There are numerous numbers of billionaires who drop out from school and today they are being celebrated. One of them which I shall discussed with you today is a business mogul, a former state governor and one time Nigerian presidential candidate. He is no other person than Orji Uzor Kalu himself.
Are you so curious on how he attained these status? If really you are so worried on how he reached the climax then, keep reading to the very end and if properly followed, you stand a chance to emulate his actions. Probably surpass him!
Orji Uzor Kalu: A college drop out and a Nigerian Billionaire.
His eminent Orji Uzor Kalu is from Abia state Nigeria and was born on the 21st of April 1960. Some months to Nigeria independent, how amazing! He attended Christ the King School in Aba before he moved to the Government College, Umuahia. He also attended Barewa College, Zaria and not long he switched to the University of Maiduguri for a degree in political science. During his stayed as a student in University of Maiduguri, the billionaire himself, Orji Uzor Kalu joined the student activist and was among the “Ali Must Go” students riot. As a result of this, the school authority decided to rusticate the participant of the deadly violence which Orji Uzor Kalu wasn't an exceptional. Some of the students who led the riot dragged the school authority to court while some maintained there silence, of which Orji Uzor Kalu was one of the latter. He opted into business instead of staying at home.
Since, every business required at least a little capital, Kalu raised #5,000 and ventured into palm oil trade, of which he was being supplied from the eastern part of the country and resells them to the northern part of Nigeria. Thanks to his tour to the north, he realised that imported furniture was a thing of luxury in the north and he sensed real quick and enlarged his coast to furniture which he had a supplier at Aba and got them sold in Maiduguri. What a sharp entrepreneur he really was then! Not quite long, he abandoned palm oil trading when breakthrough came his way; instead, he dedicated all his time on the new furniture trading.
As the furniture business progressed, Uzor Kalu fully ventured into the manufacturing of the furniture himself.
Congratulations to Kalu as he was granted pardon not long after he started the furniture production and the suspension at school was
lifted by the management. But the wannabe entrepreneur, Uzor Kalu was on his successful business radar and rejected the amnesty on grounds for the sole reason that not all the student
activists involved were granted pardon. Orji Uzor kalu quoted that:
“All of us in the students’ union
leadership collectively agreed to embark on the demonstration against the university authorities. When the crises went out of control, the university senate decided to rusticate all of us. Some students went to court to contest the rustication, but I preferred to start trading while waiting for general reprieve for everybody. But in a classical divide-and-rule tactics, the authorities decided to pardon some of us who didn’t go to court and left out some of the others. This was unacceptable to me because it smacked of betrayal of the colleagues in the students’ leadership if I accepted the offer. So, I rejected the pardon on
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What a true, unique, excellent and humble beginning he had as a qualified leader- seriously this worth emulating! In recognition of his unique and many a outstanding achievements, business tycoon,
leadership skills and positive ambition, Kalu has been adorned with different awards. By the time he clocked 26, he became the youngest Nigerian to be adorn with a National Merit Award by the then President, president Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida in 1986. Added to his accolade was a Nigeria Chamber of Commerce industrialist of the year, an Humanitarian Award by the Humanitarian Club of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; a Volunteer Award presented by the
International Association of Volunteers; and a National Merit Award. Other accolades include: The Youngest Bank Chairman Award, A Special Award given by the European Union in Brussels, Belgium; the prestigious Leon Sullivan Award by the World Bank and host of others. What an amazings accolades he had placed around his wall; even without a degree certificate. Wow!
The multi award winner expanded his business empire and became a conglomerate. His company, Slok Group comprise of:
Ojialex Furniture Company;
Slok United Kingdom Limited;
Slok Nigeria limited;
Adamawa Publishers Limited;
Slok Paper Factory, Aba;
Slok United States Incorporated
Slok Ghana, Cotonou, Guinea, Togo, SouthAfrica, Botswana, Liberia;
Slok Korea Supreme Oil Limited;
Sun publishing limited;
Slok vegetable oil, Aba;
The First International Bank Limited, Banjul,
The Gambia and host of others.
Kalu’s success as an entrepreneur has been attached to his ability to recognized and seized business opportunities around him.
In an interview he granted, Uzor Kalu said:
“A good businessman must have nose for business the same way a journalist has nose for news. Once your eyes, ears, nose, heart and brain are trained on business, you sniff business opportunities everywhere. In places where people see a lot of obstacles, I
see a lot of opportunities. At times, there is something instinctive in me that tells me a business opportunity exist even at a place where others see nothing. That is what makes me different, maybe unique. A good businessman sees where others don’t see. What I see, you may not see. You cannot see because that is the secret of the business… the entire world is a big market waiting for anybody who knows the rules of the game.” – Orji Uzor Kalu
Informatively, He was one time Executive Governor of Abia state, Nigeria and also the country presidential aspirant. To
further eradicate his critics who tagged him as an illiterate, he bagged a degree from the Abia
State University. He has a Certificate in Business Administration from the Harvard
University, USA cum an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Abia State university and his then university, the University of Maiduguri.
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Scholarly viewed, the life, business and ethics of the multi award winner, Orji Uzor Kalu is something really worth understudying. He is a man driven by several ambition and drive to maximize the available opportunities. I repeat, Kalu is an entrepreneurial / business model worth emulating. If only this world of ours filled with selfishness and egocentric can be filled instead with men who see opportunities instead of problems, it will be really a better place to live.