Aliko Dangote
Africa’s richest man Alhaji Aliko Dangote is
the most successful businessman of the
continent. His business is presented in a lot of
As of January 2015, Dangote had an estimated
net worth of US$18.6 billion.He made his
fortune is cement, sugar and flour. In April
2014, months before oil prices plunged, he
announced $9 billion in financing from a
consortium of local and international lenders to
construct a private oil refinery and fertilizer
and petrochemical complex in the country. In
August 2014 he said he would invest $1 billion
in commercial rice farming and modern rice
mills. His publicly traded Dangote Cement is
also grabbing new markets in Africa, with $750
million in new plants planned for Kenya and
Niger. His net worth tumbled from $25 billion
in February 2014 as a result of a weaker
Nigerian currency and a drop in demand for
cement. He made his first fortune more than
three decades ago when he started trading
commodities with a loan from his powerful
1. He once worked for someone
Dangote worked for his uncle, Sani Dangote.
He served his master diligently. He acted in
accordance to the statement which says if you
must lead, you must serve. It was while
working for his uncle that he gathered
experience, skills and confidence.
2. He took a loan to start his business
Aliko Dangote started his business with the
NGN 500,000 loan he took from his uncle/
master. He approached his uncle in 1977 and
told him about his plan to establish a business
outfit and his uncle gave him the loan to start
the business. However, he was given a three-
month-deadline and he repaid the loan in three
3. He kicked off his business by trading in
Sugar, rice, pasta, salt, cotton, millet, cocoa,
textile and vegetable oil were the commodities
he started his business with. He was importing
these commodities into Nigeria.
4. He developed a strong distribution network
Since production is not complete until the
goods reach the final consumer, Dangote
developed a strong distribution channel that
made his goods delivered faster than his
competitors’ goods.
5. He leaped from importation to
After some years in his importation business,
Aliko Dangote transformed into a producer of
products he was importing. In one of his
statements, he revealed that changing from an
importer to a manufacturer has so far been his
best move. The move produced Dangote
Group, an organization that controls over 13
6. He built a brand
Dangote built a vibrant brand for his business.
He corroborated this during an interview by
saying “to succeed in business, you must build
a brand and never destroy it. One competitive
advantage I had when I ventured into
manufacturing was my brand (Dangote), which
I diligently built in the course of my trading.”
7. He sells cheap quality products
In his mission to gain the loyalty of his
customers, Dangote started selling his
competitive products at cheaper rates
compared to his competitors’ rates.
8. He had a big breakthrough
Dangote’s networking skills and ability to
make unprecedented connections made him
record the major breakthrough he needed for
the prosperity of his business. His break
through emerged when he acquired the license
to import cement.
9. He works pretty hard
As an astute businessman, Alhaji Aliko
Dangote spends most of his time strategizing
and brainstorming on how to grow his
business. Reports have it that he sleeps by
2:00 am and wakes up by 5:00 am everyday.
Can you beat that?
10. He obeys the laws of the land
Unlike other cunning businessmen, Dangote is
an upright man as far as abiding by the rules
and regulations governing the ethics of
business are concerned. He keeps his credit
records as well as his tax records tidy and he
preaches that business should be done as
stipulated by the regulatory bodies.