Kyari A. Bukar

Founder/CEO, Trans-Sahara Investment Corporation

Kyari Bukar is Co-Founder/CEO Trans-Sahara Investment, (TSIC) a Private Equity firm that originates, develops and actively manages direct investments in sub-Sahara African business, with a focus in West Africa.

Kyari Bukar was also the immediate past chairman of Nigerian Economic Summit Group, a think-tank organization that promotes sustainable growth and development in the Nigerian economy using research-based advocacy methods, also serving as a private sector economic advisory organization to Federal Government of Nigeria.

Prior to setting up TSIC, Kyari Bukar was the CEO of Central Securities Clearing System Plc (CSCS). As the Managing Director/CEO of CSCS, the Central Securities Depository for the Nigerian Capital markets, he was instrumental in ‘the transformation of the company from an entity that had a dysfunctional culture to a customer-centric, efficient and resourceful organization with high profitability. Before joining CSCS, Kyari was the MD/CEO of Valucard Nigeria Plc where he was instrumental in turning around the Company. Kyari Bukar also sits on the boards of other leading companies in Nigeria such as Sunu Assurance Plc, Chams Plc, Standard Chartered Bank, and many others.

Kyari Bukar also spent 14 (fourteen) years working with Hewlett- Packard (HP); one of the World’s leading IT Companies, where he rose to the position of Senior IT Consultant and Worldwide Technical Marketing Manager, within divisions of the Company. Kyari also possesses a background in Banking having spent a stint working with FSB International Bank Plc (now Fidelity Bank Plc) as Executive Director in charge of Electronic Banking, Information Technology and Operations.

Mr. Bukar holds a B.Sc. Degree in Physics from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria and M.Sc. Degree in Nuclear Engineering from Oregon State University, USA. He is at} alumnus of Lagos Business School (LBS), Wharton Business School and Harvard Business School, USA.

Kyari Bukar is the Lead Judge of The Next Titan for the 9th year running.

Tonye Cole

Co-Founder, Sahara Group

Tonye Cole is the Founder and CEO of Sahara Energy Group, a conglomerate and a multi-national company of repute which has presence in different locations including Africa, The Caribbean, Asia and Europe with interests covering Oil trading, Storage, Energy and Power Resources, Aviation, Farming and Real Estate. From a small office in 1996, with the core business of trading excess fuel oil from the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries in Nigeria, Sahara Group has expanded its tentacles to offices in Geneva, Switzerland -which actively trades in Crude oil, Gas oil, Jet A1, mogas and bitumen in global markets; Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cameroon, France, Singapore, Dubai and Brazil.

The success of Sahara Group, a company founded by Tonye Cole is simply astounding, more so because it is a 100% indigenously grown company from Nigeria, competing with established giants in the energy industry.

In Tonye’s words “Entrepreneurs require very little to get started, primarily their talents, their dreams, their self-belief and their determination. The myth about access to huge amounts of capital being required to commence is often times proved wrong in the story of all legitimately successful entrepreneurs”.

Tonye is an alumnus of the University of Lagos, Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil, and Harvard Business School. Before he founded Sahara Group in 1996; Tonye, as an Architect worked in a Brazilian architectural firm Grupo Quartro SA in Goiania Brazil from 1990-92.

Tonye Cole is a Judge of The Next Titan for the 9th year running.

Chris Parkes

Chairman/CEO, CPMS Africa

Chris Parkes is the founder of CPMS Africa, a Marketing Solutions Company with offices in Nigeria: (Lagos, Kano, Calabar), South Africa, and Ghana. Chris has over thirty-five years’ experience in the advertising and marketing industry, eight years in the UK with top agencies, plus his own partnership in London, clients included, American Express International Dollar Card & TC’s, MasterCard, Securicor Granley, and Browning. He spent Fifteen years in South Africa with Lintas and then his own business, working on Levers, Standard Bank, SAA, SAR, Allied, KFC and Kimberley Clarke.

Later, Chris moved to Madagascar where he set up an Advertising Agency, an import export company and finally a billboard company for a South African agency. This proved to be highly successful with the country’s top brands becoming long term clients. He has since then spent over sixteen years in Nigeria, six of them building Tequila Nigeria from scratch to become the largest BTL Company under his management working for British American Tobacco, Guinness Nigeria Plc, MTN and a number of other top clients.

CPMS Africa (Chris Parkes Marketing Solutions) was established in July 2002. Over the years, British American Tobacco, Guinness, Zain, Etisalat and many others have enjoyed the CPMS experience. Nigerian Breweries Plc and Distell South Africa have also joined CPMS in the last four years to maintain the high-quality client portfolio.

In his words “We believe we are the most professional, effective and integrated through the line consultancy specializing in advertising, trade marketing, sponsorship and event marketing in West Africa”.

Chris Parkes is a Judge of The Next Titan for the 9th year running.

Lilian Olubi

CEO, EFG Hermes Nigeria

Lilian Olubi is a seasoned investment manager with over twenty years of Capital Markets experience. She is currently the CEO of EFG Hermes Nigeria Limited and a founding Partner and Member of the Board of Directors of Primera Africa Finance Group, a leading boutique Investment and Financial Services group which has business lines in Advisory, Consumer Finance and Principal Investments.

A woman of many parts, Lilian is enthusiastic about civic duty and social development. She founded The Gold Lilies Global Services, a social venture conglomerate aimed at empowering personal and organizational growth in various sectors and also the Drug Aid Africa Initiative, which offers free medical drugs and supplies to patients in indigent communities.

An advocate of social capitalism, she believes strongly that social enterprise and SMEs- and more often than not, a blend of the two- are the engine houses of any strong economy.

Lilian is happily married and blessed with two lovely children.

Lilian Olubi is a Judge of The Next Titan for the 8th year running.

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