|After trading the surgeon’s scrub for the boardroom, Dr. Ambrosie Bryant Chukwueloka (ABC) Orjiako has fitted seamlessly.|
Nurturing a business empire that spans construction, real estate, pharmaceuticals and shipping, he has taken to the business world like a fish to water. Little wonder he was inducted into the London Stock Exchange’s LSEG Africa Advisory Group recently.
Orjiako was one of the specially selected outstanding senior African business leaders and indeed, he is the second Nigerian business leader selected in the new group appointed to the new Africa Advisory Group alongside Kola Karim, CEO, Shoreline Group – Nigerian Energy & Infrastructure Company.
To prepare himself for the tough world of business he went for the best and enrolled for a course in management at the Harvard Business School, between 2004 and 2006. He took the School’s Owner’s and President’s Management Course and obtained a Certificate in Business Management in 2006.
Armed with a hard-won certificate from that institution on which he could overlay his business instincts, he felt ready to dive into the complex world of big business.
His foray into the business world started when he established and managed various companies in the upstream, downstream and services sectors of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
These include Abbeycourt Trading Company Limited (with which he traded crude oil and refined petroleum products with, among others, Glencore UK Limited), Abbeycourt Energy Services Limited, Zebbra Energy Limited and Shebah Exploration and Production Company Limited.
He was launched into national consciousness when he, with Austin Avuru, co-founded Seplat in 2009 spearheading new business development and fundraising as well as providing leadership on strategy and stakeholder relationships.
Seplat is an independent indigenous Nigerian upstream exploration and production company with a focus on Nigeria, and in less than a decade it has risen to become a leading player in the oil and gas sector of the Nigerian economy.
Seplat, since inception, has been guided by a clear and consistent strategy that is supportive of the company’s long-term vision to be the leading indigenous African independent oil and gas company.
Orjiako explained that several factors had come into play. In the first place, he had established and successfully run several businesses applying his formula for good corporate governance, which included getting intimately involved with the local communities in which his companies operate.
Secondly, the structure of the oil industry was changing. It had been dominated by international companies that controlled virtually all of the upstream activity – exploration, drilling and production. Indigenous companies barely contributed 5% to the total output while a few indigenous companies were involved downstream – processing and distribution in the main. “But upstream is where the real business is,” he said. “Downstream is the icing on the cake.”
Orjiako is also the chairman of Neimeth Pharmaceutical International plc, which is listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange, and a director of MPI and Etablissements Maurel et Prom, both of which are listed on the New York Stock Exchange and Eu¬ronext Paris.
Born on October 1, 1962, he attended secondary school in Uli, Anambra State – his home state. He then enrolled in the Institute of Management and Technology in Enugu State. But his stay there was brief as he went on to study Medicine at the University of Calabar. Bryant qualified with an MBBCH degree in 1985 as the best graduating student. He rose to the position of African Regional Director of the International Federation of Medical Students.
He was also the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Education of the Federation of African Medical Students Association.
His medical career flourished at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital which culminated into him securing a Fellowship in the prestigious West African College of Surgeons and a job as a Senior Registrar at the National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos.