I Aborted My Master’s Degree To Be A First Class Entrepreneur - Healthy People Lifestyle Journal

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Saturday, 15 July 2017

I Aborted My Master’s Degree To Be A First Class Entrepreneur

He had an apparently clear path marked for him to become an egghead. Graduating top of his class from the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Jude Abalaka, Managing Director Tranos Contracting, was expected to return for post graduate degree and possibly a career in the academics.
But the Physics graduate and engineer decided to take a different path. After national service, he partnered his friend to establish a fledging company that had to compete with big names in the oil and gas industry. Surprisingly, they succeeded.
Then Abalaka went solo to set up his own firm, which has today become an octopus. In this interview with Inspire, the entrepreneur, tells the story of his rise.
Did you see yourself becoming an entrepreneur?
Straight from my NYSC, I had always been an entrepreneur. I started a company called Nadebo Energy, with a friend of mine in 2002.  I was there as a director until 2009 before I moved on. What I was doing at Nadebo Energy was more of oil and gas engineering projects. Then we did a project with Total. We were the only Nigerian company on the project and we delivered it on time and below budget. Those projects are still running on floating production and storage unit.
What has your upbringing to do with your decision?
After I left the Federal University of Technology, Minna, graduating as the best student, everybody thought I was going to acquire my Master’s degree, but I stayed back to start the company with my friend, because I saw a lot of potentials. I decided to be an entrepreneur because it gives you the ability to create what regular job can’t give you. What I was looking at was to create an avenue for people who would be free to become the best of what they could be, building a company was not about making money.  If the company is good, money will come. Money was not the attraction, but leaving a legacy was.
Building Tranos
There’s always that time and chance to build a name and a company. When we started, our customers were people I knew personally. They were four or five customers. Because I had already had a lot of experience in oil and gas, I brought it into work. As I said, I put diversity into it, then the business boomed as we diversified, the space we had in Victoria Island became small, then we moved to a larger space in Ilupeju, now we are in Ogba which is larger than the other two. We have moved from oil and gas into other things, because the other small companies that we were ignoring were giving us income as well and we embraced them for many reasons. The oil and gas business comes once in a while and the procedure is quite tedious, but other ones take less time.
So you are not a generator-making company per se?
Not really, we are solution-focused company. We have a customer we have produced hybrid-generating set for. We did that because there was a clear problem that requires us to produce that. We do contract manufacturing, we have all it takes to say we are a generator-making factory, but that will be narrowing our capability. We started with engineering and automation, but now, we have combined that with a world class manufacturing standard. If someone comes now that he wants a thousand server rack, we would build it for the person, the same thing for some who want a distribution panel, we have the same capability that can help in both cases. We don’t want to see ourselves as a generator-making company, we are more than that, because we have unique capabilities that can do various projects.
What sacrifice did you make to get here?
My philosophy is that to achieve something I need to put my all. I can’t really tell you what I missed out. I just knew I was heading towards something great and all I had to do was to do what was needful.
Full Story: sunnewsonline.com

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