Mohamed J. NDAO is the founder and Managing Director of Okapi Energy Group (oil trading, supply chain management and strategic advisory services in Africa). Mohamed has about 20 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry in West Africa. His professional experience includes some major companies such as Addax Energy and Totsa. We are delighted to share this interview with you.
#1/ What is the best time you can remember in your career?
The day the head of an African refinery called me in desperation because the country was running out of gasoline and it was almost impossible to find molecules on the market. It was a tough call, but I made it. The fallout from that day (positive and negative) changed the course of my career and made me who I am today. Since then, I’ve believed that destiny comes to people in different guises, which are not always what we would expect. That day really changed the direction of my career in the trading industry.
#2/ If you had to give just one piece of advice to a junior starting his/her career, what would it be?
I would offer two pieces of advice:
1- Be willing to learn from others’ experiences.
2- Be patient.
#3/ Do you have a Motto/Lucky charm?
Good things always take time.
#4/ What do you enjoy the most in your day-to-day job?
The fact that it is unpredictable. Situations that have to be dealt with urgently can crop up at any time. I never find it repetitive and I enjoy multitasking.
#5/ If you had to do it again, would you choose the same career path?
Without hesitation! I am passionate about my work and truly feel that I have found my calling. It has been a rollercoaster journey, but I have enjoyed it overall.
#6/ Where is your favourite place on earth and why?
From a personal perspective, anywhere that I am with my loved ones. If I had to choose a country, it would be New Zealand as I am an adventurous person.
#7/ How would you describe your relationship with Ampersand World?
My relationship with AW is my relationship with Penda. We first met when she started the company as a young and dynamic entrepreneur wanting to shake up the industry. It makes me proud to see what she has built up over the years and is still achieving. She is a sister, a friend and the embodiment of professionalism. I have trust and faith in her.