Managing Director, Medical Doctor
DATE of BIRTH
MBA- Stanford University Graduate School of Business
BM BCh, Medicine-University of Oxford
BA, Physiological Sciences- University of Oxford
PLACE OF BIRTH
Amy Jadesimi is one of Nigeria’s most successful women and has been recognized internationally as one of Forbes 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa (2014). Born to Chief Oladipo Jadesimi, a renowned multi-billionaire businessman, and Alero Jadesimi, an ace broadcaster and entrepreneur, Amy Jadesimi was strongly influenced by stories of her Nigerian heritage and grew up with a strong sense of pride in what it means to be Nigerian.
Her paternal grandfather was a Bishop in the Anglican Church and her maternal grandfather was Nigeria’s first Minister of Finance, Sam Okotie Eboh. Jadesimi believes that it is important for Nigerians to learn about their heritage and about the things they have achieved as a people instead of listening to the negative narratives about Nigeria.
Education and Early Career
Jadesimi earned her first degree in Physiological Sciences from Oxford University and then proceeded to Oxford University Medical School where she graduated as a Medical Doctor. Shortly after graduating from medical school, Jadesimi joined the surgical team at a hospital in Oxford. While practicing as a medical doctor, she was offered a job at the Investment Banking division of Goldman Sachs in London, to specialize in Corporate Finance and Mergers and Acquisition. Even though she was passionate about medicine, she decided to accept the offer at Goldman Sachs in order to explore what an alternative career in business will be like. Jadesimi planned to work at Goldman Sachs for a year and then return to her work at the hospital but she ended up enjoying her work at Goldman Sachs and decided to focus on a career in business. She worked as a Corporate Finance and Mergers and Acquisition analyst at Goldman Sachs for three years and afterwards pursued a MBA degree at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. While at Stanford, she interned as a transaction executive at Brait Private Equity in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2004, Jadesimi graduated from Stanford University Graduate School of Business with a MBA degree and a Global Management Certificate.
Return to Nigeria
With the wealth of knowledge acquired and the experience gained and despite the several risks involved with doing business in Nigeria, Jadesimi returned to Nigeria to set up a financial consulting firm before joining the management team of the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) as a managing director. LADOL, founded in 2000 and with a $500 million industrial free zone, is an ecosystem that was built to accommodate industrial projects. On joining LADOL, she was able to set up an industrial village from scratch. She explained in an interview with BBC that a key reason why she decided to invest in Nigeria is because the returns on investment far exceed the risks involved. She sees Nigeria as a gold mine and as a market with huge opportunities.
In April 2014, Nigeria was ranked the largest economy in Africa, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $509 billion, surpassing South Africa’s $372 billion (source: World Development Indicators) and in a recent market research conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Lagos was ranked 3rd out of Africa’s 20 biggest cities in its ability to attract foreign direct investment. The global decline in oil price has increased the Nigerian government’s efforts to diversify the economy and reduce Nigeria’s dependence on oil as its major source of revenue. For example, major growth has occurred in the telecommunication industry and the industry now contributes about 8.6% to GDP. Growth has also occurred in the entertainment sector, especially in the film industry which is popularly known as Nollywood. Increased diversification, has brought more opportunities for entrepreneurs like Jadesimi in the different sectors. Beyond diversification, Nigerians are now being encouraged to invest locally more than ever before. In 2010, the Local Content Act was signed to develop local content in the oil and gas industry. The Local Content Act and the Banking Sector Reforms have been major drivers of growth in Nigeria.
For decades, indigenous operators in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry lacked the capacity and expertise to take up huge projects like their foreign counterparts and the industry was dominated by international entrepreneurs who had huge amount of capital and expertise to invest. Based on the information provided by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Nigeria lost about $380 billion to capital flight and exported over 2 million jobs to other countries in over 50 years. Most of the Nigerians that worked with the foreign companies worked as casual workers.
Over the past ten years, indigenous oil companies started to develop capacity and some were able to secure the resources needed to take up huge projects but the industry was still largely dominated by foreign companies. In 2010, the Local Content Act was signed by President Goodluck Jonathan to increase local participation in the oil and gas industry. With the introduction of the Local Content Act, Nigerian entrepreneurs are now encouraged to invest in this sector. More than ever before, local entrepreneurs are now involved in various aspects of oil and gas restoration including, mining, drilling and fabrication.
Even with increased local participation, local entrepreneurs still have to overcome the lack of adequate infrastructure. Jadesimi and her team at LADOL observed the dearth of facilities that need to be developed and they also noticed that the facilities that were in place had become obsolete. Most of the available facilities were built nearly 20 to 30 years ago. As a result of this underdevelopment, Jadesimi saw the need for new facilities that will enable local production. Through LADOL, Jadesimi seeks to develop modern facilities to support offshore operations and promote local participation. She hopes to reduce Nigeria’s dependence on foreign money and encourage local investment in infrastructures. More importantly, she hopes to reduce the rate of unemployment and capital flight by providing jobs for over 50,000 qualified Nigerians.
Finding the new ways to make a difference, Jadesimi joined the Venture Strategies for Health and Development (VSHD) organization where she works with other Nigerian doctors and birth attendants to reduce the high rate of maternal mortality in Nigeria. In the process of addressing different delivery cases, Jadesimi and the other practitioners noticed that the drugs available to reduce maternal mortality were expensive and a large percentage of pregnant women could not afford the drug. Apart from being expensive, the drugs were not as effective because they required constant refrigeration and they had short shelf lives. Based on this, the VSHD discovered a drug that could help reduce maternal mortality and that was well suited for the market. The problem however, was figuring how they could get the drug into the local market. Under Jadesimi’s supervision, the organization partnered with a leading pharmaceutical company in Nigeria, Emzor Pharmaceutical, to distribute the drug within Nigeria. With the assistance of other practitioners, Jadesimi got the products registered and increased people’s awareness of the drug. The team of doctors also ensured that people were better informed on its use. Today, the drug is now locally produced by Emzor Pharmaceutical and it is widely distributed within the local market at an easily affordable rate. The rate of maternal mortality has also greatly reduced.
Jadesimi has been recognized internationally for her outstanding performance and her intellectual contributions towards economic development in Nigeria and Africa at large. In 2013, she was awarded as a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum and also recognized as a “Rising Talent” by the Women’s Forum for Economy and Society. In addition, the Financial Times identified her as one of the “Top 25 Africans to Watch” in July 2015.