By Razak Owolabi
Dr Alim Abubakre was born into the family of Prof. Razaq Abubakre of Iwo, Osun State. His quest for training global leaders began as far back as 2010 when he founded These Young Minds in the UK-Her first client was Microsoft.
‘Young’ in ‘These Young Minds’ signifies learning, innovation and embracing a growth mindset culture.
The company rebranded to These Executive Minds (TEXEM) when it decided to expand the company’s services to Africa as some of the clients misconstrued the meaning of Young.
He demonstrated his unparalleled passion for sharing knowledge on the world stage during his MBA studies at Leicester when he conceived the UK’s first student-organised global economic confab during the recession.
The conference that Alim organised with other MBA students was titled “Managing in Turbulent Times” and had coverage by BBC, Independent of the UK and Times Higher Education publication.
The success of this confab and his commendable leadership as the course representative/President of the MBA programme, during which he had regular meetings with the Vice-Chancelor, Prof. Bob Burgess, earned him the Course Representative of the year 2008-He was the first African to achieve this feat in the history of the University of Leicester.
Upon completion of his MBA, Alim served as Director of Strategy at a multinational firm in Cambridge, engaging diverse stakeholders from China, Europe and Africa.
His doctorate degree in Strategy was completed at Southampton University. His doctorate thesis topic was “Evaluating Stakeholder Theory in a Developing Country Context”.
Alim is on the advisory board of the London Business School Africa Club and is presently a Senior Lecturer in International Business at Sheffield Business School.
He recently published a transdisciplinary paper with other international collaborators in an ABS3 (International Public Management Journal ranked at par with Harvard Business Reviews by the UK’s Chartered Association of Business Schools).
The title of this paper is, Modeling the Barriers to Multistakeholder Collaboration for COVID-19 pandemic response: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa.
Alim started his academic career as a visiting lecturer at the University of Southampton and Nottingham Business School before joining Coventry University as a full-time academic.
He is a Senior Fellow of the Advance Higher Education Academy (HEA).
He has supervised over 40 postgraduate students and over 50 undergraduate students to completion.
While he has a budding academic career ahead of him, Alim has distinguished himself in the area of entrepreneurship and consulting.
In the past 13 years, Alim has worked with many of the world’s top business schools and multinational corporations to create executive development programmes.
Under Alim’s leadership, the company he founded, TEXEM, has inspired over 4,000 African, Americans, European and Asian senior executives, including CEOs, Chairs of Boards, Governors, Government Ministers, Vice-Chancellors and General Managers, on different leadership and strategy themes that help organisations achieve their goals.
Specifically, when the company was first founded, it forged a partnership with institutions such as the University of Oxford, INSEAD, Henley Business School, Aston Business School and Manchester Business School.
Thus, Alim has developed academic curricula for executive development programmes in partnership with some of the world’s top institutions.
However, when many of the renowned partner institutions were not keen on delivering executive development programmes in Africa, TEXEM decided to stop partnering with those universities and deliver those programmes leveraging her methodology.
Alim is a thought leader; he has written articles, and his comments have been cited by, Thisday, Guardian, All Africa, Vanguard, Leadership, Daily Trust, Businessday, The Independent and the Times Higher Education.
BBC, Channels TV, and Classic FM have also interviewed him. For example, as far back as 2015, while TEXEM was organising a leadership development programme with Oxford University, Alim shared his insight on the future of modern executives.
“Modern executives cannot afford to just focus on driving their organisations forward, and responsible “corporate governance” is no longer a word organisations throw around for the good PR.
“In fact, it may be imperative to make effective governance the lifeblood of your organisation to stay competitive as we move into the future,” he asserted.
And in 2019, while speaking ahead of a two-day Master Class organised by TEXEM for Nigerian leaders and chief executives on how to create and run an effective board and directors, Alim said:
“In this turbulent, challenging, dynamic and fast-paced operating landscape characterised by new risks and opportunities, good governance remains the bane of many Nigerian organisations’ success”.
During Nigeria’s 62nd Independence anniversary in 2022, Alim prescribed some strategies to make the country retain its economic leadership in Africa’s era of global uncertainties.
He said his prescriptions are “seven quick wins for national prosperity and superlative comparative advantage post 62nd Independence Anniversary”.
He listed the strategies as Harnessing Diasporas and Increasing Exodus of Talent, Vertical Integration of Agriculture and Petroleum, and Building a National Brand.
Others are Harnessing Nigeria’s Youthful Population, Developing a Sustainable Energy Ecosystem, Taking Advantage of Africa’s Free Trade Agreement, and Harnessing Diversity as a strength.
Alim has engaged with two UK Prime Ministers; he has been hosted at St. James’s Palace- in London by royal family members. He was invited to join the Lord Mayor of London’s entourage while visiting some African countries. Dr Alim Abubakre was adjudged one of the 100 top emerging entrepreneurs in the UK by Virgin media.
While working on World Bank projects, Alim was instrumental in accessing and implementing many successful projects with management issues before his involvement.
Alim also worked as part of the project management team that delivered a Public-Private Partnership infrastructure project valued at £3 billion; this was the largest public-private partnership project undertaken in West Africa as of 2007.
He has designed and co-delivered programmes for Private sector organisations such as Airtel, UBA, Ecobank, Seplat, Masters Energy, Energia, Unilever, and Fidelity Bank.
Others are Ag. Leventis, GTBank, First Bank and Leadway Assurance and government (Ministers, MPs, Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, and Directors).
He has also worked with multinational organisations such as Directors at Unilever, EY, KPMG, Deloitte, McKinsey & Company, Manchester United, Bentley, CSRwire, Jaguar Land Rover, Cadbury, Manpower, and Microsoft.
Participants and beneficiaries of leadership development programmes organised by TEXEM gave testimonies to Alim’s skills and expertise as a trainer of leaders.
According to Okon Effiong, Director, New Energy, Seplat, “Dr Alim Abubakre is a strategic thinker and global resource”.
“Dr Alim is a very positive person. He encourages everyone to be their best,”
says Ighojovbe Oghenekaro General Manager HR, Agip Oil.
“I attended a leadership course with TEXEM facilitated by Dr Alim Abubakre in 2022. I found him to be passionate and highly motivated in imparting knowledge to the participants,” says Mr L. A. Cardoso, Regional Coordinator Southwest, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).
“Alim’s contribution to Nigeria and the Nigerian economy is his constant pursuit to bring the best minds and the brightest idea to the Nigerian business so leaders can learn, grow and bring new best practices to the workplace,” says Asnani Naresh CEO, Emel Group Of Companies.
“Alim is a dedicated seeker of change in African professionals. He is determined to offer executives the opportunity to develop themselves to develop their organisations, and then organisations can develop nations,” says Prof. Roger Delves, Professor of Practice at Hult University and one of TEXEM’s faculties.
“Alim brings knowledge and expertise to any client with his well-respected academic and business career as a university lecturer and entrepreneur,” says Prof. Paul Griffith, another TEXEM faculty who is the world’s first Professor of Management to lead a team to launch a rocket to space.
Prof. Rodria Laline, also a faculty, is the Developer of the intellectual property of the chip on every ATM card, former adviser to the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Founder of Harvard Maximise Your Board programme, and Chair of Intrabond.
She has the following to say on Alim and his TEXEM’s leadership development programmes:
“I am proud to have the privilege of being a part of the TEXEM team founded by the remarkable Dr Alim Abubakre.
“His executive education programs for corporate and public leaders in Africa have impressed me with how much he cares about every participant, not just during the executive development programmes but even afterwards.
“He is truly a professional executive trainer who expertly matches and transforms the learning context into the appropriate business and strategy development context.
“Dr Alim Abubakre is an exceptional leader who challenges and enables the process, selects the right people to work with, and follows his influential leaders.
“His ability to develop and train top leaders is unparalleled, and his organisational, contextual, and strategic leadership insight in uncertain times is astonishing.
“His compassion touches the hearts of all who know him. In short, Dr Alim Abubakre is an extraordinary individual who makes the TEXEM team and the people of Africa shine.
“I am proud to be a part of his faculty and grateful for the opportunity to work with him”.
Some other faculties delivering TEXEM’s programmes are renowned globally for their experience and expertise.
Among them is Prof. John Peters, former Chair of the Association of MBAs, Top Word Leadership Speaker and Survivor Par Excellence.
There is also Ambassador John Buck, a former UK Ambassador who is an experienced and capable facilitator between business and governments, particularly in the international oil and gas industry.
Rt. Hon. Mark Simmonds. Chairman, Advisory Board | Invest Africa is another faculty. He served as a Member of the UK Parliament for 14 years.
Ambassador Charles Crawford, the winner of the equivalent of two Oscars, said: “I have worked with Dr Alim and Texem for several years now, giving masterclasses that for a wide range of top-end professional skills in Leadership, Strategy, Negotiating and so on”.
Dr Musa Zagi, Deputy Director, Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, a past participant at a TEXEM’s programme described Alim as “capable and resilient” .
With all these testimonials on Alim and the capable faculties he put together, there is no further proof about this Nigerian export to the UK and the world, of his invaluable contribution to the training of trainers; and training of African and global leaders.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)