Mohammed Dewji was born in Singida, a rural town in central Tanzania on May 8, 1975, where his grandmother and subsequently his father, operated a small trading house. After pursuing his higher education in the United States, he returned to Tanzania in 1998 to join his family’s trade and transport group. Although Mohammed began as the CFO, within a few years he had proven that he was the perfect candidate to head the group. Once in the CEO’s seat, he has taken Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited to unimaginable heights. Mohammed is single-handedly responsible for increasing MeTL’s revenues from $30 million to over $1.3 billion between 1999 and 2014, and the journey of Africa’s youngest billionaire has only just begun. Mohammed continues to strive for excellence in the business arena and the footprint of the MeTL conglomerate continues to spread under his leadership.
Currently, the MeTL Group has investments in manufacturing, agriculture, trading, finance, mobile telephony, insurance, real estate, transport and logistics, and food and beverages. Mohammed has earned a reputation for successfully investing in sectors that entrepreneurs typically shy away from, such as agriculture and textiles. Such decisions are taken with a view towards investing for profit, job creation and creating social benefits for the country. The group is conducting business in Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia, and employs over 28,000 people. MeTL’s operations contribute 3.5% of Tanzania’s GDP. The average growth rate from $30 million to $1.3 billion is 200% per annum, compared to a GDP growth of 7-9% per annum.
In addition to his many endeavors in the business arena, Mohammed also has demonstrated an exemplary record of contributing to the well-being of the people of his country. The scope of his contributions have covered educational assistance, access to healthcare, improving accessibility to basic needs such as water, agriculture related assistance and sports related assistance. Through his position as a Member of Parliament, Mohammed has consistently strived to improve the quality of life for Tanzanians; however, his efforts haven’t stopped there. He has also made substantial contributions in his personal capacity and through his group of companies. Mohammed has taken a very hands-on approach to his philanthropic efforts. By making time to personally visit donation sites and patients, he has played a key role in encouraging others about the importance of philanthropy.
From Arusha to Georgetown
Mohammed received his primary education in Arusha at the Arusha Primary School and finished his secondary education from the International School of Tanganyika (IST) in Dar Es Salam. In 1992 his parents decided to send him to America for his High School years and he was admitted to the Saddle Brooke High School in New Jersey.
It was at High School that Mohammed first started exhibiting signs of leadership by becoming the School President. Being a Tanzanian and holding such position in a foreign land made his family very proud. He was also voted as the Most Accomplished student at the time and it is notable to mention here that his school mate Jeniffer Capriati a very famous U.S tennis player won the same vote in the women’s section.
After finishing his high school studies Mohammed continued with his university education in USA and joined one of the renowned university, Georgetown University in Washington D.C majoring in International Business and Finance and taking Theology as a minor subject.
Georgetown University is famous for its good education. Notable alumni of the University include 42nd U.S President Bill Clinton, Philippines president Gloria Arroyo, Jordan’s King Abdullah and NBA players like Allen Iverson and Patrick Ewing
During his time at Georgetown, Mohammed started to analyze his life. He was trying to balance the Western way of life with his native African way of living. He thought that much more could be done for his countrymen through some very basic changes and way of running things. He started to focus and prioritize what he wanted to gain from his education and experience in America. After Graduation in 1998, Mohammed headed straight back to Tanzania and joined the family business. He became Chief Financial Controller (CFO) at Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (METL).
Marriage & Children
In 2001 Mohammed decided to marry his childhood sweetheart Saira whom he knew since his school years at the International School of Tanganyika (IST). Mohammed and Saira are blessed with three beautiful children Nyla, Abbas and Mahdi. The entire family resides together in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.