How A Former Nigerian Teacher Built A Billion Dollar Business
Where your story starts doesn’t have to define where it finishes, and the stumbling blocks to meet along the way shouldn’t have to stop your journey.
Great entrepreneurs never settle for less, persevere no matter what, and in the end, almost always turn out successful no matter how long it takes.
This is the success story of Emeka Offor, the founder of Chrome Group, a man who was unwilling to settle for less than life could initially offer, persevered through it all and turned out successful in the end.
Here’s how he did it:
Early Life And Education Of Emeka Offor
Emeka Offor was born on the 10th of February 1957 to Mr and Mrs Benneth Offor in Kafachan, Kaduna, Nigeria. He hails from Irefi Oraifite in Ekwusigo local government area of Anambra State, Nigeria. He is married to three wives and has several children.
Emeka Offor had his primary education at Eziukwu Primary School in Aba, Abia State, and St. Michael’s Primary School at Ogbete, Enugu. Upon completing his primary education, he began his secondary education at Merchant of Light School and subsequently moved to Abbot Boys High School, Ihiala, Anambra State.
Following his High School education, he remained in his alma mater as a teacher but left after a short while, because he was convinced he had more to offer than just being a teacher in a country where teachers are rarely ever valued or respected.
Emeka Offor had no education from a Higher institution, however, an honorary doctorate degree in entrepreneurship was awarded to him by the Nnamdi Azikiwe University in May 2019.
Journey To Entrepreneurship & The Start Of Chrome Group
Emeka Offor’s journey started as soon as he decided he was meant to be more than a teacher. He ended his teaching career at Abbot Boys High School, Ihiala, Anambra State and decided to follow his Father’s friend, Geoffrey Abadi to Warri, Delta State. He soon secured employment at Rivways Lines Nigeria Ltd as a transport clerk, a company that imported bitumen products.
While he was working at Rivways, Abadi encouraged Emeka Offor to learn the ropes of how the business was conducted; advice which he took. As he learnt, Abadi helped him purchase and supply bitumen in small quantities to smaller companies.
Within a space of two years, the business grew and Emeka Offor began to supply to larger companies who needed the product. Some of the companies he supplied to were large organisations like Julius Berger Nig. Ltd, Guffanti Nigeria Ltd and Fougerolle Nigeria Ltd. He continued successfully in the business for a long time until the year 1985 when he decided to diversify into more areas of the oil and gas sector.
He established Chrome Oil Services in 1985. And as time flew by, the company metamorphosed into The Chrome Group in 1994.
Chome Group Today
Chrome Group is billion-dollar Nigerian oil conglomerate, with its head office in Abuja, Nigeria. The company has significant interests in the Oil and Gas sector with diversified interests in biofuels, petroleum products trading, refineries, chemical and petrochemical plants, natural gas, Oil field (onshore and offshore), fertilizers, wastewater treatment, environmental protection services, logistics, dredging business, and much more.
Chrome Oil made its first inroads into Nigeria’s downstream oil and gas sector in 1994 and has since stacked up a great track record of performance in construction, engineering and technical services.
Chrome Oil has also expanded into other areas in both upstream and downstream sectors of the Nigerian oil & gas industry.
The company has a presence in Nigeria, Switzerland, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Emeka Offor has been involved in philanthropic activities and was commended by the Federal Government of Nigeria for his humanitarian intervention, especially in the areas of health and education.
His dedication to philanthropy led him to establish the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation (SEOF), a non-governmental philanthropic organisation that was established in 2006 in Nigeria. The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation has so far committed over N750 million to charitable projects.
The organisation has also partnered with some international organisations like Books for Africa, Rotary International, Mainz Hospital Research, amongst others in a bid to impact lives.
Awards And Recognitions
- Past Chairman of the Governing Council of Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo.
- Knight of Saint Christopher of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion.
- Philanthropist of the Year award by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Anambra State Council – 2012.
- Humanity award from the Kpakpando Foundation for Physically Challenged Persons – 2012.
- Emeka Offor received the Dr Alex Ekwueme Award of Excellence for his outstanding contribution to Education in Nigeria and Africa through SEOF – 2012
- The Nigerian Library Association (NLA) conferred on Sir Emeka Offor the Eminent Service Award – 2013
- International Service Award for a Polio Free World by the Rotary International – 2016
- Young Foundation Incorporated, Atlanta, Georgia, conferred him with the International Humanitarian Award – 2019
The story of Emeka Offor is one of a person willing to learn, start small, and eventually grow quickly. It is apparent in his early journey in life and his later pursuits that he is not one to shy away from uncharted waters and new territories in business.