#Biz-Idol Challenge (3.0)
The Winning Entry

by Desmond Efe-khaese

Beyond the consistency of occupying the highest point of Africa’s richest persons, beyond the renowned products and the ambition to purchase an English football team, Aliko Dangote inspires me to be wealthy and powerful but also teaches a religion every entrepreneur should imbibe in the process of doing so – the religion of solution creation. This was exemplified when he said, “Every morning when I wake up, I make up my mind to solve as many problems, before retiring home”. This nugget has inspired my passion for procuring answers to digital problems.

Identifying the needs of people and tailoring one’s life along with it, is a calling that demands perseverance and foresight. In 1977, Aliko Dangote noticed a vacuum in the distribution of essential commodities like rice and sugar in his community. Driven by this, he started his first business of importation. This brought about the beginning of Dangote Group we hear of today. The story of a local distributor to the largest conglomerate in West Africa. In a space of five years, while actively drawing inspiration from Dangote, I see my business taking a similar route.

In 2018, I devoted my time to solutions creation, specialising majorly in content creation. I was (and still am) a content writer for various organisations, majored in issues such as politics and lifestyle. Yet, just like Aliko Dangote’s business trail has displayed, my bed was usually a place where I debated the best ways I could expand my knack for solving problems and expanding my creativity. Earlier this year, I obtained skills that would make me branch into digital solutions such as social media management, graphics designing and development, website design and so on. At the base of this is identifying the needs of people in a technological environment and hoping to solve them.

Notwithstanding, figures have shown that Aliko Dangote’s passion for solving problems does not necessarily bring money back to him. In 2017, he donated 100 million dollars to combat malnutrition, a scourge that kills half of every under five deaths in Nigeria. Following this, he has contributed 1.5 billion naira to combating the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. This act of kindness is very inspiring to me. In the past, I have volunteered in specific capacities, contributing my quota to achieving some of the sustainable development goals. Still, these contributions seem to be a drop into an ocean when compared with the weight of the problem. I want to be as successful as Dangote so that I would contribute immensely to the causes I am passionate about. As I change Nigeria one digital solution at a time, I want to be able to give back and someday align my brand with a cause championing this. Such was the case in 2017 when Bill Gates met Dangote and in his words, “…as soon as I shook hands with him, I knew we had a lot in common”.

On a final note, Aliko Dangote once said the soul of business is not making money but making people happy. This knowledge is important when I look at the travails of doing business, making myself happy while satisfying others. These words have installed into me the belief of always understanding the customer in order to satisfy them. Above all, to me, it holds a therapeutic effect. It retains a meaning that the fact that some have been down this road and have gone on to become successful, is why I will keep pushing