There is a significant number of family owned business in Africa,However only few of them last beyond the founders generation.
We interviewed Sheila Ojei ,the chief commercial officer of forward group -a conglomerate in the business of commodities Trading,manufacturing and energy.
She shared her Experience with us about what it takes to Run her family Business Empire.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU MOVED BACK TO NIGERIA.
My Name is Sheila Ojei , I am currently the chief commercial officer of forward group under which we have forward ventures commodities Trading company,a covenant salt company-our salt refining and packaging company and forward energy-our oil and gas with operations in the downstream oil sector.
However at the moment,I am more involved with covenant salt company as this is where needs my attention the most.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO GET INVOLVED IN THE FAMILY BUSINESS.
I always new I would get involved with the family business from young age.
as a teenager,my father always put me through the happenings of the company,after secondary school,i was his personal assistant (P.A) and Secretary for almost a year before I was away for university,so being a part of the family business was never a “debatable topic”.The truth is,the business has become my passion from an early age,because I saw,it start from our living room as a child,so its success meant so much to me.
The real question is, however was. ‘When’ to join the family business and that question was answered for me sometime in the year 2014 because as much as I liked my job as an investment banker, I didn’t feel fulfilled so I decided to leave an officially to join the family business.
TELL US ABOUT COVENANT SALT,THE ROLE YOU PLAY AND THE VALUE YOU HAVE ADDED SINCE JOINING THE COMPANY.
Covenant salt company is a salt manufacturing and trading,we own a salt refining plant have it easy or we’re the proverbial golden spoon in your mouth.I had cases of employees who refused to take instructions from me because they saw me as a child.
WHAT FUTURE PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR COVENANT SALT?
My future plan is to keep the legacy alive for our unborn generation to come,I plan to diversify the business and expand into other African markets.
GIVE FIVE(5) KEY TIPS FOR ANYONE CONSIDERING GETTING INVOLVED IN THEIR FAMILY VENTURE.
In getting involved in a family venture you must be.
*willing to learn
*always lead by example
And lastly you are to believe in the vision of the company.
By Mr JAMES CHINDO. Mtv/Africantv presenter (Lagos State Nigeria)