Aliko Dangote Talks How to Succeed in Africa's Business Space
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Profiles - April 27, 2023

Aliko Dangote Talks How to Succeed in Africa’s Business Space

Africa’s business space has become a hotbed of opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors alike, and Aliko Dangote is one of the few individuals who have navigated its challenges and complexities. 

With a net worth of over $20 billion, Dangote is not only Africa’s richest man but also one of its most influential business leaders. In an interview, Dangote shared his insights on how to succeed in Africa’s business landscape, drawing from his own experiences as the founder and CEO of the Dangote Group, a multinational conglomerate that operates in several African countries. 

Understand the A-Z of your business

Revealing one of his business strengths, Dangote said he understands his business to a very great extent. He counselled against investing in a business because everyone is doing it. He said, “I know my business in and out, you can wake me anytime and ask me about fertilizer or anything we are doing.” 

According to him, possessing an adequate understanding of your business can differentiate you from other entrepreneurs in the African space. One of his quotes reads, “The most dangerous thing for an entrepreneur to do is to actually go into a business that he does not understand fully.” 

Have the tenacity of continuity

The Nigerian billionaire also highlighted the essence of hard work and perseverance in achieving success in Africa’s business space. One of his quotes says, “I enjoy myself a lot but I derive more joy in working. I believe in hard work and one of my business secrets is hard work. It’s hard to see a youth that will go to bed by 2 am and wake up by 5 am, I won’t rest until I achieve something.”

Dangote who preaches hard work as a tenet for success, acknowledged that there will be difficulties in business but the spirit of perseverance will help you keep matching forward. 

Think Big and roll out big

Thinking big encourages innovation, helps set goals, builds confidence, increases your resilience, and attracts investors to your business. This will consequently set you up for business success. Dangote who started by trading commodities noted that the way he operates is “by thinking big and rolling out very big.” He hinted that thinking big is a principle that governs his life. He said, “For you to make it really, you have to think big, dream big to be able to be big, and that’s what we are doing.’

Diversify and build a unique name

To achieve success in business, Dangote preaches the message of diversification. He said, “Diversification is good in business because there is nothing that is 100 per cent fully safe.” He explained that diversification will keep entrepreneurs afloat when there are challenges in an area of business. He also noted that diversifying in business must be done with close monitoring so that they don’t end up having several kinds of businesses.

Stressing that Diversification is very great, the CEO of Dangote Group said diversification means that you are spreading out your risks. Speaking about building a good name, Dangote said, “We have already established a good name and there is nothing that will make us do things that will tarnish the brand.”

Dangote also advised young entrepreneurs to consider areas of advancement for their country and the African continent when diversifying. Moreso, the Nigerian business magnate charged businessmen to prioritise the issues the country faces in their business.

Don’t mix business and social life

Aliko highlighted the need to separate your business from your social life. He said, “Social life and business life don’t actually go together, you have to be very serious and focused. If you want to enjoy life, then you will not be able to work hard.” He also stressed that “it is always better to make the money, then you can enjoy yourself.” Separating your business from your social life will help you stay focused and persevere and stay tough in difficult times.

Don’t spend projected income

Also, Dangote stated that most African entrepreneurs are guilty of spending their projected income before it comes. According to him, young entrepreneurs who intend to achieve success in the business space must avoid this mistake. He also noted that “it is better to allow the money to come in first before they start spending.”

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