Koos Bekker is a South African billionaire famous for transforming an indigenous newspaper publisher, Naspers, into an e-commerce investor and cable TV giant.
The business operates in 130 countries and is traded on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges. Outside of the United States, China, and India, it has the highest market valuation of any media firm.
In 2001, he led Naspers to invest a reported $34 million for a third of Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings, possibly the largest venture investment.
Naspers invested some assets in two publicly traded firms in 2019 – entertainment provider MultiChoice Group and Prosus, which includes the Tencent investment.
Koos Bekker’s net worth is $2.1 billion at the time of writing. Let’s have a little rewind and picture how it all began for Bekker.
The Start of a Phenomenal Career
Having explored the advertising industry, he earned an MBA from Columbia Business School in 1984. He and a few young colleagues developed one of the first two pay-television providers outside of the United States while working on a project paper. M-Net and its subsidiaries, including Multichoice, eventually extended to 48 African nations. In the 1990s, he was a founding director of a mobile communication giant, MTN.
Bekker Becomes Naspers’ CEO
Bekker became CEO of Naspers, one of the early investors in the M-Net/Multichoice company, in 1997. Naspers eventually acquired the pay television companies.
When asked about the future of pay-TV in a session with Oxford Business Groups, Bekker said,
“I believe penetration of pay-TV will not rise too much in the future, as in its current form it is quite a mature industry…However, DTT opens up completely new potential, for the viewer does not need to buy a dish, only a cheap antenna, and once all TVs become digital, will not need a decoder. ”
You can learn more from Koos Bekker in our upcoming edition featuring some of the most influential people in Africa.