5 Things I Learnt Working With Aliko Dangote’ – Abdul Muktar
The Chief Strategy Officer, Dangote Group, Dr. Abdul Mukhtar has disclosed five things he has learnt from the African richest man and Group Executive Director of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote in the last two years.
Mukhtar whose function is to assist Dangote to provide overall strategic direction for the Group and develop short, medium and long-term plans to achieve the Group’s strategic objectives and long-term vision highlighted in a forum five things he has learnt working with Dangote and they are:
You have to decide why you are doing a particular project. I always look at Aliko Dangote and I said there must be something about him because if a man has $20Billion, he should be satisfied with it. What I see is that he has the purpose to build this country, to be among the top best nation of the world.
He always mentions five men that build the United State of America, John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and J.P. Morgan, the five people were so powerful and had a good vision for the country. Every day you need to ask yourself what you want to do when you wake up early in the morning. Dangote has the vision to build this country to the greater height can be.
Passion is very important to whatsoever you want to achieve in life. I have seen Aliko having great passion for Nigerians and that is why we are involved in providing basic amenities for people’s needs in the country, it is not primarily about the money. I see my boss sleeping three hours per day, he closes a meeting to sleep and in the next hours is ready for another meeting.
Through the power of passion, he has the knowledge of what is happening in the businesses, if you wake him up now and ask him how much we buy coal in our Senegal plant yesterday, he will tell you. If you ask him how many bags of cement we sold in Obajana yesterday, he will tell you.
You need to make strategic partnership to run a business, with family, friends, even staff. Nobody can run any business alone. It is not even the best practice to run any business alone. Don’t mind us, we have our own trucks, it’s because we can’t find a reliable company. If there is a company that can run a very good fleet, we will opt out of having our own truck, we are not in the business of running trucks. In Zambia, the entire trucking capacity in the country is not enough to transport our business so we have to import our own truck, if we have any company we can partner with, I tell you we would be glad to do so.
To be candid, it is not easy to be an entrepreneur, do not let anybody to deceive you. It is difficult, it is challenging, there is ups and down but you need to just persevere, you need to continue to move on, tell yourself that you can do this. There will be times that things are going to be tough. Aliko, several times have thought about getting out of business, but when he sees people he still employ, the amount of time he’s investing, the experience he has in the business, he said to himself “let me spend five years more” so you can’t just quit. If you quit it means that you are a lazy man and your enemies will rejoice over you.
Either you are a Muslim or Christian; there is no way you can succeed in business without prayer, it is very important. You must make this very important in your life. Aliko prays everyday, I have been with him. When you pray, the sky is not the limit for you, it is the beginning. You must go out there and tell the world that you can do it, conquer the world, do not let anybody to bring you down and continue to fly.