Kola Adesina
Exclusive Interview with Kola Adesina, GMD Sahara Power Group


Kola Adesina
Kola Adesina


The Group Managing Director of Sahara Power Group, Kola Adesina, is probably one of the best examples of notable visionaries who have been instrumental to the growth of the energy sector in Nigeria and Africa. With multiple college degrees, Adesina after his initial degree in insurance went on to become an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Insurance. He would move on to the energy sector, where he has carved a niche for himself in the power sector in Africa as an expert who serves as a resource person for African governments and regulatory authorities.

In addition to his professional achievements, Kola mentors young professionals, setting them on the path of excellence and sustained achievements across various disciplines. His investment in interventions that promote youth development is an indication of his resolve to give youths platforms to express their abilities.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

To be honest, as the director of Sahara Power Group, I almost never experience typical days. Every day throws up new challenges and opportunities that can change the course of my day. I can start my day in one part of the world and end up at another – but one thing is sure, I meet each disruption with a mindset that is already primed to turn it into something very productive. This is what drives us at Sahara Group.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I read, I think, I imagine, I write, I engage and do all of these again and again until the refined idea pops up and takes a life of its own. Sometimes, it can be the Eureka moment when something hits you, and it becomes a winning idea you can run with.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Continuous learning. The world is evolving every day, and we all have to keep up with the speed of technology. This drives me as ultimately everything ends up in the realm of technology

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Resilience in the face of failure. I never see failure as the final word. It is just an event that can be changed when one learns from previous pitfalls. So, I never say never; I am always ready to pick up myself after a setback and pursue the next target with even more vigor and doggedness.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Nothing is too big to overcome you if you put your mind to it. All you need is to take another look at the challenge and ask yourself, how would it feel to be credited with the laurel of being the one who solved this riddle?

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

That nothing is impossible if one believes. Some people think it is a cliché; for me, it is an absolute truth.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Relationship management is very crucial. Reach out to everyone, the janitor, driver, chef, legislator, etc. you never can tell where the aces would fall and who would lead you in the direction of your breakthrough.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

I am never afraid to take risks. Every risk has the potential to make or mar the business. By not taking risks, you remain on the borderline. So sometimes, the risk can be a pointer to how big the outcome can be. We go a step further to subject the risk to various scenarios before proceeding.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Learning how to invest is very smart. First, you will be able to enjoy passive income if you make good choices. Additionally, you could even charge fees to coach people on how to invest their own money.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I bought some books that opened my eyes to some strategies I had been looking to deploy over a long period.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

There is a cloud-based app that I started using a few years ago. It is a basic calendar with reminders. I like using it because it automatically synchronizes all of the events from my e-mail.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Deep Work by Cal Newport. It teaches people how to minimize distractions and retain optimal performance levels for longer periods.

What is your favorite quote?

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” I like this quote because it explains why people should avoid quantifying their achievements. Being focused and working hard generally leads to success.

Key Learnings:

• Failure should be seen as an inventive never to give up. It is a stepping stone

• That nothing is impossible if one believes. Some people think it is a cliché; for me, it is an absolute truth.

• Never be afraid to take risks. Sometimes, the risk can be a pointer to how big the outcome can be.

• Your success will usually be a byproduct of dedication and far-reaching ambitions.