Author, Entrepreneur & Investor
A fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria and founding Senior Faculty of the Lagos Business School – Pan Atlantic University, he was Director of The Centre For Applied Economics at the Lagos Business School. He has served in Senior positions in government, as an Adviser to the President of Nigeria; the Private Sector, as Chief Operating Officer for Volkswagen of Nigeria, and in academia.
He is the author of several Management and Public Policy books including the Award Winning Managing Uncertainty: Competition and Strategy in Emerging Economies, 1998 and the 2006 book Why Nations are Poor. His academic background covers a range from Policy Economics, Business Administration, and Political Science to Mass Communication. As an entrepreneur he has founded or co-founded companies that are active in fields including financial services, ICT, Media and Agriculture.
Appointed Professor of the Social and Political Economy Environment of Business, the pioneer Entrepreneurship teacher at LBS has been a scholar-in-residence at the Harvard Business School and the American University in Washington DC. As leader of Civil Society, he is the founder of the Centre for Values in Leadership; The Widow Support Centre and the Concerned Professionals, which was bulwark against-military oppression, among numerous other social enterprise initiatives.
He has served on the key apex private sector associations, including the Lagos Chamber of Commerce, The National Council of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, and the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA). He is active on the International speaking circuit, especially on the subjects of Growth Economics, Comparative Development Economics, Leadership, the Curse of Oil and China’s Economic surge and growing influence in Africa.
He has collaborated fairly frequently with the center for strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington and Chatham House in the UK. He has also written commissioned papers for the UK’s DFID including collaboration with Colleagues from Oxford on the Political Economy of growth in Nigeria. He is a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins School of Advance International Studies (SAIS).
Utomi was voted one of the top 10 Nigerian Living Legends in the Vanguard Newspaper/Silver Bird Television poll in 2009. A multitasker, he has reached the top in several different endeavours, becoming one of Nigeria’s top managers in Manufacturing before his 33rd birthday, reaching a Presidential Advisory position at 27; earning two Master Degrees and a PhD at 26, a Professorship and global acknowledgement as a leading scholar in Business, Political Economy and Media Studies in his forties. His first publication in a refereed international journal appeared in 1981 in a European Journal, Gazette.
As a Business Angel he has helped found such companies as Linkserve (Nigeria’s first ISP), Socketworks (Pioneer e-government systems developer in Nigeria, and Business Day (Nigeria’s first daily business newspaper) He created the iconic LBS monthly executive briefing breakfast and hosted it for its first 10 years, and inspired the founding of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Studies of LBS (now EDC) after a 1996 visit to the Sole C Snyder Centre at Wharton, in Philadelphia. His other books include Critical Perspectives in Political Economy and Management; To Serve is to Live; Business Angel as a Missionary and four other books that are collections of his published opinions. He has written dozens of chapters in edited volumes. Conversations with him have also been published in books of interviews with Utomi.
He was candidate for President of Nigeria in 2007 and 2011. He is a man of faith and family who is widely travelled through all the continents of the world. He has visited more than eighty countries.