Celebrating successful career man: Mr. Seni Adetu
Seni Adetu, a Nigerian, is the immediate past Managing Director/CEO of Diageo Nigeria (Guinness Nigeria Plc.) and was prior to that the Managing Director of East African Breweries, based in Kenya and Guinness Ghana Breweries, based in Ghana; both Diageo subsidiaries, as well as MD/CEO, Coca-Cola West Africa.
Seni’s extensive experience in Sales and Marketing and General Management working for Multinational companies in the last 30 years across Africa makes him an African icon in Consumer Marketing.
He is the founder/CEO of Algorithm Media, an upscale communications company and a Non-Executive Director of various high profile companies, including Fidelity Bank Plc, Tower Aluminium Plc and Graceco Industries Plc.
He is married to Janet, the CEO of JSK Etiquette Consulting and they have three kids.
Do read below the short exclusive interview with Seni Adetu
1) What are you passionate about that keeps you going no matter what ?
First and foremost, I have a purpose and that is to inspire a new generation of African leaders. By this, I mean, to role model those values that some consider “un-African”, as in values of good governance of accountability and of good integrity. In service of this, I am passionate about investing in the growth of younger business leaders. Finally, I expect that as a consequence of this, inspirational leadership would be taken to a new level.
2) How have you been able to successfully balance your career and family life in the last 20 years of your career.
Incidentally, I am one of those people that are very intense in practically everything; I am intense with my work, intense with my family, intense in friendship and intense in leisure. To be specific, when I am at work, I am very focused on what I need to do; when I am on vacation, I fly out of the country with my family from the vicinity of work demands and when I am free, I am out jogging or working out in the gym to keep fit. I have no doubt, our lives reside in God’s hands but I do the best I can to moderate and mix all that make one a complete being.
3) What was the top 3 greatest challenges you may have gone through or in your career, solution if any?
I have had my fair share of challenges. The first was when I had to merge the Guinness and Heineken businesses in Ghana, as CEO Guinness Ghana Breweries and put them under one roof. This was in 2006. Considering they were sworn competitors prior to that, creating a “one team, one culture” philosophy was daunting but through alignment conversation and team engagement, we did it.
Second was when I had to lead an acquisition process for Diageo in East Africa through the purchase of Serengetti Breweries Ltd, Tanzania. This was a transaction that was characterized by legal, regulatory, commercial and competition issues but by a strong stakeholder engagement strategy, we delivered.
The third was when I wanted to lead the process of renovating our flagship brand, Tusker in East Africa; and that desire was countered by forces within and outside the company. I went on notwithstanding and achieved remarkable success.
4) What are your secrets for good looks and staying fit?
God takes ALL the glory and credit. The only effort I put in is, I try not to let anything overwhelm me. Secondly, as I said, I try to exercise regularly and eat as “safely” as I can. My wife jokes that I would rather buy a treadmill before a bed, whenever we move to a new house, she’s right.
5) What are the top 3 advice that you want to pass to every youth, man and father who wants to be successful?
Focus! Hardwork!! Growth!!! If you want hit a C-suite level, you must be completely focused and disciplined. Secondly, there’s no substitute for hardwork, Yes – you need to work smart but hard as well and thirdly, you must continuously invest in your growth. Keep your eye on your goal, run your own race, stay the course, improve yourself constantly and pray without ceasing for God’s guidance and you should make it.