There is no doubt that starting up a business can be challenging. Growing a successful business is even more daunting; nevertheless we cannot even begin to imagine the efforts and sacrifices that come with building and maintaining a multi-million dollar business in Africa, especially by African youths. Yes! We are at an age where most youths would rather spend a good portion of their time stalking one another on the social media than seeking to empower themselves or contribute to the economy. However, some African youths have chosen to toe the entrepreneurial line by starting up and growing multi-million dollar businesses regardless of the distractions of youth and the rigours of the business world.
It is therefore our custom at CEOAfrica every week, to celebrate these unsung entrepreneurial personalities, many of whom are not only making fortunes from their businesses, but also creating jobs and contributing to the development of African economy. Hence, our entrepreneur on the CEOAfrica Personality of the week is Tanzania’s Ally Edha Awadh, the Chief Executive Officer of Lake Oil Group.
Who is he?: Ally Edha Awadh is an enterprising and driven oil trader. He is the CEO of Lake Oil Group, Tanzania, one of East Africa’s fastest-growing energy trading and transportation conglomerates.
His Career: Ally Edha Awadh founded the Lake Oil Group in 2006 at the age of 27 when he received a highly coveted license from the Tanzanian government to import and market petroleum products in the domestic market.
Business Achievements: After 11 years hard work and smart business dealings by Awadh, the Lake Oil Group is now one of the five largest distributors of petroleum products in Tanzania and exports to neighbouring countries including D.R.Congo, Zambia, Burundi and Rwanda. The company also has a 35 million-litre storage depot at Kigamboni, Dar es Salaam and another depot in Mbeya, a commercial city in the country’s southwest region. The transport/haulage arm of the company, Lake Trans, owns and operates close to 500 trucks and serves as a regional contractor for commodities giants like Trafigura and Augusta. Lake Oil Group’s revenues for 2013 were $600 million.
Business Expansions: Over the years Lake Oil Group has established a strong footprint in all East and Central African countries. The company has grown into a conglomerate to establish subsidiaries such as; Lake Gas ltd, Lake Trans ltd, Lake Lube, Gulf Premix ltd and SAFF Shipping. Lake Group also entered into Cylinder manufacturing.
His Challenges: As a novice, Ally Edha Awadh faced many difficulties in gathering substantial amount of resources or service. But being the motivated man he was with an indefatigable spirit and a pressing urge to succeed, nothing could hold him back. Through the financial catering of international suppliers and a hard-working staff, he went on to becoming one of Africa’s most booming industrialists.
Future Ambition: One might assume that Ally Awadh has reached the summit of his career, but the shrewd entrepreneur is just getting started as he still nurtures a vision of building one of the top oil companies around the world.
The key to making a name for oneself is pushing beyond the limitations of one’s environment. No success is recorded without an inspiring story to back it up. Look not at the obstacles; pay no attention to the distractions. Just focus on your goals because you are not too young to succeed. If Ally Edha Awadh could make it young, so can you.