Union Oil Ghana limited is one of the leading oil companies in Ghana. It was licensed in July 2008 as an oil marketing company but became officially operational in March 2009.
Union Oil Ghana ltd. is a fully fledged member of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies (AOMC) in Ghana and has the largest concentration of its outlets in the Western region.
Mr. Charles Obeng Mensah is a simple and experienced man who happens to be the head of this vibrant institution. Before the conception of Union oil, he worked with Elf oil which is now defunct and has been taken over by Total Oil. He rose through the ranks and attained the position of a Network development manager, moved to Danex Pharmaceuticals as the head of sales and marketing department. He joined Allied oil and he set up Union oil Ghana ltd afterwards.
He said, “I started Union Oil in 2008 with my friend, Solomon Kponoye and it was never easy. We did acquire the license alright but the actual capital to start the company was a huge problem; we had to call on some friends for assistance and top it up with our meager savings. For a company to be number one there must be a lot of cash in-flow, so we tried applying for bank loans but none was willing to support a ‘start-up’ company but today he we are. The struggles we went through back then made us patient, sensitive and very calculative. It made us understand that the world is full of suffering and with the right amount of passion and perseverance, those struggles would be easy to overcome.”
‘OBM’ as he is fondly addressed by his colleagues and employees had his ‘form 4’ education at Nkawkaw, had his secondary school education at Agogo and had his sixth form education at Navrongo. He later gained admission into the University of Ghana to read Business administration, after acquiring his first degree at the university he went ahead to further his education in Norway.
“My father who happened to be my role model was a teacher by profession, He taught me back in primary one and six. He taught me one simple principle which guided me throughout my life. One day, my fathers walked me to a wall and threw a tennis ball at it and as you know, it bounced back; he then said to me, be careful what you do or say to others because life has a funny way of serving us exactly what we dish out to others. Karma is real son, so be mindful of how you treat others. That is how the law of Karma works.”
Union oil Ghana limited has over 85 outlets across the country which are doing extremely well. Union Oil had been previously ranked 5th and 6th amongst other companies in the Oil sector.
Speaking on how he combines work with family, he answered, “as long as you don’t play around with other women as part of your extracurricular activities, then you should find it easy. Having extra marital affairs only adds up to the already stressful nature of life so once a man is able to do away with that attitude, he is good to go. I have been married to my wife, the beautiful Lydia, for 30 years and so far it has been smooth. My children are all grown now and do not much attention from me so it has made my life as a father and Boss extremely smooth.”
During my interview with Mr. Obeng Mensah, I noticed the name ‘Kissi’ constantly came up. Upon further probing, I discovered that, Mr. Ransford Kissi Appiah (formerly of Glory Oil Company) happens to be the Marketing manager of the company and has been with Mr. Obeng from scratch. In his words, “Kissi and I are from the same town. He has been a brother and a backbone from the onset of the company. One problem I have with people is the issue of mistrust, but Kissi has proven otherwise. We have been friends from childhood and later worked together at Elf Oil, so the bond between us goes way back and he has contributed in writing the success story of Union Oil.”
Wrapping up the interview, “the youth of today are too hungry for quick money and opt for short cuts to success. But note this, good and long lasting things do not come easy. There is pride in enjoying the fruit of one’s hard labor so take life one day at a time.”
OBM wants to be remembered as the selfless leader who left behind a good legacy which would continue to thrive and help reduce the unemployment situation in his country.
His top five musicians in Ghana are: Daddy Lumba, Amakye Dede, A.B Crenstil, Sarkodie and Bernice Offei.
Do well to listen to the audio below for the full interview.
By: NanaYaa Asabea
Facebook: NanaYaa Asabea