Ibukun Awosika had never worked in finance a day in her life. In fact, she has a degree in Chemistry and used to manufacture furniture for a living. So, how did a furniture maker land the position as first chairwoman in the history of Nigeria’s largest bank?
It all began when 25-year old Awosika resigned from her showroom manager position at Alibert Nigeria Ltd. in order to start her own furniture manufacturing company, The Chair Centre Ltd. (formerly known as Quebees Ltd.). But how? Awosika wasn’t supported by angel investors, and she wasn’t sitting on a cash payout or an inheritance. As a new entrepreneur, she was unknown and had no advantages over larger furniture manufacturers that had been in business for years. To top that, manufacturing costs kept rising higher and higher due to economic difficulties caused by years of industry mismanagement.