Mrs Stella Okoli OON

Mrs Stella Okoli, MFR OON is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, an indigenous group she founded 33 years ago, which has grown remarkably to have branches in Liberia, Sierraleone, India and Mali. Born in Kano, to the family of Chief Felix Ebelechukwu and Princess Margaret Modebelu of Nnewi, in Anambra State, she attended All Saints Primary School, Onitisha from 1954 – 1959 and Ogidi Girls’ Secondary School from 1959 – 1964 .

She later proceeded to University of Bradford in the United Kingdom from where she obtained a Bachelors degree in Pharmacy. This academic achievement was followed by an MSc in Bio Pharmaceutics which she obtained from University of London, Chelsea College in 1971. Mrs Okoli’s post-graduation work experience is quite impressive. Her experience in the Pharmaceutical field is well consolidated. She initially worked in Middlesex Hospital as a Ward/Clinical Pharmacist, followed in succession by her brief stint as a Pharmacist at Boots Chemist London.

On her return home to Nigeria, she worked at Massey Children Hospital Lagos before she joined a pharmaceutical manufacturing company Park Davies Nigeria Ltd (now Pharma-Deko Plc) as a Medical Representative and later as a Sales Manager.

By 1981, her entrepreneurial drive led her into the Drug Importation business. She imported both Ethical and Over The Counter (OTC) drugs to meet the health needs of Nigerians for quality drugs and by 1984 incorporated Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries, a leading producer of a wide range of drugs, with over 70 lines of products. Emzor has become a significant contributor to Nigeria’s gross domestic product.

Mrs Okoli is on top of leadership challenges and is in tune with current management trends. She has attended wide ranging courses across the world, to broaden her knowledge and sharpen her leadership skills. Some of these, include The Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School Boston (1997 – 1999) The Implementing Strategic and Organisational Change at I.E.S.E. Business School, Barcelona Spain (1996). Management Course 2002 in Insead in Switzerland and the Chief Executive Programme of the Lagos Business School. She is also a director of the Harvard Business School Nigeria.