Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has maintained his billionaire status for years.
As of Wednesday, December 7, 2022, he is the only Nigerian on the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, ranking at number 78 with a net worth of $19.1 billion.
He built his wealth primarily from his manufacturing companies, including Dangote Cement Plc in which he has an 86% ownership stake. Although he started his business empire by selling commodities like sugar, salt, and flour, he is now one of Africa’s foremost industrialists.
Dangote’s background: Dangote grew up in an upper-class family. But that privilege did not stop him from being entrepreneurial. As a young man, he started his first business with a loan from his uncle.
Born in 1957, Dangote was raised in Kano State, Nigeria. His grandfather, Sanusi Dantata, was once named one of the wealthiest people in Kano. He made his fortune selling commodities like oats and rice. Dantata became Dangote’s guardian in 1965 after the death of his father.
Having spent much of his childhood with his grandfather, Dangote quickly became interested in the world of business, once saying, “I can remember when I was in primary school, I would go and buy cartons of sweets [sugar boxes] and I would start selling them just to make money. I was so interested in business, even at that time.”
At age 21, Dangote graduated from Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, considered one of Islam’s most prestigious universities. It was there the budding entrepreneur furthered his education in business.
Below are some tips on how you too can become a billionaire like Aliko Dangote.
Understand the business: If you are going into any business, you must understand the business from A to Z. Aliko Dangote is very dedicated to his business and understands the basics and requirements.
According to him, “you need to understand the business in and out. That’s the difference with me. I know my business in and out. You can wake me up anytime and ask me about fertilizer or anything that we are doing.”
Dangote always advises entrepreneurs to only do businesses they understand. He does not enter any business unless his top managers fully understand it.
Work Hard and be consistent: Billionaire Aliko Dangote works 18 hrs a day, apart from weekends.
This hard work has made him the richest man in Africa. Starting his business at an early age, he has been consistent and patient, also learning each day to build a successful business.
Stay focused: Focus is the key ingredient to success, Dangote said; You need to have tenacity or continuity. You will have some hiccups here and there, but you have to be focused on what you are.
Be Diverse: Dangote has also revealed in several interviews that his cement business was making more money than was needed to sustain it, so he decided to move from the downstream to the upstream sector of the cement business.
Recall that Dangote was a pioneer in cement manufacturing; before then, the cement business only involved importing, bagging, and selling
Think Long-term: Success is not an overnight achievement, Dangote has repeated in several interviews, that it took him 30 years to get to where he is.
Always trust the process and do not expect magic in business, as it takes time for a sustainable business to grow to an admirable height.
Learn to plan: Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now. Dangote started planning for a refinery more than 4 years before he began to even build one.
Planning helps to mitigate risks and avoid huge losses in business.
Be a philanthropist: According to the bible, givers never lack.
Almost all the billionaires in the world have a history of giving to charity.
The truth is, you may not be able to go far except you lend a helping hand to others.
Dangote Foundation is one of the largest philanthropic organizations in Africa.
Do not spend all your money: Instead of lavishing your income or capital, reinvest it in your business and expand.
This is a very notable lesson from Dangote. His company is expanded in almost all the countries in Africa.