If you thought Ashish Thakkar was the only one on the Africa’s young billionaires list, you’ve got to meet Mohammed Dewji.
Mohammed Dewji is the third generation of a family of successful Tanzanian entrepreneurs of Indian origin. He runs his family-owned trading company MeTL, founded by Mohammed’s father, Gulamabbas Dewji. MeTL started as a soft commodities trader and now manufactures and distributes 21 different categories of foods and goods. The company growth has been completely organic without the need for external financing or foreign ownership. It has an extensive national footprint, supported by a logistics and distribution network that spans the whole country.
Over the past decade, as CEO he has grown his family’s business from a national trading house to a multi-billion-dollar, multinational conglomerate, generating a $2 billion fortune for himself in the process. The firm targets to generate $5 billion by 2020 and employ 100,000 people across Africa. MeTL currently employs 28,000 people and is one of Tanzania’s biggest employers.
Here are 8 things you need to know about the Tanzanian billionaire.
- Mohammed Dewji is the CEO of METL, a Tanzanian conglomerate founded by his father in the 1970s.
- He is Tanzania’s only billionaire.
- When he took over the family-run Tanzanian trading company MeTL, it had annual revenues of $26 million. Now Tanzania’s largest indigenous conglomerate has sales in excess of $1.5 billion under Mohammed.
- Dewji graduated from Georgetown university in Washington with a Bachelors in International Business and Finance and a minor in Theology.
- Dewji was a Member of Parliament from 2005 – 2015 for his home town of Singida. He retired from Tanzania’s parliament in early 2015 after completing his two terms.
- His Mo Dewji Foundation provides scholarships for poor Tanzanian children. He signed the Giving Pledge with Warren Buffett and Bill Gates in 2016, promising to donate at least half his fortune to philanthropic causes.
- Dewji is on Forbes list as #17 Africa’s Billionaires 2017.
- He believes that diversification and unique distribution capabilities are the keys to his company’s success.