he lives. He also has an Investment office in Hongkong and he has his eyes on China.
The 2 Masters Programmes he recently completed at Oxford and Cambridge opened his eyes to the vast opportunities in the Middle East and Asian markets and he has shifted his investments there, while maintaining only a few of his investments here. Jimoh Ibrahim, who has LLM (Harvard), Ms.C (Oxford) and MBA (Cambridge) degrees, believes it is time for Nigerian entrepreneurs to globalrise their businesses. He is of the opinion that if businessmen from other countries could come into Nigeria to invest, why can’t Nigerian businessmen move into other countries to invest also.
Hence, his decision to open a big office in Dubai where he has a huge property portfolio. Unknown to many, he has been silently investing in Dubai over the last 10 years. He also has investments in Hongkong and he is set to invest in the Chinese market.
In the next 2 weeks, he will be flying about 100 of his Managers to Dubai for his 6th Group Managing Director Conference for Managers in his Energy Group of Companies. The conference will run from Nov. 15th to the 20th, 2017.
The Theme of the conference is Leadership, Institutional Void, and Non-Market Threats: What Strategy for Enterprise Sustainable Development? Why take his Managers to Dubai? “It is to keep them abreast of global developments and the need to discuss global trends,” he revealed.
Our Group Office is now in full operation and we have obtained all licences and approvals from the Government of United Arab Emirates in Middle Asia. This is a giant step in the development of our corporation”.
“l have also successfully completed the 2 degrees of Master of Science, (Major Programme Management) of the University of Oxford and Master of Business Administration, (MBA) of the University of Cambridge. This is in addition to my Masters of Laws combined with International Tax Law of the Harvard University few years back. He has also started work on his doctorate degree.
My dissertation in the MSc Degree of the University of Oxford is focusing on What Leadership Style that will deliver Enterprise success: Dominant or Collaborative?”
“The Thesis has made a novel contribution to literature by instigating a new discovery to the phenomenon of the subject of Leadership. For instance, the thesis has come to say that having examined the Taxonomies and traits of todays leaders, it will not be right to say that either of the leadership style, dominant or collaborative will deliver Enterprise success. But the study has suggested for academic consideration a “third alternative behaviour approach”. I will echo some of the features in this new study at the conference.
As an on-going project, the thesis will now be converted to a book project aimed to be published by the Harvard University Press on the proposed title: The Anatomy of Leadership Praxis: A Reflection of Fantasy of Egoism in Nigeria”. The book project is expected to go to press in 2018 and the publisher will release the book to the public by mid next year”.
“I have noticed some of the challenges facing leadership in the operations of our various companies; relating largely to the capacity of managers to internalize the company assets. At present, we have approached the issue on a case-by-case basis and we have done a lot in a short time to resolve some of the convergence of complexities arising from Enterprise leadership dilemma. We have started to see good result of our intervention companies as some of the companies involved as showing signals of profitability within a short period of thirty days of our intervention. We will continue with my colleagues in the Head Office to put operational leadership in proper perspective in the remaining part of the year. The Leadership conference will show a picture of what is expected of our managers as a renewal of mandate and re-commitment in the years to come.”
“In 2018, major investments will focus on the need for improvement in Technology. It will be the foundation year of our companies in using technology to achieve corporate objectives.
Corporate Finance is expected to drive our major investments in 2018 and it is expected that the accounts and finance department will reinvigorate and prepare annual company accounts and payment of appropriate taxes on time and on schedule. This is an important area of focus in 2018.
On the issue of Training, we are proposing and currently in discussion with the University of Stanford on a special designed Executive Programme for the group in which case each company will nominate a minimum of 3 people whose new duty is to engage in Strategy and Innovation and they will be expected to be in Stanford along with the Training Director from the Group Office for a minimum of three weeks. Candidates nominated for this programme are expected to commence the process of obtaining their America Visa in November if they do not have one. The University of Stanford will provide supporting letter for visa application.”
On the situation of things in some of his companies in Nigeria, with suspended operations he revealed that they are coming back. In the wake of challenges of the Nigeria economy and key performance indicators. The National Mirror and Newswatch suspended their operations early in the year. Efforts are now being made to return the 2 companies to operation. The good news is that the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos awarded the ownership of Newswatch to our group.”
“This victory further reinforces our commitment to the Media Group”.
“We can only record success of the Media Group if and when we challenge our colleagues and equip them with knowledge of Strategy and Innovation. The state of the two Newspapers is our next commitment at the Group Office in the on-going review and must return to stand before the year ends. In the case of Global Fleet Industry, efforts are at the top level in employing someone from Pakistan to run the industry.
“My taking our Managers to Dubai is to discuss “Leadership and the challenges of Non-Market threats” the agenda of our meeting will be in 2 folds. On the first day of the 3 days, we shall be discussing effective Leadership that is required to deliver success. The focus will be more on the issue of corporate diplomacy required to navigate non-market challenges. What are you to do as a leader? What leadership qualities? What reflections on leadership taxonomies and traits are required? What is the spectrum like and what likely scenario for tomorrow?
The 2nd and 3rd day will focus on the strategies of non-market threats and this will be discussed in details. We shall be discussing Strategy and Innovation on the second day and Non-market threats on the third day.”
The impacts of the current events in public finance in Africa also raise some serious concern on the economic prosperity of those countries that have the continuous sharp drop in the KPls.
The above leads us to the questions, that given the difficult scenario confronting enterprise in operational terms in these countries of Africa such as: Nigeria, Ghana, or Sao Tome, could it be said that corporations will achieve their sustainable profitability objectives without providing alternative to the state of the infrastructure development which are necessary for growth and sustainable development?
In the real term practical situation, we are confronted with uncertainty of regulations, multiple taxes and growing concern for local circumstances issues which are now beyond the manager’s capacity to navigate considering the challenges arising from non-market threats this has resulted in many international corporations making a return to their home countries. Operational costs are rising far ahead of revenue? How will the managers respond to the challenges of non-market threats?”
“Preliminary investigation shows that companies are failing fast in developing countries as a result of the overwhelming nature of non-market threats. It appears that beyond the traditional roles of providing the market strategies for sustainability, an expanding role for managers is evolving. The need to get new education around the impact of Non-Market threats and sustainable strategy is imperative. In the communications industry for instance, the balance sheet of one of the major players stood at a deficit that eroded shareholders fund For instance company Total asset stood at 10 billion dollars, while loans to banks amounted to 12.6 billion dollars! How long do you think that company can exist? The associated problems in the case cited above are far from company inability to response to competitors, mode of business entry, strategy of sales, or inappropriate human resources but the rising cost associated with tariffs, rising cost of corporate diplomacy, regulations, paying cost of providing alternative to government infrastructures, rising cost expended on institutional void, inflation and devaluation.
When I was thinking of what is appropriate to discuss at this year’s conference, I could not think of any other worries that can go beyond such a dominant ‘hurricane’ that is growing beside our corporate strategy called non-market threats. It is important to discuss such trends and clearly formulate strategies to navigate the challenges it will likely create.”
“While we prepare for the challenges of non-market issues, there are no clear indications that we are also done with the market threats in our strategic formation. New developments are coming out almost on daily basis and it is gradually getting to a situation where sustainable strategy can only be guaranteed by meeting the desires of the customer for dominant products development that regularly interface with innovation.”
Like a chameleon, market is changing and unsettled. No one seems to know what is going to happen next in the market of any product in couples of weeks, to some technology defines the market; others say it is still the elementary demand and supply! What is your associated view and why?
Managers are creating not much value in their daily market analysis, which is a matter of routine. If we cannot create market for our products, how can profit and company sustainability be assured?
Again, organisational capabilities challenges will re-echo in this year’s conference.
It does not look like until we get involved in global business expansions or at the center of it, that we begin to experience the impact of non-market challenges. The requirements of business sustainability are demanding and the growing concern is now above the knowledge of the creating effective strategy for business competition. We need the knowledge of how to engage the non-market threats.
The challenges of leadership come to play in remapping our way out of non-market threats. Issues to resolve include what leadership taxonomies and traits? What reflection on the 360%? What level of trust? What impact do leaders make on their colleagues and peers?
What leadership behavior: dominance or collaborative that will ensure performance efficiency much sought after in enterprise management?
The outcome of the convergence of complexities around appropriate leadership praxis will be engaged for a whole day at the conference.
On daily basis, our concern in our management meetings includes how to get market shares, brands improvement, effective location retail analysis, staff welfare, submission of account to regulators on time, vertical integration, supply chains, capitalisation, target and performance measurement, strategic alignments, the profit center and support business units, profit and return of dividends to shareholders and many more. We are almost becoming experts in matters relating to market and non-market threats. Again, our concern for the market and everyday market analysis, are the issues of organisational capabilities and organisations are to create reputation.
New development of market analysis shows that change in the old pattern of market and product legitimacy for instance, new development shows that technology creates new economic relationship; market is about claiming, demarcating and controlling boundaries for your products, while organisational capability is more about innovation.
To lead the discussion will be Professor Paul Chapman of the said Business School, University of Oxford and Jimoh Ibrahim himself. Former AG and Minister of Justice, Michael Andoakaa (SAN) will assit Paul Chapman. Another facilitator is Shama Maqbool, Group GM of Energy Group based at the Headoffice. She has 2 masters degree. She will be facilitating the session on Market and Non-Market Strategies. Chief Bolaji Ayorinade (SAN) will also be delivering a paper on Law as an instrument of Navigating Strategies Non-Market Threats.