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Tanzania’s richest man, Mohammed Dewji

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:41 am    Post subject: Tanzania’s richest man, Mohammed Dewji Reply with quote

Is There A Mo Bank In Africa’s Future? Africa’s Youngest Billionaire Gets Serious

By Dana SanchezPublished: March 24, 2016, 2:49 pm

At age 40, Tanzania’s richest man, Mohammed Dewji, has taken on big brands in Africa, pitting his Mo Cola against Coca-Cola, and now he’s got his eye on Barclays Africa, according to a CNN report.“I’ve been wanting to buy a bank for the last four, five years,” Dewji told CNN.

When U.K-based Barclays announced earlier this month it was selling its Africa business, several stakeholders’ names came up as possible buyers including South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation, Atlas Mara’s Bob Diamond and National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

Dewji told CNN, “I’m very interested so we’re going to look into it. I don’t know how we will be positioned because I’m sure (Barclays is) looking for a buyer who can take the whole Africa. That, I don’t have an appetite (for). I have an appetite to take over four or five country operations.”

Specifically, Dewji said he’s interested in “Tanzania, Kenya, basically East Africa.”

Does he have enough money?Dewji has a net worth of about $1.1 billion, making him the richest man in Tanzania. He’s ranked No. 21 on the rich list, according to Forbes. He’s also Africa’s youngest billionaire.

The CEO of MeTL Group, Dewji took over the Tanzanian conglomerate his father founded in the 1970s. It’s active in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in Eastern, Southern and Central Africa. In addition to competing with Coca-Cola, Mo Cola competes with Tanzanian tycoon Said Salim Bakhresa’s Azam Cola, Forbes reported.
Dewji served two terms in Tanzania’s parliament ending in 2015 and supported President John Magufuli’s party, which won the election in October 2015.

“We’ve done reasonably well,” Dewji told CNN. “Our debt ratios are very low.”

How well has he done? Dewji claims that his business is contributing almost 3 percent of Tanzania’s gross domestic product. He says he employs almost 28,000 people — almost 5 percent of the formal employment of Tanzania.
“I haven’t engaged with Barclays yet,” he told CNN. “I have a very good relationship with Barclays.”

Coca Cola and Pepsi have significant market share in Tanzania in the carbonated beverages sector. When Dewji launched his carbonated Mo Cola and non-carbonated drink brand in 2014, he told Forbes that distribution was MeTL’s, No. 1 strength.

One of the biggest challenges competing with big players like Coca-Cola and Pepsi is that Dewji has to persuade people to dump the big brands which, he admits “have this amazing formula,” he told CNN.

Mo-Cola is different, Dewji said. “I think it’s more sugary. In Africa, I think people prefer drinks that are more sugary.” It’s also 25 percent cheaper than the main competition.

Dewji is up for the challenge. In 10 years. he grew his father’s $30 million business into a $1.5 billion business. The company deals in 31 industries in 11 African countries, including businesses agriculture, manufacturing, consumer goods, finance, mobile communication and real estate, CNN reported.

MeTL does business in the following African countries: Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, DRC and Tanzania, according to the company website.
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