Sunday, 12 May 2013

Lessons On Entrepreneurship, As Africa’s Youngest Billionaire Hits Nigerian Shores

Indeed, there will be real lessons in entrepreneurship, wealth and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for organisations and chief executives in the country when Africa’s youngest billionaire and President, Mara Group, Ashish J. Thakkar, hits the shores of Nigeria in June.

President, Mara Group, Ashish J. Thakkar
He is billed to grace ThistlePraxis Consulting’s 2013 Africa CEO Roundtable & Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility (AR-CSR) scheduled to hold in Cross River State.

Ashish, a serial entrepreneur and role model to many young Africans, started his first company at the age 15. His visit to Nigeria is considered significant for entrepreneurs aspiring to do profitable business in a way that conforms to societal norms and aspiration.

Ashish is adjudged Africa’s youngest billionaire by the Forbes Magazine.

Mara Group, which Ashish chairs, comprises numerous holding companies that operate in 26 countries. In 1996, Ashish borrowed $6,000 to start his first IT company whereby he bought and sold computers. In a space of one year, he transitioned from a high school student to a full time entrepreneur with immense potential, dreams and extraordinary business drive. He has successfully grown his companies and currently employs over 7,000 people worldwide.

His business presence in Africa is currently at 19 countries and is steadily growing.

Ashish devotes much of his energy to commercial and philanthropic initiatives in Africa. The Mara Group has received global recognition for its achievements and contributions not only in Africa but also worldwide. In 2010, the World Economic Forum (WEF) recognised the Mara Group as a dynamic high-growth company because of its potential to evolve into a future industry leader and a driving force for economic and social change.

The event, holding at Tinapa Business Resort, Calabar, is an all-inclusive CSR and Sustainability management conference and themed, ‘Driving Innovation through Transformational Leadership and Sustainability’.

The first of its kind in Africa, the event will attract thought and business leaders from within and outside the continent who will share their expertise and experiences on an array of Business and Development topics, while making the case for a greater focus on transformational leadership in seeking innovative and responsible ways for sustainable development.

Leading experts will feature as speakers who will discuss issues bordering on how responsibility in leadership promotes innovation and encourages youth empowerment and active participation and also the effects of climate change and the increasingly inadequate natural resources that demand better governance.

A series of events have been scheduled to take place such as the CEO round-table sessions followed by a one-and-a-half-day conference, Sustainable Solutions Showcase (an exhibition of eco-friendly products and Sustainable service solutions), Eco-Tourism Tour, Networking cocktails and Gala Dinner amongst other inspiring and intellectually stimulating activities.

Past editions of the AR-CSR were held in 2011 and 2012 and were graced by Former President of Ireland & President, Mary Robinson Foundation, H.E. Mary Robinson, INSEAD Chaired Professor on Ethics and Responsibility, Prof. Craig Smith, President, Africa Sustainable Investment Forum and Principal Graham Sinclair, amongst others.

Source: The Guardian

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