I MENTORED 25 YEAR OLD ARMED ROBBER TO BECOME AN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF A MULTINATIONAL COMPANY IN NIGERIA- Alhaji Abubakar Barau Abdullahi
Abubakar (Barau) Abdullahi is a Professional chartered marketer with 43 years cognate experience in industries and market segments, first in the pharmaceutical industry. He has ten years of experience as a manager and chief executive, managing and piloting the affairs of coastal dredging and construction limited and also serves as a General Manager (south) for Standard Construction Limited.
With a wide experience in new business development, mentoring and entrepreneurship, Abubakar is experienced in sales and marketing of controlled Environment Agriculture infrastructure and systems. He is well versatile in sales, marketing and distribution of agricultural produce, especially fruits and vegetables.
Abubakar is a mentor with growing concern for youth internship and empowerment beyond mentoring which has led to the establishment of small and medium enterprises in Kano State, Nigeria. He initiated the introduction of Agro-tourism in Nigeria.
Abubakar’s goal is to excel in the drive for youth empowerment, assist in the development of entrepreneurship centers in all the states of Nigeria so that graduates can be trained to own businesses rather than seek unavailable jobs.
His specialties include Project and product development, Conversion of ideas into products/services, products into profits and profits into wealth. He also specializes in Relationship management, Government and community relation, Product positioning, promotion and contract sourcing.
Abubakar currently serves as African representative for Genstar FZ-LLC, Dubai and World Logistics Services Corporation- USA
Alhaji Abubakar Barau Abdullahi in this chat with Ola Akinwe, Founder of Boys Mentoring Advocacy Network-BMAN shared his thoughts while responding to the Mentor Me Series;
Turning Point and Greatest Success
My turning point was when I survived and excelled in my life endeavors single handedly. It was at a time when I realized that I was an orphan. My greatest success was when I decided to change my NYSC posting from North East to South East, precisely to Old Imo State, 1978/79.
I was motivated by the independent nature of the Igbo tribe and decided to copy and made them my success model up till today.
As a result of that I had a rapid progress in my work place as Regional Manager south east, which included south- south and Midwest at the age of 22 years.
No sooner had I attained that position, a year later I was made national sales manager, then Marketing and sales Director at the age of 25 and later Deputy Managing Director.
Biggest Failure and Lesson Learned
I have never failed in the real sense of failure but I made mistakes, one of which was entering in to business partnership without clear understanding of the implications. There was no written agreement and no clear cut roles and therefore benefits to all parties. I went in blindly with no advice or guidance from anyone. That taught me a lesson that I should not judge the book by the cover but by the contents. As a result of the mistakes I nearly lost of my life, at the end I lost money!!!
Something I did that I helped someone as a person was the rehabilitation of a 25 year old armed robber to become a crime free person ,who is now an Executive Director of a multinational company in Nigeria. Related to that is rehabilitation and mentoring of young girls from university of Ibadan from prostitution to self-employment through bridal makeup, sales promotion and hair salon.
Best Advice Ever Received
The best advice I received was from the Head of Department in the University. He discouraged me from going for Masters in 1979 because that time if I did, I wouldn’t have been a professional as I am now. He argued that I would have been over qualified for a sales job. I would have ended up in the classroom!!!
His advice took me in to the marketing profession, where I went through all the marketing and sales practices, gained a lot of experience with increased in value and necessary networks. I excelled such that I made money to finance my post graduate programs.
I Wished Had Known
Something I wished I had known before now that there will come a time that a rich but poor country like Nigeria could get in to a situation when youth unemployment will be as phenomenally high as it is. If I did know, I would have mentored youths to be self-reliant.
Funniest Thing I Ever Did
The funniest thing I ever did was when I registered Aida Marketing clinic and pregnant women trooped in for prenatal and post natal care!!! It took time before I got them to understand the clinic was for business not medical, but I got myself in to trouble when I told most of the pregnant women that they will deliver Male children and guess what, out of 100 pregnancies, 98 were delivered as males!!!
I had to close the clinic for fear of being turned into a prophet of some sort!!’
Something I did that took courage was when I confronted armed robbers and also confronted a hyena as a 12 year old in the village. Choosing to go to the South-East at age 22 was also courageous.
Something I’m Afraid Of
Something I am afraid of is to get involved in anything dishonest or betrayal I am afraid of tarnishing the image of my family.
I’d Really Like to Learn
Something I really want to learn is how to build a sustainable future for the youth.
My Greatest Question
Who am I?