Founder and Group Executive Chairman of the CH Group of Companies, Kwaku Bediako, was so passionate about doing business that he was willing to sacrifice his academics to prove this point to his father.
As a child, Mr Bediako’s father preferred that he study science courses, however he differed in opinion. Therefore while studying at Mfantsipim School, he purposely underperformed, receiving E and F grades in those subjects.
“My father and I did not speak for two years because of it,” he told Lexis Bill on Personality Profile last Thursday. “It pained me and I began to go off track.”
Fast forward over 20 years later, the philanthropic arm of his business, the CH Group Foundation, recently donated $100,000 to the Ghana Covid-19 Private Sector Fund.
The donation is to help complete the construction of Ghana’s first infectious disease isolation and treatment facility, fully equipped with 100 beds.
The donation came after of Mr Bediako and his team decided to feed the needy during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, which according to him was very successful, having served 150,000 meals throughout the country.
Several weeks after the outbreak, it was announced that CH Group would make a hefty donation to build a facility in efforts to support the fight against Covid-19.
Kwame, a husband and father of three children has overcome many obstacles in his journey to becoming one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country. He recounts how the divorce of his parent’s divorce affected him.
“I did not see my mother for 10 years,” he explained. “My father served as my mum and dad at the same time.”
He acknowledged that while he had a terrific relationship with his father, his inability to deal with the divorce and his failing grades drove a wedge between himself and his father, pushing him into the company of bad friends.
After word went around that his son was not performing well academically, Mr Bediako’s father introduced him to his business in the oil sector, and that is how Kwaku Bediako’s career took off.
In 1997, he founded Chase Petroleum, a market-leading oil trading and bulk distributor.
Two years later, he tapped into the real estate market and established Goldkey Properties, a development and management firm that specializes in building upscale residential and commercial properties in prime locations across Accra.
As of today, Mr Bediako’s company oversees eight subsidiaries across Ghana, including the Tema Tank Firm Limited, Chase Petroleum and Barton Homes.
According to him, the biggest challenge he overcame thus far was choosing to focus on a specific industry in business.
“When the success came, there was so much going on,” he said. “I was in oil and there was a lot of money in it. I had to decide whether to buy big cars, chase women and misbehave or whether I should stay quiet and invest.”
He chose the latter, although he admits it was challenging to earn the amount of money he made at such a young age. “It can be easy to make mistakes,” he added.
Mr Bediako believes that a large part of his success is attributed to his drive to keep growing. “If I stand still I will sink. That is what keeps me going.” he disclosed.
Furthermore, he advises that success comes from building trust with people over time.
“I could have taken advantage of people but I never did. Cheating will always catch up with you so I always look at the big picture.”
Always focusing on the “big picture,” he concluded, has never let him down. “Think big. Don’t be distracted by the little things and you will go far.”