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Yakubu Gobir In Details

Yakubu Gobir is a pharmacist, and a graduate of INSEAD and Harvard Business School. After spending a number of years working for Pfizer and Hoechst in Nigeria. Yakubu started his own marketing and distribution company – Smart Mark Limited in June 1998.

Smart Mark has opened up the Nigerian market for a number of multinationals including Swatch, Sara Lee, Wella, L’Oreal, Nike, Levi’s, Converse, United Colors of Benetton, T.M Lewin, Unilever and now Tommy Hilfiger. The company employs over 500 people.

Yakubu Gobir is a social entrepreneur and a pioneer in fashion retail in Nigeria and Ghana. In 2003 he started a fashion retail chain - Fast Forward Stores, which now has over 65 stores in Nigeria and Ghana. A very successful online shopping platform has just been added to the brick and mortar stores.

In 2014, Yakubu returned to his roots in pharmacy practice and started the roll out of large format (750-1,200 sqm) Health & Beauty stores under the brand name INVIVO. These are the first of their kind in Nigeria - and include a Pharmacy, Clinic and Salon in a beautiful world class setting. Stores are already operational in Lagos, Ibadan & Abuja.

Social entrepreneurship is the use of business techniques to find solutions to social problems. This concept may be applied to a variety of organizations with different sizes, aims, and beliefs.

With INVIVO the social problems being addressed are a lack of easy access to primary healthcare; the menace of counterfeit and fake drugs; self medication; and lack of early diagnosis of potentially fatal disease conditions in Nigeria. Four locations have been opened in Surulere and Lekki in Lagos, Abuja and Ibadan.10,454 patients were treated for free in 2015. 25,991 free treatments have been delivered in 2016.

Education Background

Global Executive MBA
2010 - 2011

Harvard Business School
OPM, Owner/ President Management Program
2008 - 2010

Ahmadu Bello University
B.PHARM, Pharmacy
1981 - 1985

Cheltenham College, UK
1976 - 1981

Working Experience

Founder/ CEO
Smart Mark Limited
Dec 1997 - Present

Franchise Partner
Hamleys of London, Nigeria & Ghana
Feb 2017 - Present

INVIVO (Pharmacy + Free Clinic), Nigeria (Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan)
Jan 2014 - Present


Marketing Strategy, Business Strategy, New Business Development, Retail Product Development, Problem Solving, Entrepreneurship, Business Planning, Start-ups, Customer Service, Strategy, Strategic Planning, Business Development, Budgets, Sales Management, Negotiation, Management, Competitive Analysis, Product Marketing, Leadership, Marketing, Sales, Product Management, Marketing Management


Wazirin Hausa
Vizier of Hausaland - Nov 2016

INSEAD Bronze Salamander
INSEAD - Sep 2011


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