In his tribute to the late Tayo Aderinokun a dear friend and colleague, Folu Adeola tells a humourous story of how they started Finishing Touches Barbing Salon in Ikoyi.
According to Adeola, one of the challenges posed by living in Ikoyi in 1986 was that there were no barbers anywhere nearby so one had to go to the Mainland for a simple haircut. While on his way to the Mainland on one such occasion, there had been an accident and he could not help but wonder whether those involved had been on their way to get a haircut. The time had come to solve the nagging problem of travelling far for a mere haircut! And in that way, theirs was a partnership for not just solving problems but also provoking innovation.
Together they founded Guaranty Trust Bank one of Nigeria’s biggest banks in 1990, which Adeola ran for 12 years before resigning in 2002.
Born Tajudeen Adefola Adeola, the businessman, philanthropist, mentor and politician attended Methodist Boys High School, Lagos, obtained a Diploma in Accounting from Yaba College of Technology in 1975 and became a chartered accountant in 1980. He went on for training at Harvard Business School, INSEAD, the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland and other institutions.
The founder of FATE Foundation, an non-governmental organisation (NGO) through which he has mentored countless young entrepreneurs, has since served as the chairman UTC, ARM, Lotus Capital, Eterna Oil, CardinalStone Partners Limited, and Credit Registry Services.
The holder of the Nigerian honour of Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) is also the chairman of Main One Cable Company Limited and has served as a member of the Global Advisory Committee on Philanthropy of the World Economic Forum, and as commissioner on the Commission for Africa.
Bet you didn’t know that his friendship with the late Tayo Aderinokun, which dates back to their teenage years in Surulere, Lagos never waned till the very end.