Oil Marketing, Rough For Women – MD, Hadeart Petroleum | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Oil Marketing, Rough For Women – MD, Hadeart Petroleum

Posted: Jun 18, 2015 at 2:48 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Titilayo Jimoh is the Managing Director, Hadeart Petroleum, at Ijegun Egba, Satellite Town, Lagos. She is one of the youngest female players in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector in the new but fast growing Ijegun Waterside, Satellite Town, where her depot is located. In this interview with Aramide Oikelome, she speaks about how she transmuted from being a tailor to being an oil marketer, the challenges and what has kept her going.

How did you get into the oil and gas business?

Titilayo Jimoh

Titilayo Jimoh

I started out as a fashion designer who tailored men and women’s factory garment popularly called ‘over-all’. I made this for many companies. I hired Ghanaians who worked with me. The outfits were selling well and I was making a lot of profit but I felt there was more to life than selling ‘over-alls’ to companies for their workers. What followed was a period of soul-searching.

One day in the year 2002, I woke up with the determination to go into oil and gas and become an oil dealer.  I walked up to a man whom I had always known to be a dealer and told him my dream and that I needed his assistance. When he saw my determination and persistence, he decided to help me. He felt that I knew exactly what I was getting into, so he taught me all the terminologies used in the sector. That was how it all began.


Was there anything in your past that prepared you for this business?   

I grew up in a happy and united polygamous family of 15 children. We grew up in Lagos although my dad is from Abeokuta, Ogun State. My dad was one of the managers of the then Scao Motors while mum was into trading. I attended the Ansarudeen Primary School, Abule Ado, Satellite Town and Festac College, Festac Town. My dad taught me to believe in myself and to be independent. He taught me not to depend on anybody for survival. With this mindset, I believed that I could be anything I wanted to be. My closeness to my dad helped me to develop a good self-esteem.

As a girl, knowing that I was important and visible gave me the push that I needed to pursue anything I wanted in life. And those early experiences have greatly defined who I am today.


How would you describe your journey in the oil sector so far?

I have been in this for 12 years and I can tell you the oil and gas is a rough terrain. However, I am grateful that my search for survival, self-actualization and success did not end in vain. This 12-year journey has taught me that there is power in patience, humility and hard work. In every challenge, I have found the strength to keep going because I am a survivor.  I see challenges as a training ground for big things in life. I always feel that the best is yet to come and that is true because I am far from being done. In fact, I have just started. I always look for every opportunity to develop myself for greater challenges.  No matter how tough the challenge is, I see it as largely short-term.  So, discomfort and failure are stepping -stones to long-term happiness and success in life.


What is it that has kept you going?

I have learnt that hard work still pays and nothing good comes easy. Trials make you strong; sorrows make you humble, success keeps you glowing and Almighty God keeps you going. Trials are good because they bring out the best in you. The terrain is rough most especially for a woman. I was very young when I took that decision. I am still very young and gradually evolving. By the special grace of Almighty, I will make it. When I look ahead, I see myself going places.


Considering that this is a male-dominated terrain, how have you managed to relate well with them without losing your identity?

Given my tough personality, I have acclimatized to the oil and gas terrain. When it comes to this business, I can tell you that I have lost the soft touch of a woman as I work like a man. Interestingly, I work tough but relate freely with all stakeholders who find me easy to relate with. Many of them see me as man in a woman’s body.


What are some of the challenges you encounter?

There are too many tough times of difficulties, disappointments and let-downs. However, I made up my mind that since it was of my own free will that I walked into this business, I must persevere, no matter what.

This is what has sustained me till date even in the face of challenges. These same factors have discouraged many women entrepreneurs in Nigeria from going into oil and gas because it is tough out there. Some oil marketers can be difficult and ruthless but I have a good working relationship with the marketers I work with. They go out of their way to watch my back and have largely contributed to my success.


In what way are you training others? Do you have mentees?

Mentoring made me, so I am ever ready to mentor others. My father was my first mentor and life coach. Mentoring is key; it as a powerful tool to success. I am proud to state that I was mentored by some very powerful, visible and God- fearing men in the oil and gas sector today. Two people who have left footprints in the sands of my life and business are the Managing Director of First Deepwater Discovery Limited, Mr. Babatunde Babalola and Mr. Tosin Kolawole, MD/CEO Twinstemp Energy Ltd. These two men are my mentors and benefactors. I will be eternally gratefully to them for believing in me and making me who I am.


What would be your advice to youths who want to come into this business?

The youths must stop looking for short cuts. Success can never be achieved by giving up; it is a product of perseverance, unwavering effort. So, stop looking for the best business to start. Instead, look for the best business you are willing to stick to regardless of the surrounding circumstances.