Nigeria’s Top 10 CEOs of the year, 2019 – Umar Abdullahi
Founder/CEO, Cosgrove Investment Ltd
Mr. Umar Abdullahi, Founder/CEO, Cosgrove Investment Ltd, parades a unique set of technical and business expertise that powers designing, developing and delivering offices, homes and entire gated communities together with the infrastructure that enable smart living. He runs with a vision to bridge the gap in Nigerian and pan African housing deficit to unlock the value creating doors for all stakeholders.
He is focused on bringing his company’s dream into reality – to be a dominant player in the Nigerian real estate market. He has got his core target of providing tailored housing and investment opportunities broken down into market segments. These are first time home buyers, cooperative societies, governments, organizations as well as indigenous and multinational corporations.
At Cosgrove, Mr. Abdullahi is at the vanguard of integrating technology into the real estate value chain. Cosgrove smart estates leverage on state-of-the-art AI platforms to provide top notch security and living experiences for home owners. As a standard, Cosgrove homeowners can enjoy varied automation, energy and lifestyle benefits inherit in the estate facilities; not limited to automated number plate recognition, motion detection, family recreational area, commercial hub and more.
Real estate development is one sector in the economy where private sector investments have both complemented and extended government’s effort in meeting the huge housing needs of the people. Mr. Abdullahi is an outstanding contributor in tackling this great national task.
His company is reputed for creating family friendly communities with ambience of luxury and style that fit the needs of the market. With that, Cosgrove has become a veritable meeting point for high returns seeking investors and home owners. The company goes all the way from turning virgin parcels of land into fully developed and well managed facilities.
Cosgrove follows a strategy that enables it to take a bet on the quality of its construction and development works. It takes full control of the entire materials supply chain, which apart from ensuring high quality standard also reduces cost.
The company is therefore able to meet the needs of clients satisfactorily from general to specific needs, inclusive of high-quality scalable infrastructure for both private and public projects. It undertakes turnkey development services that meet specific needs – from private residential quarters for top-tier clients to commercial projects for investment purposes.
Mr. Abdullahi is a banker turned real estate developer, though even in banking, his job was managing real estate project portfolios and investments in the construction industry. It was a job that revealed to him the soul of real estate development and management and he did fall in love with it.
He could appreciate the opportunities in various segments of the market – commercial real estate and residential estate development, luxury and affordable sections of the industry. The step he needed to take from there was to add innovation.
Ten years in banking appears to have paid off for him more by the experience than by money. In 2010, he changed course from banking to become the pioneer managing director of Brains & Hammers, a star-brand real estate and infrastructure development company. For close to eight years, Abdullahi translated his knowledge and experience from banking into reality at Brains & Hammers.
He midwifed the building of a number of residential estates in the federal capital territory including estates I II and III in Apo District, Life Camp Estate, Galadimawa Estate and Gwarimpa Estate. The construction of Kano Economic City – a N167 billion joint venture project between Brains & Hammers and the Kano State government was accomplished under his management.
From Brains & Hammers, Mr. Abdullahi proceeded to set up Cosgrove, which he described as “my own brainchild real estate organization with a passion for distinction via innovation and professionalism”. Here, he has combined his immense experience in the real estate and construction industry with selected outstanding professionals to build the Cosgrove team.
It is a team of local and international experts whom he said have what it takes to create innovation and to improve innovation. “We are very particular about innovation because the team that leads a sector must be abreast of innovations and advancements in the sector”, he said.
The local and international expertise is onboard Cosgrove for a purpose, which Mr. Abdullahi said is to develop a culture of professionalism that delivers innovation and transfers technological advancements to Nigeria’s real estate and construction industry. He is practically doing just that and thereby making outstanding contributions in addressing the housing supply needs in Nigeria’s federal capital territory.
His first-class smart estate development projects began with Wuye Cosgrove Smart Estate in 2018, which consists of over 160 smart homes. It sold out in three months because they are signature homes that showcased the latest designs and advancements in housing technology, according to Mr. Abdullahi. He embarked on a second project in Mabushi close to Blucabana Restaurant which he said sold out even before the land was cleared. A third project at Guzape has also been sold out, he said.
His company has commenced the fourth estate project in Katampe by Ministers’ Hill Maitama consisting of 1,124 houses (Phase 1 consisting of 376 units sold out, Phase 2 consisting of 748 units – now being offered to the public) – all giving Mr. Abdullahi a sense of fulfillment for providing a rapidly growing number of villas to those who want to live in homes of a great kind. He has a think-tank research and development unit that is yet rolling out several future projects with continuous innovation.
Mr. Abdullahi has delivered more than 10 estates in about a decade in the real estate industry. In about a year at Cosgrove, he has sold about 700 homes. The impact of these investments in addressing the housing needs at the federal capital territory is immense.For these worthy contributions in real estate and infrastructure development, Abdullahi Umar is named one ofThe Top10 Magazine’s top 10 CEOs of the year, 2019.