TechInAfrica – Mohammed Dewji is awarded as the current youngest, richest man in East Africa—even in Africa—by Forbes. Not only is he an active businessman but also is a philanthropist. He began his philanthropic initiative when he was in his early 20s.
Dewji was born and raised in Singida, Tanzania who loved to drive around. He had been away from home for years due to his passion. One day, something caught his attention, he saw a man who took dirty water for drinking with his family. He was 24 at the time and the situation drove him wanting to join politics.
He made it to politics in 2005 and managed to make some transformation, especially in his hometown Singida. Singida had only two secondary schools and the number added to twenty-two during his 10 years in the parliament. Not only that, access to clean water improved from 23% to 84% and he also have full scholarships to half of the pupils, allowing them to get free education.
Leaving politics, he turned to business while at the same time continued with his philanthropic initiative. His biggest ambition is to make Tanzania free of poverty, thus, he established the Mo Dewji Foundation which primarily focuses on healthcare, education, and business development.
Dewji knows well how to do business proven by how he managed to increase his father’s company revenue from a US$30 million respectively to over a US$1 billion in sales annually. Moreover, he has excellent time management and always tries to do well at everything he can for his father’s company—the Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (MeTL), including to attend every meeting which is usually around 60 meetings a month. He even makes sure that he replies to every email that is sent to him every day.
Despite his successful career that people see now, like many other entrepreneurs, Dewji also faced challenges and difficulties in his business journeys. For example, he once made an unsuccessful attempt to venturing into the manufacture of bikes. It was a fail since he and his team didn’t have the economies of scale.
In MeTL, Dewji is the Group’s Chief Executive, a position that he took over from his father. Since his leadership at the company, the company has achieved immense growth. Furthermore, it’s on big expansions across the country with its global brands.
MeTL Group currently employs 28,000 people and expected to be increased to more than 100,000 people across Africa in the next five or seven years. The company mostly employs Tanzanians in order to participate in the job creation in the country.