In 1999, family-run Tanzanian trading company MeTL had annual revenues of $26 million. Now Tanzania’s largest indigenous conglomerate has sales in excess of $1.5 billion.
In the January issue of African Business magazine, Mohammed Dewji, MeTL CEO, says diversification and unique distribution capabilities are the keys to his company’s success.
After starting out as a soft commodities trader, MeTL now manufactures and distributes 21 different categories of foods and goods. It has an extensive national footprint, supported by a logistics and distribution network that spans the whole country.
MeTl was started by Mohammed’s father, Gulamabbas Dewji, and has grown organically without the need for external financing or foreign ownership. Now, with big plans to replicate its model in six markets (Mozambique, Malawi, Uganda, Burundi, Zambia and Rwanda), the company is in the process of finalizing a $200 million line of credit with a consortium of banks in order to finance this expansion.
With an eye on the financial services and insurance industry, the firm has an ambitious target of generating $5 billion by 2020 and employing 100,000 people across Africa. MeTL currently employs 28,000 people and is one of Tanzania’s biggest employers.
Read more about Mohammed Dewji, who was also recognized in 2015 as Business Leader of the Year at the African Business Awards in New York.
Read his interview on African Business Magazine.