Standing out among equals without losing oneself is no small feat. The corporate jungle is a dog-eat-dog environment, and humane champions seldom rise to the top of the food chain. Tunde Folawiyo has shown — and continues to show — that people can build successful business empires without becoming apathetic and cold-blooded gladiators.
Tijani Babatunde Folawiyo (Tunde Folawiyo, for short) is the MD of Yinka Folawiyo Group, a director at MTN Nigeria, founder of Folawiyo Energy, among others. An all-round businessman, Folawiyo captains several company boards and committees, and has earned his space on the shelf of Africa’s top business leaders and levers of innovation and progress.
Folawiyo’s professional life is as fascinating as one would expect of a brilliant man who balanced personal pursuits with a filial obligation. Trained as an economist at the London School of Economics and as a lawyer at University College London, Tunde Folawiyo carved out a niche that allowed him to excel in different economic sectors and industries.
Folawiyo took over Yinka Folawiyo Group in 2008 after the demise of his father, Wahab Folawiyo. Before this time, Tunde Folawiyo had practiced law, served as Vice President in an oil-related organisation (Association of Indigenous Petroleum Explorers & Productions (NAIPEC)), and as a Non-Executive Director of Access Bank. With these experiences, Tunde Folawiyo cemented the business interests of Yinka Folawiyo Group, and made the company a commanding entity in the energy, shipping, engineering, agriculture, and Real Estate industries.
Folawiyo’s integrity, dedication, and meticulous approach to administration and management have earned him accolades left and right, including the 2010 recipient of the African Leadership Award, an upper-level chair on Forbes’ List of Africa’s Wealthiest, and many more.
Tunde Folawiyo is one of those responsible for young Nigerians taking a humane, innovative, and visionary approach to business. His relevance (from the early 1980s to date) is something that motivational speakers regularly draw attention to.
Although Tunde Folawiyo has crossed 60, his momentum and mileage are not faltering or fading. His iconic footprints are everywhere, and they are inspiring others to newer and greater heights.