Case | HBS Case Collection | December 2006 (Revised January 2007)

Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola and Nigeria's Manufacturing Sector

by Nitin Nohria, Anthony Mayo, Foluke Otudeko and Mark Benson


Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola was an important contributor to Nigeria's manufacturing sector, creating a multimillion-dollar conglomerate including three factories, a retail franchise, a cattle ranch, a 5,000-acre plantation, a sawmill, and an exporting business before the end of British colonial rule in 1960. Seizing business opportunities as he saw demand, Odutola moved between markets at every opportunity, creating companies servicing a diverse variety of needs. Odutola's keen, unwavering interest in improving the infrastructure of Nigeria allowed him to enjoy a successful career in business and politics, despite the vastly fluctuating political landscape of Nigeria. From British rule through civil war and subsequent coups and countercoups, Odutola remained a popular leader for his commitment to promoting Nigerian business ventures. Elevated to Prime Minister of his tribe--the Ijebu-Ode--in 1956, and later selected as the first President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Odutola campaigned for manufacturing interests and consulted with government officials about national fiscal policy. As a statesman and as a business leader, Odutola worked tirelessly to improve the infrastructure of his country.

Keywords: History; Business Conglomerates; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Success; Leadership Style; Business History; Market Entry and Exit; Personal Development and Career; Business Startups; Manufacturing Industry; Nigeria;


Nohria, Nitin, Anthony Mayo, Foluke Otudeko, and Mark Benson. "Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola and Nigeria's Manufacturing Sector." Harvard Business School Case 407-027, December 2006. (Revised January 2007.)