Alhaji Aliko Dangote, winner of the African Business Leader of the Year Award and Founder/ CEO of Dangote Group, shared his experience of managing businesses in Africa as a part of an entrepreneurship course at Lagos Business School on Saturday.
Dangote Cement Plc. emerged the biggest quoted company in West Africa. It had a total market value of $12.2 billion, as at mid-March 2011, that makes it the largest company in the entire West African sub-region.
This was revealed in the latest ranking of Africa’s ‘Top 50 Companies’, released by IC Publications, publishers of London-based African Business magazine.
During the session, which lasted over three hours, participants who were mostly chief executives and owner managers of companies, wanted to know how the Group had accomplished outstanding results, in spite of the socio-economic and infrastructural challenges in the Nigerian economy.
Dangote said: “We are able to grow the businesses because we were very determined, we knew where we were going and we had a vision”.
He explained that success in business can never be achieved without a vision.
He added that the other factors attributed to his success were in taking calculated risks, investing, and diversifying the business.
According to him, “we have taken quite a lot of risks, but it’s also the sheer amount of money that we keep investing, because we believe in what we are doing”.
Advising foreign investors and aspiring entrepreneurs, he said Africa and Asia offered opportunities for doing business with high returns on investment. But Nigeria, he believed, was still the best place in the world to invest.
“We believe in Nigeria, and that is why we are investing”, he said.
He is known in Africa as a driver of change.