It has been said, and it is indeed true that “The horns cannot be too heavy for the head of the cow that must carry them” ………………...The process of human change begins with us. We all have tremendous potential. We all desire good results from our efforts. Most of us are willing to work hard and to pay the price that success and happiness demand for humanity. This has been the case of this successful entrepreneurial giant.
I am not talking about Bill Gates, neither am I referring to Steve Jobs; and definitely I am not addressing Aliko Dangote. I am referring to Ghana’s hidden gem, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, Founder & Executive Chairman of JOSPONG Group. He is revered by many as Ghana’s most successful entrepreneur currently and the next big thing to happen to Africa and the world in general.
Jospong as he is affectionately called, is a business magnate, investor and a serial entrepreneur. He is a lethal combination of genius, hard work and commitment. Born over four decades ago on March 20, Dr. Agyepong’s drive for business started in 1995, when he transformed his mother’s simple exercise book business into a Printing Press (Jospong Printing Press), out of which today they have become a conglomerate.
His vision is to build his conglomerate to become the most successful African holding company, leading in every sector they operate in. And he has executed this successfully thus far by giving the company a fresh and vibrant air of transformational leadership. A leadership that has inured to a globally recognized company. Since then, he started building his business empire which today is a conglomerate with over 60 companies operating in 14 sectors of the economy including Waste Management, Banking and Finance; Education; ICT and Software Development; Printing and Publishing; Building and Construction; Manufacturing; Ports Services and Logistics; Quarry and Mining; Oil and Gas; Agriculture and Agro Business, International Business; Hospitality and Multimedia among others. In Ghana, he has presence in all 260 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies. Operation in 6 African countries as well as China, India and Dubai.
In-depth management training and experience have been one of the major strengths of Dr. Agyepong. He is also a down to earth personality par excellence. His humility has won the admiration of many. At a recent gathering of the business community, in his soft spoken voice, he said, “In 1995, when this dream started, I had no idea where the Lord was leading us, but today I am humbled by the achievements our company has chalked in keeping with our mission of improving lives”.
He leads his team diligently and makes sure that what is to be done is done appropriately. He is also very logical, decisive, prudent and critical in his problem-solving activities. He has a very creative and active mind that is always fixated on the brighter and broader prospects of endeavors rather than cosmetic considerations that retard progress.
With hindsight, his businesses employ a core staff of over 6,000 directly; and has created over 300,000 job opportunities along the value chain. In 2006, this humble servant revolutionized waste management in Ghana with the introduction of the famous Zoomlion Ghana Limited, utilizing simple modern technologies. Today Zoomlion Ghana Limited provides total and integrated waste management solutions including solid and liquid waste treatment facilities in Ghana and beyond.
As an influential advocate in the transformation of his conglomerate, his sterling leadership and contribution to national and continental development has earned him recognition by governments and institutions including the Award of the Order of the Volta, one of the highest honours in Ghana. Also, in 2016, he was awarded a Lifetime African Achievement Prize in Sustainable Development in Africa.
Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong is a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for African Studies of Harvard University, President of the Environmental Service Providers Association in Ghana, and a Council member of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI). Dr. Agyepong believes that giving back to society is fun and fulfilling. Through his Zoomlion Foundation (ZLF), he has given donations to many individuals and institutions to support a wide range of initiatives. Notable amongst them is the Zoomkids Club made up of environmental sanitation Clubs operating in schools across the country. It provides grants towards payment of school fees for brilliant but needy students in Senior High Schools and Tertiary Institutions with over 1,000 clubs nationwide. Additionally, school teachers who double as Zoomkids Club Patrons may obtain scholarship assistance to pursue a postgraduate degree course at our African Institute of Sanitation and Waste Management (AISWAM-KNUST). The Foundation also support basic infrastructure development related to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities/projects using simple innovative technologies. He also focuses on supporting individuals with very serious sickness and diseases. And will identify, partner and support under resourced public hospitals or community clinics, prisons, disability related organizations, orphanages, religious institutions etc.
As he has always maintained, building a sustainable business for the future does not happen overnight, we must continue to work harder, harnessing our collective efforts to build the future together, putting value on our Human Capital, our intellectual capital as well as our financial capital. Ghana has gained considerably from the dexterity and entrepreneurial capabilities of this affable man and stands to even gain more and in a better fashion by partnering with him to develop the nation. He has demonstrated that if given the push by government, he can do more the help his country and continent.
The 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, was right when he postulated in the speech: “Citizenship In A Republic” that, “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly...who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never known neither victory nor defeat." I am incredibly excited about Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong’s success story so far and truly believes the best of him is yet to come. He has indeed blazed the trail of inspiration amongst the youth of Africa through his entrepreneurial skills and unrelenting will to succeed even when the odds are against him. The world should watch out for Africa’s next big revelation after Aliko Dangote.
By: Prince Anuwar-Sadat Amadu
NB: The writer is a Law Student, Political Researcher, a practicing Customer Experience (Service) Specialist, a Business, Financial, Brands & Communication Consultant, a Writer, and a Youth Activist.