When Orville and Wilbur Wright set out to redefine human travel and bring the four corners of the earth closer together in time, they were warned by critics. The naysayers told them that if God had wanted man to fly, he would have given him wings. Today, an aircraft is a testament to the ingenuity of the human mind.
Sir Mallinson Ukatu who comes in the mold of the Wright brothers started out as a trader with the name “Mallinson & Partners Ltd. He had the option of staying put on the easy route of importation which leads to capital flight and empowerment of foreign economies.
President, Mallinson Group, Sir Ukatu Afam Mallinson
The excuses are all too common and valid- epileptic power supply, which is the foundation of industrialization, poor infrastructure, multiple taxation, insecurity, policy inconsistency on the part of government, very high interest rates etc.
All these factors militate against manufacturing in Nigeria, but where others saw challenges, Sir Mallinson saw opportunities, where others want the easy way of continuous importation, Sir Mallinson insisted on changing the narrative by producing in the country.
His passion and bold moves led to the setting up of an industry, NISPO Porcelain Company Ltd, for the manufacturing of floor tiles and ceramics. Thanks to his vision, the company is the first indigenous floor tiles and PVC manufacturing firm in Nigeria.
The effect of the industry on job creation is far reaching, creating thousands of jobs both directly and indirectly, giving numerous job seekers the chance to earn a decent living and the government, the opportunity to widen the tax net. The local production of ceramics and PVC has saved the country huge money in forex that could have been channeled towards importation.
NISPO Porcelain Company Ltd
Owing to the uncertainty that surrounds the oil sector and the dwindling government revenue, the hope now lies in deepening the real sector, consequently, Sir Mallinson’s foresight has contributed to the growth and diversification of the Nigerian economy as the country is gradually being weaned from the tethers of foreign ceramic manufacturers.
Now expanding into plastic and pharmaceutical manufacturing, the industry’s technology transfer is also one of the benefits of his giant strides in the manufacturing sector, deepening the national absorptive capacity and innovation capability.
It is, therefore, not surprising that after careful evaluation Mallison emerged the SUN industrialist/entrepreneur of the year 2019 and has been privately presented with the award, even as the global pandemic altered the plans of the organizers, Sun Newspaper, pending the planned virtual ceremony of the award in the month of November 2020.
Sir Mallison’s foray into the manufacturing sector and the indelible marks he has made in the sector stands him out above his peers, some of whom discouraged him when he was starting out on the harsh Nigerian industrial terrain. According to Jose Coronado, people told Henry Ford he couldn’t do it, people told Thomas Edison he couldn’t do it, people told Andrew Carnegie he couldn’t do it.
All these great men had something in common, they were told they couldn’t do it, but they all have defied the odds by proving their doubter’s wrong. They all did it. Just like the great industrialists, Sir Mallinson did it despite the odds and today, the industry is better for it.
Sir Mallinson holds a degree in Philosophy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and MBA from Crawford University, Ogun state. He has continued to enrich his mind and expand his quest for value creation through numerous self-development courses both locally and abroad. Mallison was born in the mid-sixties and is married with children.
He is a role model in entrepreneurship and manufacturing and his story shines forth in darkness, illuminating the dark recesses of the Nigerian industrial terrain, giving inspiration to other entrepreneurs and assuring them that they too can fly.
Mallison has invested in other thriving businesses across the country as he is currently a Director in numerous companies, including Cowry Assets and Management, Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited, Urban Space Services Ltd and Alor Microfinance bank Limited.
Mallison’s philanthropic gestures benefit several causes in his hometown and State, as well as where his businesses are located. He has imbibed the mantra which says that all that is not given is lost, and has made it his life motto.
Indeed, the cap fits.