The Dangote group was established in 1978 and currently operates in 18 countries in Sub Saharan Africa including Nepal.
Even the most successful entrepreneurs fail every now and then
and Dangote is no exception. After beginning a textiles business in the
1990’s, the company had to shut down and let go of almost 6400 workers.
As Aliko Dangote puts it “We think big and we roll out very
big” and that is probably one of the main reasons why he has amassed the
level of wealth he has.
From being a trading company Dangote has diversified into
several industries including banking, frozen fish, textiles, rice,
cement and now oil refinery. As Dangote says, the diversification is
good for business because there is no business that is 100% safe.
“The most dangerous thing for an entrepreneur to do is to
actually go into a business that he does not understand fully”, says
Dangote. So for all the budding entrepreneurs reading this, make sure
you do sufficient homework.
An important investment strategy for Dangote is to look at what
areas that can move Nigeria forward and add value to the people of
Nigeria. It pays to love your motherland.
“I think it is mainly to see how impactful you can be to
humanity instead of chasing money”, according to the mogul. Dangote
believes that African’s are the only ones that are going to make Africa
great and move Africa forward. So strive to make an impact in any
business you do.
Dangote’s worst day in business came when they decided to start
the first cement plant and found out that they built the 5 million ton
capacity on the wrong soil which threatened to destroy everything the
company had invested in.
To prevent other companies from knowing what they were doing,
Dangote decided not to do a feasibility study on the soil before
building. As he puts it, they wanted to hide from the competition. Moral
of the story, learn to keep things close to the chest.
Avoid cost overruns because that is the fastest way to fail.
Dangote managed to get a consortium of banks to raise about $470 million
to help them release cash flow. This is one of his top advice to
One of Dangote’s mantra and a plaque he keeps on his table,
Dangote believes that anything you put your mind to, you can achieve.
According to Africa’s richest man, it is important for young
people to be very focused, understand what they want to do and also
understand the type of business they are going into.
“It is better to let the money come in first before you spend
your income”, says Dangote. So for those of you have already booked your
holidays before the money arrives in your account, cancel your plans.
According to Dangote, if you want to enjoy life, make the money
first. You cannot have it all so you choose, the clubs or the office?
According to Dangote, he is on a trajectory and he will get to
the top no matter what. It is extremely important to believe in yourself
as a young entrepreneur even when it seems no one else does.