Mike Adenuga Jnr. Is chairman of Conoil Plc, one of downstream petroleum marketing major in Nigeria. Downstream operation is an extension of his interest in crude oil exploration in which he led the way to entry of indigenous firms into an otherwise exclusive business of foreign oil companies.
The Ibadan born entrepreneur from Ijebu-Igbo has a high appetite for business risk. He is an explorer with unstoppable great zeal and determination to win. He takes on the tenacity of a weed to hang on to what he has purpose to do no matter how many times he fails, he is man confident In his course- proving that persistence is itself the key to unlock doors of opportunity.
Adenuga has a high sensitive nose for business, able to smell from afar where a big business in brewing. This explains his engagement in importation of car accessories and lace materials that became the consumer idols of the mid 1970s.
Business is entrenched in his family. His mother was a successful business woman in Ibadan form whom Adenuga expectedly drew a lot of his business acumen. His father owned a sawmill in addition to his teaching profession. He studied business administration and marketing in the university, which equipped him to take the innate business instinct to a new level.
A time came in the mid 1980s when banking business ruled the Nigerian economy and anyone able to secure a banking license and float a bank commanded great respect. Adenuga, who will never be missing in any big business breakout in the economy, floated two banks within a short space of time. Different opportunities were available in commercial and merchant banking businesses as at that time and Adenuga positioned to do exploits at both ends. With time, the opportunity he saw in banking dwindled and closed alongside regulatory change and reforms that have cut down the number of operators. However Adenuga has opened up large ticket businesses as opportunities unfolded elsewhere in the economy. This is typified by his ground breaking entry into the GSM market with his flagship company Global communication LTD.
The effort to secure the GSM licence suffered two frustrating setbacks that involved huge losses. That could have made less spirited entrepreneur give up. It took a man with a business heart made of steel and a loss absorbing bowel made of iron to press on until the licence eventually came. Adenuga’s outstanding corporate leadership lies in his tenacity to stick to his ideas through the economic and political tempest that easily shakes people out of their dreams. At the end of the turmoil, he reappears with the same zeal unruffled when he would have been expected to give up.
Adenuga’s business strategy to win a shielded market is exemplified by his entry into the GSM market. He employed price appeal to draw the attention of a market already shared by two operators. That made his company the fastest growing GSM network in Africa. The competitive force he brought into the market floored the cost of SIM cards as well as call charges bursting open the two areas his competitors were then ripping abnormal profit.