Meet The 36 Year-Old Entrepreneur Who Built A $1 Billion Oil Company In Tanzania

Published 6 years ago

On a crisp late May afternoon in Dar es Salaam Ally Awadh, one of Tanzania’s most prominent businessmen, is waxing lyrical about a deal he has just concluded. Recently, the Competition Authority of Kenya gave his company, Lake Oil Group, the go-ahead to acquire all the fuel service stations of Hashi Energy, one of Kenya’s largest independent oil companies. “It’s a first step for us in our pursuit of regional domination,” says the 36-year-old mogul in lightly accented but supple english. “Once you conquer Kenya as a foreign company, then you shouldn’t really have much of a problem prospering in other East African countries.”

Dressed in a black T-shirt, jeans and handmade black loafers, Awadh’s look may be unpretentious. His ambitions are anything but. In less than a decade the young founder and CEO of Lake Oil Group has built his company into a $1 billion (revenues) integrated energy solutions provider, and he’s not resting just yet.

Ally Awadh

Lake Oil Group, which Ally Awadh founded in 2006, is one of East and Central Africa’s fastest growing energy trading and transportation conglomerates. The company is now one of the 5 largest distributors of petroleum products in Tanzania. Lake Oil Group also distributes and trades fuel products in Zambia, DRC, Burundi and Rwanda; owns its own oil storage facilities in Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo; manufactures lubes and Ready Mix Concrete Segment, and operates a fleet of more than 400 tankers. Lake Oil Group also has trading operations and gas stations in Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, Uganda, Canada and United Arab Emirates.

Ally Awadh was born in 1980 to a family of successful entrepreneurs. His father built a considerable fortune trading agricultural commodities in Tanzania, and as a result Awadh attended the prestigious and exclusive International School of Tanganyika for his High School studies before proceeding to Brock University, Canada, where he studied Business Administration.

While studying for his undergraduate degree at Brock University, Canada, Awadh once reached out to his father, demanding an additional allowance. His slightly irritated father chided the young Awadh and asked him to start earning income on his own.

“My father basically got tired of me always calling him to ask for more money, so one day he bluntly told me on the phone that I was an adult, and if I wanted any money, I needed to start working for it. It was a reality check for me,” Awadh recalls.

Awadh soon got a job flipping burgers at McDonalds after study hours. “This was a turning point for me,” he muses. “For the first time, I was having to serve people. I was taking orders, handing people their food with a smile, building up on my people skills and just learning how to connect with customers. But more importantly, I was earning my own income, saving and building a nest egg for the future.”

Mfonobong Nsehe ,  CONTRIBUTOR

Related Topics: #Ally Awadh, #Tanzania.