Meet Ally Awadh, the Tanzanian Entrepreneur that Built a $1 Billion Oil Company in Tanzania

Ally Awadh is the Founder of Lake Oil Group, one of Africa’s fastest growing energy trading and transportation conglomerates that was founded in 2006. At the moment, the company is one of the largest distributors of petroleum products in Tanzania.

Awadh was inspired by his father’s blunt advice that he needed to start making money by himself, in his words “My father basically got tired of me always calling him to ask for more money, so one day he bluntly told me on the phone that I was an adult, and if I wanted any money, I needed to start working for it. It was a reality check for me”

First, Awadh started by flipping burgers at McDonalds after school hours, this he said helped him to build his people-skills and to connect well with others, but his greatest achievement then was that he was at least getting more income to augment the allowance he was getting from home and he could also save some money.

After completing his studies in Canada, he ventured into clothing business, he started importing used clothes from Canada to sell in Tanzania and the business prospered greatly. At this time, he was only 23 years old, but he was able to accumulate a substantial amount of money overtime.

At the age of 26, Awadh applied for a license at the Petroleum Bulk Procurement Agency (PBPA) in Tanzania to import refined petroleum products. At first, they didn’t take him seriously because he was young, but after checking his current balance sheet, it was clear that he had the capacity to pull it through.

Eventually, Lake Oil Group was birthed in 2006. The company started importing fuel products to Tanzania, distributing to gas stations. Awadh was also able to secure loans from local and international banks which he used to build up oil storage terminals across Tanzania. He also started buying up retail stations and setting up new ones across rural regions in Tanzania.

Lake Oil Group also distributes and trades fuel products in Zambia, DRC, Burundi and Rwanda and majorly owns oil storage facilities in Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The company also manufactures lubes and Ready-Mix Concrete Segment and operates a fleet of more than 400 tankers.

It also has trading operations and gas stations in Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, Uganda, Canada and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

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