Celebrating Mike Adenuga @ 65: Why He Is Called The Guru

Celebrating Mike Adenuga @ 65: Why He Is Called The Guru
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He is one of Africans richest by any stretch of imagination, and he is publicity-shy as he prefers to work himself to incredible extent by nurturing his empire to greater heights. We reckon on this occasion of his 65th birthday, the media, especially the print will be agog with congratulatory messages to celebrate this unique business crusader whose success has been resting on uncommon commitment, perseverance, doggedness, sacrifice, sagacity, maturity and foresightedness. However, he may just take the day as a day he should work, play squash, be in the gymnasium or at best, spend with his close friends.

+How Mike Adenuga Achieved The Status Of A Guru

There are many businessmen making waves in Nigeria. But some are more popular than the others. There are some who other businessmen defer too, out of respect and accomplishments. Otunba Mike Adenuga is one of them. Many buisnessmen defer to him because he has accomplished a lot and he has fought very many corporate battles that would have consumed lesser morials, on his way to the very top.

And he has won all of them. He has scaled many hurdles deliberately put in his path by his detractors and people who don’t just like him. That is why many see him as a guru. He is also one businessman whom many who don’t understand him carry rumour about. You can’t blame them. MA as some call him is an enigma. Many don’t simply understand him. They only hear of him. Even many of his staff have never met him in person.

They only hear of the man they all call Chairman. They only hear of his exploits in the Oil, Banking, Telecoms and Real estate sector. This is because only very few people understand his way & style. He can be very unconventional. He does not follow existing paths. He creates his own. He does not copy others.

He does not imitate. He is an original, that others copy. He is daring. He is blunt. He likes his privacy. He likes to do his thing and he does not make noise about it. He is very calculating. And he is very strategic in his thinking. And at over 60, he is still very much involved in the running of the Mike Adenuga Group at the level of strategy. So involved is he that atimes, he designs advert copies for the group himself. He does voice overs also.

And he personally interviews top level management staff into the group. He has his own set of rules guiding his businesses. And these rules have worked wonders for him.

He has his rules for Achieving which other businessmen copy. It reads: Rules on Achieving: Achieving is a thing of resolve and persistence. It is the state of attaining success as a goal through sustained consistency. The achiever is a leader; a winner, all the time, not just once. Achieving is an attitude.

Leading the pack is the only worthwhile resolve for the achiever. There’s no room for second place. It is often said that it is not the winning that counts, but the participation. This adage does not reflect an achieving attitude. It is not the mere participant, but the achiever, the winner, the leader who makes the difference that advances the course of humankind in the judgement of history.

High profile corporate game-playing is an arena where the pervading zeal is on achieving in every single endeavour; to be the first, and always the first; to be the one who holds the aces that determine the pace of play. You don’t enter the arena to rely on luck. You match your wits against others, with your entire constitution springing to action. Every fibre, from the innermost recesses of your being, to the fore, becomes combative in a synchronised zeal to achieve. With this strategy, you’re never going to come off the arena a loser.

Essentially, running a business is similar to leading a military operation or orchestrating a political campaign, or performing as a great athlete. The fundamental principles are the same. The overriding objective is to our-manoeuvre the opposing forces; to outsmart the other party; to outperform the competition; to outwit the other guy-to achieve. This may sound harsh. But that’s the way it is.

Success is the goal of every business, and the most successful businesses engage the most competitive men. They are there to compete-to savour the grind and brutal discipline of epic combat-and to achieve.

Let My Words not be misunderstood. I do not believe that men must be dehumanized or brutalised to acquire an achieving attitude. I am a staunch believer in the Divine Presence of God, and recognise the necessity of human decency and goodwill. But at the same time, I strongly believe that a corporate player’s greatest fulfilment is that critical moment when he engages in that epic corporate combat with all he’s got-and emerges as the man of the moment: the achiever.

In The End, the achiever has the moral obligation to reflect upon the general condition of humanity in the larger field of play. Such a reflection should materialise in a philantropic attitude-that which is responsible, organised and reasoned-as well as promotion of knowledge.

This Is the honourable path to acquire the status of a Guru.

Mike Adenuga was born April 29, 1953 in Ibadan, Nigeria as Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga. He is a big business tycoon, regarded as one of the richest black people in the world. Oloye Adenuga, a school teacher, is the father of Mike. His mother, Juliana Oyindamola Adenuga (nee Onashile of Okesopin, Ijebu Igbo) is a business woman of royal Ijebu descent. He is a man with humble beginning, he had his secondary school education at the Ibadan Grammar School, Oyo State.

He worked as Taxi Driver and Security Guard to support his education while studying at the university. He graduated from Northwestern Alva Oklahoma State University and Pace University New York, with a degree in business administration. Adenuga means different things to different people; he is a husband, father, team leader, role model, an entrepreneur.


He has built a fortune in Mobile Telecom and Oil production. He launched Globacom mobile phone network in 2006, which has reached about 30 million subscribers, and advancing its operation in West Africa, i.e the Republic of Benin, and recently, he acquired licenses to start business in Ghana and Ivory Coast. He made his first fortune at age 26 in the 1970s when he returned to Nigeria after studying in the US.

He took over his mother’s sawmill business and distributed lace and other materials, he also sold Coca Cola. He made some powerful friends in the military and relied on those relationships to corner lucrative state construction contracts. Nigeria’s former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, awarded him an oil prospecting licence. He used that to build Conoil and became the first Nigerian to strike oil in commercial quantities.

In 1990, he received a drilling licence and in 1991, his consolidated oil struck in the shallow waters of South Western Ondo State, the first indigenous oil company to do so in commercial quantity. He was issued a conditional GSM license in 1999, after it was revoked he received the second one when the government held another auction in 2003. His Telecom Company Globacom spread quickly and started challenging the giant MTN Group.

It launched services in the Republic of Benin in 2008 and has continued its spread across Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire, with more licences currently being prospected in other West African countries. He was named African Entrepreneur of the year at the maiden African Telecoms Awards (ATA) on August 15, 2007.

Adenuga was honored by the Federal Republic of Nigeria with the National Awards of the officer of the order of the Niger (OON) and later, commander of the order of the Niger (CON). In 2009, Dr. Adenuga won the coveted Silverbird man of the year award. Being one of the world’s wealthiest men, Dr. Mike Adenuga controls the continent’s largest business empires which comprises of Oil And Gas, Telecoms, aviation, banking, and real estates.


Conoil is one of the formidable names in Nigeria’s downstream petroleum industry. The company is engaged in the marketing of refined petroleum products and also in the manufacturing and marketing of high quality lubricants and chemicals for domestic and industrial use.

The company is reputed for its unwavering commitment to excellent products and service delivery for maximal customers’ satisfaction. Conoil have over the years gained a unique understanding of research and quality control, which they continuously apply in all their businesses in order to offer the best propositions to customers. Conoil has also developed innovative means of manufacturing and distributing its products through its wide network of outlets.

The company invests its financial ant’ technical resources in the development of high- performance products and in the provision of services that match or even surpass international standards, paying strict attention to the finest details of health, safety and environmental best practices.


Globacom Ltd built an $800 million high capacity fibre-optic cable known as Glo-1, a submarine cable from United Kingdom to Nigeria, it is the first successful submarine cable. Glo is the first individual African company to embark on such a project. Glo-1 has the potential to provide high speed internet services, faster, more reliable and cheaper telecom services for the public.

It will potentially facilitate foreign investment and employment, jobs opportunities especially to Africans.
Glo was the first telecom to introduce per second billings, it also pioneered products like Blackberry, vehicle tracking, mobile internet and mobile banking services in Nigeria.


He is a big player in Sterling Bank which took over Equitorial Trust Bank (ETB), a commercial bank in Nigeria, licensed by Central Bank of Nigeria. ETB was a large financial service provider in Nigeria, the bank was established in 1990, as a limited liability company. In Feb the same year, it was granted a commercial banking license and in March 1990, it commenced operations. As of January 2011, the bank maintained about one hundred retail branches in various urban centers in the country. In 2006, ETB successfully merged with the former Devcom Bank.

Doing business in the banking sector is one of Dr Adenuga successes, although in 2009, ETB was found under capitalized and un-satisfactorily managed Bank. ETB was added to a list of 9 Nigerian commercial banks that required the injection of new capital by the asset management company of Nigeria (AMCON), a federal government agency.
ETB was taken over by Sterling in a deal that was sealed on 11 August 2011.


Adenuga also has a multi-billion dollar investment in real estate. These companies provide direct employment to thousands of workers and millions of others indirectly. Entrepreneurs can learn so many things from Dr Mike Adenuga, and few of them are Endurance, Success does not come so cheap. He has the ability to endure unpleasant situations. He also learned to diversify into different businesses. He is one of the richest men in Nigeria because he has different business empires which he runs successfully.

As an entrepreneur, you need to take risks. You can’t invest in any business without taking a risk. Also, flexibility is the key to success. Be flexible in your business. Learn to have partners outside your family members, Mike Adenuga is flexible in his business because he has overseas partners.

That is why he is called “The Guru”

To all our beautiful Wives mothers sister and Grandmas Happyhellip
To all our beautiful Wives mothers sister and Grandmas Happyhellip
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