Oba Ayoola Otudeko is chairman of Honeywell Group of companies – a conglomerate operating in a number of sectors and industries in Nigeria and overseas. He has also led the board of FBN Holdings Plc, Nigeria’s largest banking institution. He is in himself a conglomerate of knowledge and expertise in a long list of businesses – oil/gas and power, telecommunications, foods/agro-allied, engineering, shipping, real estate, hospitality and financial services.
There is even a longer list of companies where he has large portfolio investments. Consequently, Otudeko has the longest list of companies he sits on their boards either as chairman or a director, including companies in the United Kingdom. He adds new names to that long list almost every year.
The ability to understand each of the business he provides leadership and successfully direct it to realize the corporate purpose isn’t gifted to many people. When it comes to the number of companies successfully established and run, Otudeko takes a clear lead. The man can as well be named the biggest shareholder in Nigeria’s business space with a wide investment basket spread across scores of companies. Shareholders are people who define a mission to increase their wealth and simply set men cracking daily to accomplish it. You are happy that they have given you a job; they celebrate that you have accepted to be paid a fraction of the value you create on the job.
If data is to be available, it is very likely that Otudeko has one of the largest numbers of people across sectors and industries in Nigeria and beyond working to grow his wealth. The wealth being created in every front is no doubt flowing to him from his huge investment net worth. He is one of Africa’s richest men by Forbe’s ranking.
Otudeko inherited the spirit of entrepreneurship from his family’s fledging trading business in the 1970s. His late mother’s trading business flourished between the northern and southern Nigeria and extended to other West African countries. The incorporation of Honeywell Enterprises Ltd in 1972 was a move to formalize the family business. The company soon expanded to become a major importer of consumer goods and building materials in the 1970s.
Otudeko went to school to reinforce the entrepreneurial spirit in the family veins. He studied accountancy at Leeds College of Commerce in the United Kingdom and equipped himself further with professional qualifications in banking and administration.
Out of the trading business in the 1970s, Otudeko has created a corporate empire. Honeywell group is presently a highly diversified conglomerate of large entities operating across all the key sectors of the economy.