Meet The Boss: Dr ‘Tayo Adeyemi Adiatu’s Influence On Energy, Aviation And Real Estate

Image caption: Dr Tayo Adeyemi
Meet The Boss: Dr ‘Tayo Adeyemi Adiatu’s Influence On Energy, Aviation And Real Estate

Dr ‘Tayo Adeyemi Adiatu is a leader, entrepreneur and businessman with over 15 years experience in the oil and gas, real estate, construction and medical diagnostic sectors.

Dr Adiatu’s commitment to learning and improvement is clear to see. He holds a number of degrees, and has completed the the owner/president management program (OPM) from the prestigious Harvard Business School. He has successfully managed multiple ventures in Nigeria and abroad.

Currently the group CEO of a number of leading companies, Dr Adiatu is also the co-founder and CEO of the multi-award-winning company Tulcan Energy Resources Limited. His approach to leadership is filled with quiet flexibility and open mindedness. These qualities allow for his value of “service over profit” to take the forefront and help make successes of the companies he heads.

Today, Dr Adiatu shares his ideas around all aspects of business including, people management, tips for aspiring leaders and what to do in the face of crisis.

Can you elaborate on your perspective regarding prioritizing service over profit as a key factor in the success and longevity of companies?
While this may sound counterintuitive, placing service over immediate profit, it is a great strategy to deploy. Profit is the goal of all businesses but the route or method of achieving that goal is a critical factor itself.
Prioritizing service is simply being customer-focused. By customer, I mean both the internal customers (our people) and the external customers (our clients). Once a company impacts and invests in its employees, it improves and increases their productivity. This in turn helps them serve customers better, effectively producing satisfied and loyal customers. One can always expect repeat patronage from loyal customers which ultimately leads to the profitability of the company.
A strategy that places service quality at its core is not just “nice to have” but could be a critical factor in a company’s long-term success and profitability. Focusing on service helps build strong relationships with both employees and customers, fosters a positive company culture, and creates a competitive advantage that can lead to sustainable growth.

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How do you believe that companies genuinely pursuing service ultimately lead to profitability, in your experience?
I believe there’s an undeniable relationship between exceptional service and business profitability. The quality of service a company delivers determines its customer’s experience which may produce repeat business and referrals. Once a customer is loyal, they will prefer and choose you over others.

At Tulcan, we do not claim to be the biggest or even the best, but we strive to be the preferred. We want customers to choose us over others. We believe if we serve them better, listen to them and genuinely care about their needs, then they will return again and again. We have built and sustained such relationships with our customers that they now seek us to serve them. Companies such as Nordstrom, Zappos and Apple embody this service culture.

As a leader of multiple companies, what strategies have you employed to create a clear and compelling vision for each entity?
Creating a vision, for me, is always about looking outward. I believe I have a responsibility to add value, not just to myself but to others. So, I communicate to my team the importance of being a part of something bigger than each one person.

I instill in them a sense of purpose and how each one plays his or her own part in realizing such goal – whether in energy, real estate or in the medical field. Each member of the team takes ownership and responsibility for the corporate vision.

Could you delve into how your companies recognize and meet the needs of people, businesses, and governments on a global scale?
Each of our companies focus on the needs of the stakeholders – the employees, the customers, the partners, the shareholders, the government and even the environment. As a responsible company, we bridge the gap between expectation and perception. The needs of stakeholders differ from entity to entity, sector to sector, or even country to country. We combine both logic and intuition to identify and define needs and employ innovation and creativity to meet them.

The global pandemic had a significant impact on businesses worldwide. Can you share specific measures your companies took to not only survive but thrive during these challenging times?
The COVID-19 pandemic had profound impacts on macroeconomic factors affecting both governments and businesses worldwide. We saw it as a stress test for businesses and economies. The key factor that played a role for us was our resilience and agility. We were able to quickly recalibrate and adapt accordingly to changing global dynamics.

While the supply chain was severely disrupted, we were able to navigate this challenge by an innovative approach and the understanding of our team and partners. We devised new ways of supplying products to customers while defying bottlenecks. We also delivered world class diagnostics services to patients despite the lockdown. Although our team worked remotely, operations ran smoothly mostly due to the adoption of technology. We have always looked for opportunities in every challenge.

Could you elaborate on the concept of “eating the pie” and how the elements of partnership, innovation, and efficiency contribute to your strategic advantage?

We have always believed in the power of forging the right alliances. It is said that if you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go with people. We strategically collaborate with our stakeholders towards a common goal. Also, we keep improving on ourselves and on existing processes and methods. We practice Toyota’s ‘kaizen’ principle.

Our efficiency lies in using less to achieve much. We run a lean and smart system, managing resources to optimize output.

How do you approach forging internal and external alliances that are both visionary and productive for your companies?

At Tulcan, we consider employees as internal partners with a crucial stake in the business. Decisions are taken by consensus with a buy-in from all staff.

We also leverage our relationship with external parties such as banks, suppliers, customers, service providers etc. We operate a feedback mechanism to listen and learn. Our relationship with our partners is mutually beneficial in every sense of the word.

In terms of innovation, could you provide examples of how your companies have successfully implemented new approaches to traditional processes or operations?
Our innovation as a business is powered by our diversity. Having a diverse talent pool has provided an avenue for cross-pollination of ideas, igniting creativity. We encourage different perspectives to an issue. We challenge norms and confront conventions, which helps unleash genius. It was Henry Ford who said, “Everything can always be done better than it is being done.” We inspire a culture of change. You evolve or die.

Efficiency is a crucial aspect of your business DNA. Can you share some strategies or practices that you’ve used to operate lean and achieve more with less?
One of the things we do is to encourage ambidexterity. While the team has specific core functions or job descriptions, we encourage fluidity and flexibility. One person can take up multiple roles when the occasion demands it.

With the right training and coaching, we consistently upskill our talents to levels where they can move the dial.

Looking forward, how do you envision continuing to build agile, resilient, and socially responsible organizations that can effectively meet the needs of humanity?
The disruption from the global pandemic was a wake-up call for businesses. Leaders now realize the need to have shock absorbers for sudden global catastrophes.

A recent study concluded that a top concern and area of focus for CEOs is how to make their companies agile. At Tulcan, our focus will continue to be on providing strong leadership and inclusive culture, a customer-centric approach to adding value and investing in ESG (environmental, social and governance) practices.

Can you discuss the specific opportunities on a global scale that your companies are pursuing to fulfill their mission of meeting the needs of humanity?
On one side, our marginal fields afford us the opportunity to continue to bridge the supply gap of petroleum products locally and internationally. On the other side, our investment in healthcare and diagnostics for early detection and treatment of diseases contributes macro-economically to Nigeria and indeed the world.

Furthermore, we are working strategically to consolidate our businesses across the sectors we operate in from healthcare, oil and gas, to aviation fueling and construction and real estate. All these businesses are highly scalable and we have the structure and vision to operate at the highest level.

What personal values or philosophies drive you as a leader, and how do they influence the way you lead and make decisions?
Vision and purpose go together. As a leader, I believe in teamwork with a daring attitude that we can achieve extraordinary results and outcomes as long as we remain focused and tenacious. Also, I believe in strong personal and corporate integrity as a person and as an entity respectively. Every other value or resource is built on this.

Dr Tayo Adeyemi in a blue suit stood over a desk

How do you balance the dual responsibilities of leading multiple companies while maintaining a strong focus on their respective visions and missions?
I am able to attend to my multiple responsibilities by effective delegation and creating a robust structure around the companies. I take high-level decisions which are cascaded to the respective companies and executed by the management team. It was Steve Jobs who said “Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people.”

Dr ‘Tayo Adeyemi Adiatu’s Advice For Aspiring Entrepreneurs And Leaders

Success is a journey not a destination. Young people should enjoy the journey and brace up for the challenges.

The bigger the vision, the tougher the journey. But with the right team and support system, nothing is too big to be accomplished.

Run the race and remain focused. Remember, the path of least resistance is for losers.

You can follow Dr Adiatu’s journey on LinkedIn.


Culled from Forbes – interview conducted by Dr Bryon Cole

2 thoughts on “Meet The Boss: Dr ‘Tayo Adeyemi Adiatu’s Influence On Energy, Aviation And Real Estate

  1. Thanks for bringing this highly insightful interview to us. It is full of managent ideas, concepts and models for achieving sustainable success in business.

  2. I like this exciting interviews coming from one of us. He ginger we the entrepreneur to stay focus and enjoy the journey. Success is a journey not a destination.

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