Few African executives in any field hold the global reputation of Kola Adesina, the Group Managing Director of the Sahara Power Group. Adesina’s experience traverses various disciplines, insurance, diplomacy, law, and power. The Sahara Power group has grown under the leadership of Kola Adesina to become one of the top providers of electricity in the Sub-Sahara region of Africa.
Beginning his career in insurance, Adesina gained his first degree in this sector before expanding his focus with a Master’s in Business. After becoming a member of the Chartered Institute of Insurance, Kola Adesina went into the energy sector (power, oil, and gas) through Sahara Group. After learning as much as possible about the power sector, the mentor for young professionals set out to create a vibrant company capable of leading the continent of Africa into a new era of success in the power sector. The expertise Kola has developed over the last few years has made him a respected expert for the Nigerian Government and a sought-after speaker for industry events globally.
Have you always been interested in the energy sector?
I have always had an interest in how power is generated to drive activities in homes, businesses, and communities among others. That interest continues to drive my performance at Sahara Power where our focus remains to bring energy to life and transform the face of businesses in Africa.
Did your diplomacy skills help with your government work in Nigeria?
I believe so. I have always been interested in diplomacy and understanding how the law works. As a business leader at Sahara, this skill comes in handy as there are several stakeholders in the value chain that one needs to work with across various projects.
Diplomacy has also helped me play an integral part in the development of the power sector through my contribution to various committees. When I was asked to join the Presidential Committee on the Accelerated Expansion of the Electricity Infrastructure in Nigeria, I felt I was being called to help create a successful future for my home continent in its entirety. Diplomacy is a life skill everyone needs to embrace.
Do you see yourself as an entrepreneur?
Deep down in my heart, I see myself as an entrepreneur, one that is always seeking avenues to create value and impact the world positively – through ideas, engagement, and excellence. These attributes drive my passion even as Sahara Power’s chief executive. The starting point of success is always that place where you decide to give expression to your dream. This is what entrepreneurs do.
Is there any such thing as a typical day at the office?
Rarely. My day can start at just about any time. This is usually a factor of projects I have to work on or a simple text message that comes to me by 1 a.m. So I can begin my day in Nigeria and end up on a continent outside Africa by the end of the day. So that makes me completely sold to the Boys Scout motto: Be Prepared. I live every day knowing that I need to be ready for whatever challenge or opportunity I come across. Actually, at Sahara Group we don’t see any difference between challenges and opportunities. Our resolve is to make the best of every situation we encounter; This has been a major factor in all our achievements in the last two decades.
Do you have a long-term aim?
Regarding business, I hope to continue the expansion of the Sahara Power Group with more projects that will see us diversify our power generation capacity to include alternative energy sources and also realizing our plans to expand across the continent.
What does the future hold for the Sahara Power Group?
A global impact is my main priority. We expect that the company will continue its expansion and use the platform of technology to spread its impact and vision of lighting up Africa.