Top Nigerian Insurance broker and CEO/President of Standard Insurance Consultants Limited was honoured with an Inspirational Award at the annual Bizz Award organised by the World Confederation of Businesses. Funke Olaode reports.
It was an evening of splendour laced with arrays of glittering atmosphere as dignitaries, captains of industry and eminent personalities converged on one of the most popular cities in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai, for a Gala dinner and ceremony for the world’s most important business award tagged “The Bizz,’ which was founded by the World Confederation of Businesses (WORLDCOB) to recognize the most outstanding global companies that have performed credibly well in their field among their competitors.
The breeze which blew relentlessly from the beaches surrounding the iconic and famous Burj Al Arab, a magnificent edifice reputed to be the only seven star hotel in the world is alluring. The invited guests comprised mainly captains of industry from over 100 companies representing 50 countries dazzled in their evening outings. While the men settled for black suits and ties, the ladies were gaily dressed in their evening dresses with many settling for their native attires which depicted their origins.
The Arabs are known for their hospitality. And they didn’t disappoint as all invited guest were pampered with their various cuisines while arrays of various drinks and Champaign flowed freely. Earlier on, there was a cocktail before the invited guests and the awardees were invited to the expansive Marina Garden tucked inside the iconic building. No doubt that night would remain evergreen in the lives of the awardees as their tenacity, perseverance and commitment to their various organisations was rewarded.
Among the companies that got recognition, Standard Insurance Consultants Limited, an insurance broker based in Lagos took the name of Nigeria to the highest level when it was awarded with one of the world most important business award. The President/CEO of the company, Dr. Ahmed Olaniyi Salawudeen went home with Inspirational Award for his outstanding contribution to his insurance field.
With this trophy, the company becomes an Elite Member of WORLDCOB alongside large corporations such as Sohar Bank (Oman), Dubai Duty Free (UAE), Doha Bank (Qatar), Saudi Telecom Company (Saudi Arabia), BBK BSC (Bahrain), National Bank of Kuwait (Kuwait), Emirates Identity Authority (UAE), Ethiopia Airlines (Ethiopia), Karabuk University (Turkey), Credit Libanais (Lebanon), Al Sulaimi Group Group, (Oman), Union National Bank (UAE) amongst other notable global companies.
The World Confederation of Business (WORLDCOB) was founded on September 9, 2004, in the city of Houston, Texas in the United States of America, under the name of MPBM, Co. The vision of WORLDCOB’s founders was to create an international business organization that would bring together and recognize those companies that were leaders in their field, striving day in and day out to boost growth of the economy of their countries and the world, making them models to be followed. And also, to promote a socially responsible business culture around the world through WORLDCOB-CSR standards and certification.
Currently, WORLDCOB’s primary mission is to promote business development worldwide, recognizing and boosting the growth of leading businesses and business people in every country through the special tools and services that it offers its members. It has over 3,000 members, representing more than 100 countries. And its vision to be the business organization with the greatest worldwide presence, covering five continents, with over 20,000 member companies around the globe.
Prior to the gala and award ceremony, there was a leadership training workshop held at Jumeirah Creekside Hotel and coordinated by WORLDCOB’s Human Development Director, Nancy Branger. Speaking on how leadership works in an organization, Branger said leadership is not a position or title but requires an action and exemplary examples. She aslo spoke about how motivation and being passionate about what you do is the only anticidotes that leads to carrier fulfilment. While commitment to duty, recognition, hardwork, welfare, communication are key attributes and a driven force to achieve a success in an organization, she also stressed that a visionary leader who has inspiriting vision can lead others to buy into it. This she said can aid organization’s growth. She concluded that a good leader does not necessary has to know everything but has to be honest and always try to surround himself with the best people.
In his speech, the Chief Executive officer of WORLDCOB, Mr. Jesus Moran congratulated over 100 companies representing 50 countries who were honoured that night. He noted that the award was not an occasion to play to the gallery but an opportunity to honour the power of vision, business performance of excellence, success of the company and at the same time to commend the efforts of the driven force behind the company success such as, clients staff and others who have kept the vision of the company alive through hardwork and commitment to duty. According to Moran, it is not easy to get to the top in any endeavour while sustaining success at the top is even more challenging. He implored the awardees to keep the tenet of corporate world to be able to continue to be shining lights.
For those who have been following Salawudeen’s life and career trajectory attests to the fact that it is an honour well deserved. He is a devoted Moslem, a committed family man and an accomplished insurance broker with his experience spanning over 40 years. His profile and persona are in no doubt extraordinary outstanding, giving his towering experience. He parades an impressive resume, and yet he remains humble, which he claims is a reflection of his personality having been born and raised by a Moslem father who was also a Imam in his home town, Iseyin in Oyo State.
He has received several laurels from various organisations and his insurance community across the country and beyond but prefer to maintain a low profile with his believe that everything one has belongs to God. But like a golden fish that has no hiding place, he continues to soar.
Basking in the euphoria of his the new recognition, Salawudeen gave glory to Almighty Allah for lifting him up. “I am elated today that I am being honoured by a global organization. This is the peak one can attain in one’s career and I am grateful for the honour bestowed on me,” he said.
Born over 70 years ago in Iseyin, Oyo State, after his secondary education in Nigeria and a brief stint with an insurance company, he travelled abroad. Salawudeen graduated from the College of Insurance Surbiton, London having qualified as a Chartered insurance Practitioner in 1976. He also holds a doctorate degree in Management specializing in Insurance from the Commonwealth University of Belize. He acquires a certificate of professional studies in strategic leadership from the same university.
He kicked off his career with the Royal Insurance Group at Chancery Lane in London. He also had a brief stint with British Engine in Manchester and the Royal Marine Insurance Department in Liverpool before setting up his company; Standard Insurance Consultant Limited which specializes in Energy Insurance Placement, Aviation and Space, Marine and General Insurance etc.
As he walked majestically with his wife to the podium to receive his awards, he beamed with smiles. Praising the global organization for recognizing him and his company, Salawudeen thanked the organisers for the honour bestowed on him and particularly Nigeria as a whole. He said, “This honour is not for me, my company or my family but for my country Nigeria. This shows that Nigeria as a country has great potential. It shows that despite our challenges in Nigeria, there are companies that are doing very well. I want you to come and invest in Nigeria in mining, agriculture and so on.
“The recognition I believe would enhance the company’s growth at the business level because it would increase capacity for business relationship, generates more businesses and revitalizes our corporate image,” he concluded.
Among the dignitaries that accompanied him to the global ceremony were his wife, Mrs. Tolu Ahmed-Salawudeen, Legal Advisor, Standard Insurance Consultants Limited, Mrs. Zainab Bakare, Managing Director/CEO Standard Alliance Insurance, Plc, Mr. Bode Akinboye, Mr. Ajmal Khan and Manager at Standard Insurance Consultants Limited, Mr. Oladele Zaccaeus.