Interview with Mohammed Dewji, CEO of METL, Tanzania

The picturesque country of Tanzania, home to Mount Kilimanjaro and an abundance of wildlife, lies at the heart of East Africa – its coastal eastern border facing the Indian Ocean. Tanzania’s economy relies heavily upon agriculture as the sector accounts for over 25% of GDP, 85% of exports and 80% of employment. The country also harbours plentiful natural resources such as gold, diamonds, coal, iron, uranium and natural gas.

Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Ltd (METL) is the largest privately owned company in the country, employing over 24,000 people and contributing 3.5% to national GDP. Operated and owned by the Dewji family, the conglomerate is active in a countless number of sectors, which include product distribution, textiles, manufacturing, agriculture, real estate, mobile telephony, transport and logistics, energy and petroleum as well as trading.

Mohammed Dewji, CEO of METL, is a dedicated father and husband, a third generation family business member and philanthropist who directs a great deal of his charitable efforts to providing sponsorship for education, water resources and sports in Tanzania. During his rich career, Dewji also penetrated the Tanzanian political sphere and was sworn in as a member of parliament in 2005. Today, he is recognised as one of Africa’s greatest businessmen, taking full control of his family’s business in 2003, following in the footsteps of his father. In an interview with Tharawat magazine, Mohammed Dewji relays the history of his family business, the reason why creating employment is crucial to success, and the role of family businesses in Tanzania.