Billionaire businessman, Pascal Dozie shares his biggest accomplishments in business

In the banking world, where he first became mainstream awareness, Dr Pascal Dozie is feted across Nigeria and far beyond. Diamond Bank is the financial institution he founded more than 20 years ago. He chaired the board at MTN, and the company remains the flagship of Nigeria’s mobile telephony. 

MTN’s success put Nigeria on the map as one of Africa’s most exciting telecoms markets and consolidated Dr Dozie’s position among the continent’s leading investors.

We have decided to curate some of his old interviews granted by Vanguard in June 27, 2017 And Forbes for your reading pleasure and to learn a thing or two if you are an entrepreneur. 

What are some of your biggest accomplishments in business?

My biggest accomplishment in business is staying sane and keeping my hands clean. And not trying to short circuit the system. In a country like Nigeria, it’s not easy to achieve whatever you want to achieve if your hands must be clean. Most times, what should take three weeks or three days could stretch up to six-months depending on how you want it done. One of the things that I have learnt is getting to know how to be patient; in the sense that you do all that is required of you without trying to force the system.

Other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?

The most strategic bet I ever made that paid off wonderfully well is marrying the woman that is my wife. One critical success element is stability in the home front. And it’s the woman of the house that’s instrumental to that stability. If you don’t have stability at home, it’s either you’re living a separate life or you’re extremely lucky in the sense that you can do it without having peace of mind at home. My wife has really exercised patience in managing me and the five boys that we both have.

African Capital Alliance, MTN Nigeria,  Kunoch Holdings, Diamond Bank, Nigeria Stock Exchange, Kaizen Venture Partners, Commonwealth Business Council board and Nigerian Economic Summit Group. You’ve been on the boards of these institutions  How did you physically manage being on the boards of these institutions? 

No man’s success is attributable to him solely.  Life is such an interesting thing because everybody lives for others. There will always be people working with you and once you have harmony, everybody must buy into what you want to achieve. And if there’s no buy in, then something is wrong. And for people who believe in professionalism and creativity, harmony is important. In my own case, I always make sure that we share the same values. Though, there might be some discordant voices once in a while but the values will always be the same.

What has been the role of luck in your success?

I like the word luck. The role of luck is the ability to prepare and plan well because if you plan well, all things being equal, the chances are that you’re going to succeed. But if you don’t plan well, lady luck will not shine on you. Even if it does, you will not recognize it.

On why he decided to start a consulting firm, the African Development Consulting Group, where he worked for multinationals like Nestle and Pfizer.

“My first objective was survival and of course I had an ambition. You set up a company, you want that company to grow; you want it to be robust and profitable. Being in consulting was a tricky affair because you have a lot of receivables. It was a hustle job. A hustle to get payment and a hustle to do the job all the time.”

From modest beginnings – just £100 in his bank account in Lagos when he started – Pascal has built an empire his son is determined to take to Africa’s glorious future.

“You will not find any company owned by Nigerians being managed by the third generation or fourth generation as such but you will find that among Indians in Nigeria, and the Lebanese in Nigeria. But ours [Nigerians] have been short-term because the first generation sets up the business, then the next generation tries to develop it and the third generation squanders it.”

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