Scoring new firsts and sitting pretty.
From making chairs to sitting on quoted company boards. Beyond making it all look easy, Ibukun Awosika’s success formula is one she considers incomplete, with-out Character.
“He, who confronts challenges, wins. Take a personal decision to be excellent in whatever your craft is but this is yet to be proven a true success ingredient without integrity”.
“If the managers of the Nigerian economy ignore women, then they will use only resources generated by 52% of the economy to drive 100% of the economy”. These are the words of one of Nigeria’s most formidable women, Ibukun Awosika.
With a promising start as an Audit Trainee during her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at Akintola William & Co (now Deloitte), Ibukun Awosika’s laudable professional trajectory is one worthy of close attention an emulation. At age 25, her foray into entrepreneurship began when she started her own furniture manufacturing company, Quebees Ltd, after a 3 months stint as the Showroom Manager at a Nigerian furniture company. Quebees Ltd soon evolved into today’s renowned market leader in office furniture and banking security systems -The Chair Centre Ltd.
Ibukun Awosika’s record currently boasts a seat on the board of several companies which include Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Digital Jewels Ltd and Convention on Business Integrity. She is also the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ), as well as the Chairman of Intermac, the organizers of Smart-Card Conference in Nigeria amongst other platforms.
In 2015, she added yet another feather to a well adorned hat on her appointment as the Chairman of First Bank Nigeria – an achievement which reverberated across Corporate Nigeria and proved a rippling motivation amongst female players in the country as it saw Awosika become the first female to assume this position since the financial institution’s inception. Prior to the appointment, she had served as a non-executive Director at First Bank.
Beyond professional capacities, Awosika has played an active role on women empowerment, leadership and business mentorship platforms. Her professional story transcends an impressive educational background but also tells a tale of resilience, bravery, passion and character.
It is one that reaches back to an iron clad resolve to braze the entrepreneurial thorns of start up capital, management, potential loss & profitability. In spite of the odds, Awosika’s insatiable drive saw her create a reputable and highly profitable venture in furniture making across West Africa.
These grand feats were hardly achievable without an important success formula she constantly shares – an unshakeable strength of character.
“He, who confronts challenges, wins. Take a personal decision to be excellent in whatever your craft is but this is yet to be proven a true success ingredient without integrity”
In a recent talk as a guest lecturer to budding entrepreneurs in Lagos, she offered experiential knowledge.
“There are challenges everywhere. Through tenacity and an unwavering strength of character however, they can be defeated. He, who confronts challenges, wins. Take a personal decision to be excellent in whatever your craft is but this is yet to be a true success ingredient without integrity” says Awosika.
A work–life balance is just as important to Awosika and she says of her role as a wife and mother:
“Success for me is also winning as a wife and mother, which means helping my husband be the best while he supports my dreams and desires and providing the right support structure for our Children”.
Awosika, amongst a plethora of other activities is at the forefront of the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC) – a facility which she promotes to help address youth employability and enterprise issues in Nigeria; and was past Chairman of FBN Life Assurance Limited.
Awosika is a graduate of Chemistry from the University of Ife, Nigeria; an alumnae of the Chief Executive Programme of Lagos Business School; the Global Executive MBA of IESE Business School, Barcelona-Spain; and Global CEO Programme of Wharton, IESE and C.E.I.B.S Business Schools.
Through purpose, resilience, business acumen and Character, Ibukun Awosika has earned a high place in the hearts of the business world and on the best seat she ever built- the Character pedestal.