Here I am yet again having to pen for Otunba (Dr.) Mike Adenuga Jr., GCON after my September 2012 piece for his conferment as Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON). Obviously, I am unable to resist doing so as the enigma and enviable exceptional African business giant attains the platinum age. Yes, C1 – Mr. Chairman is 70!
Unlike when I wrote my 2012 piece, now I am writing as a former staff of Mr. Chairman courtesy of my stint at Globacom some years back. To say that Otunba Mike Adenuga is a benefactor to so many people would be putting words rather mildly given the number of great and successful establishments that God has blessed him with; Globacom, Conoil, Julius Berger and Cobblestone to name just a few.
When I wrote to celebrate Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr. as GCON back then, it was strictly from the lens of observing him as a great promoter and supporter of Out of Home Advertising in Nigeria. It apparently could not have been otherwise myself being the Managing Director/CEO of E-motion Advertising and Publisher of Outdoor Republic. But with my career sojourn through Globacom thereafter, I must drop a line or two on my experience as a graduate from Dr. Mike Adenuga of Bellissima on Waterfront Business School of Globacom.
I cannot forget in a lifetime the doctrine of “fast and steady” that one must quickly learn and adapt to within the Globacom environment. More instructive and so peculiar for me, would be the “one-page memo” that suggest being straight to the point. Personally, I abhor wastage so the usage of single sheet face was something I wholeheartedly grabbed. The flat management style as I would like to see it remains at the heart of Mr. Chairman’s getting the spirit of excellence culture entrench within the entire group. My take is that C1 employs this style to keep every team member on his or her toes, more like fighting to retain your jersey.
Equally unforgettable were those weekly few role call of names with my name inclusive to be on standby for a meeting in the evening with C1 – Mr. Chairman. More interesting was being one of those that would be presenting to C1 in such meetings then top-notch preparation must become your best friend. Trust me, Mr. Chairman always got his ground well covered, a man with several decades of running many successful businesses with huge investments ranging from banking, telecommunications, real estate, hospitality, oil and gas cannot be taken for granted.
Unbeknown to many people is that apart from being business, economically and politically savvy, Mr. Chairman still very much knows his way around town, home and abroad. This for a longtime cannot be lost on me as I recall once, while making a presentation on Out of Home Advertising strategy covering the Ghana, Benin Republic and Nigerian markets with C1 referring to details in remote areas but gladly one had thoroughly covered them during extensive market tours.
There is the aspect of uncommon and unrivalled generosity that I deeply estimate about Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr., this I must indeed add outside of being misconstrued as one eulogizing a benefactor (beside mine was strictly a contractual relationship while it lasted). C1’s voluntary compensatory gestures a.k.a “stoning” to his staff speaks volume though only to my knowing but it surely deserves to be referenced here. Like him or hate him, at worst it remains a mixed feeling even for the former staff that exited on a bad note. The enigma in C1 would forever make it so difficult not to reference him accordingly. Such came to the full glare of my humble self during a political appointment that I once served with a State Governor, who coincidentally was an ex-staff of Mr. Chairman.
I make bold to say that Mr. Chairman has arguably touched more lives than most Nigerians in his class and it is ingrained in his DNA not to make iota of noise about it. Ever seen a billionaire that minds his business, C1 is indeed one in a million. As for me, I drop a hat in salute of a successful entrepreneur, a worthy role model, an accomplished fellow Ijebu man, a true ambassador of Ogun State, Nigeria and Africa.
To celebrate the Bull, the Great Guru, C1 – Mr. Chairman, Otunba Mike Adenuga Jr. GCON, CSG, CdrLH at platimum 70, I am off my rocker with “lowered chest” and I doff my hat once again to this astounding achiever, visionary leader and great philanthropist. Happy 70th Birthday Mr. Chairman.