From Salesman to Business Mogul, an Entrepreneur who never Gives Up

Posted on by Seyi Oduyela
Ladi Delano

Ladi Delano

From Salesman to Business Mogul, an Entrepreneur who never Gives Up

Ladi Delano is an entrepreneur with a business track record that many would envy. Starting his first successful business at 22 years old and going on to be the founder of Bakrie Delano Africa, this determined businessman creates success wherever he goes.

The Nigeria-Delano’s first job as a suit salesman fuelled his passion for competition and entrepreneurship.  At 22, while living in China, he founded an alcohol beverage company, which sold Solid XS, a premium brand of vodka.  Later, this business was sold for about US $20 million to a rival company.

Delano used this money to invest in another business he had started. Bakrie Delano Africa, a joint venture with Indonesia’s Bakrie Group, is a conglomerate with its areas of focus being mining, agriculture, oil and gas.  In an interview with, Delano said,

“Business relationships on the ground are vital when operating in any market, especially emerging markets.”  

Although he spent some time in China, his loyalty to Nigeria is strong.  This quote highlights the importance of business relationships that you can, not only count on, but relationships that can support the sustainable growth of your business, no matter how big or small your company is.

Besides being passionate about cooking and running, his country’s and his continent’s needs have become his own and this is the driving force behind Bakrie Delano’s success in Africa.  On, he shares why he is so passionate about entrepreneurship in Africa.

All entrepreneurs suffer periodic ups and downs; and running a successful, profitable business isn’t always easy.  If it was, everybody would be doing it.  “But this is Africa’s time and the demand levels within our own continent’s domestic economy needs satisfying. This is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurial, hardworking individuals,” he says.

Early success didn’t distract Delano from his entrepreneurial spirit, showing us that sometimes it is not the money or the power that comes with success that entrepreneurs are after. It is, in fact, the ability to achieve something great that makes entrepreneurs endlessly driven. What advice does Delano have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

“Keep going, keep believing, and never give up. It’s an old saying but the phrase ‘Show me a man who has never failed and I’ll show you a man who has never succeeded’ really resonates with me.”

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