Avuru was responding to questions from Laurence Ani of New Telegraph in Monte Carlo where he is a finalist in the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the year 2014 at a gala holding in Salle des Etoiles in Monte Carlo, Monaco tonight.
Austin Avuru, was named winner in the Master Category for the Nigeria and West African sub-region on Saturday November 9, 2013.
Avuru also spoke about the emergence of SEPLAT as the leading indigenous oil and gas player. According to Avuru “for 50 years the oil and gas industry in Nigeria was dominated by oil and gas multinationals. If it was that easy, it wouldn’t have been a 50 year dominance. In the past 20 years there have been several regulatory attempts to introduce indigenous participation. It didn’t work. It looks easy because we walked in, did a landmark transaction, led the way and we have shown how it can be done, built a world class company took it to the stock exchange raised half a billion dollars. It looks easy because we did it right. One of the most difficult industries to operate in is the oil and gas industry. Oil is an international commodity and you have no control over the price and you have to build a business that will survive in good times and in bad times.”
Avuru, a very cerebral and well respected oil industry professional said entrepreneurs are not made, they are created because according to him, “the classroom as well as other formal and informal trainings are meant to sharpen, not create the entrepreneurial spirit. So, I think there has to be some inborn traits.”
The winner of the annual Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year Award will be announced tonight and will take over from last year’s winner Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the US based Chobani who was named the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the year 2013.