It is no longer news that Africans are beginning to perform remarkably in the business world. Before now, Africa was seen as a dark place where nothing good happens. Today, we have the likes of Issad Rebrab changing the narratives.
Issad Rebrab is an Algerian businessman and one of Africa’s richest men. He is the CEO of Cevital Industrial Group, the largest private company in Algeria. He is among the African richest with a net worth of $3.7billion as of January 2019 by Forbes. Since 2008, Issad has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cevital Group.
Background of Issad Rebrab
Issad was born on May 27th, 1994 in Tagumount-Azzouz village, Tizi Ouzou. Interestingly, Rebrab is the son of the militant who fought for Algeria’s independence from France. Issad is a graduate from a professional school.
In addition, he is also a graduate of Forbes School of Business at Ashford University, California. He is married and have five children, all of whom are involved in the management of the Group.
Business Career of Issad Rebrab
After graduation, he practiced teaching, majoring in Accounting and Commercial Law. Afterwards, he took the path of entrepreneurship. He left his teaching job to start his accounting firm in 1968.
In 1971, he began his industrial career after one of his clients talked him into taking shares in a metallurgical construction company. He then took 20% of the shares in Sotecom. Thereafter, he started other companies in the steel industry. He founded Profilor in 1975 and Metal Sider in 1988.
Following a terrorist attack in 1995, Rebrab’s main installations were destroyed. As a result, he left Algeria to avoid similar risks in the future. As a future-forward entrepreneur, Issad came back bigger and better. In 1998, he started Cevital which became the biggest group in agricultural business as well as the largest private Algerian company.
In addition, Cevital is the proud owner of one of the largest sugar refineries in the world, with the capacity to produce 2million tons a year. Following that, Issad acquired El Khabar Media Group for $45million. Prior to that, he owned a media company, French-Algerian daily paper, Liberte. Not only that, Cevital owns European companies, including French home appliances maker Groupe Brandt, an Italian Steel Mill and a German water purification
More About Cevital Group
The conglomerate has its headquarters at Bejaia Alegria. As of 2009, the company’s earnings were US$3,589million. The conglomerate has a staff strength of 18,000 people. In an interview with French Media BFM in 2017, Rebrab talked about building a rail project over Africa.
The project was to extend the railways from North Africa through East and West Africa. He conceived the idea when his company was faced with difficulties in transporting goods around middle Africa. However, in 2018, it was reported that Cevital was unable to carry out its Pan-African rail freight project due to the limitations of the country to finance international projects.
Twenty years after the creation of Cevital, the conglomerate has 26 subsidiaries involved in a wide range of industries including food processing, automobiles, agribusiness and services sectors. In recent times, Issad has been working on expanding the group’s operations to Tunisia, Morocco, Brazil and Europe.
Subsidiaries of Cevital Group
Below are some of the subsidiaries of Cevital Group
- Cevital Food Processing
- HMA (Hyundai Motor Algeria)
- COGETP (Compagnie Generale des Equipements de Travaux Public)
- ACTSpecialist (Associated Car & Truck Specialist)
- Cevital MTP (public Works Equipment)
- Cevicar – Car Renting
- Future Media
- MFG (Mediterranean Float Glass)
- Cevital Minerals
- Prainsa Cevico Algeria
- Sierra Cevital
Isaad Rebrab Awards And Recognitions
- Listed among top ten most influential Maghrebans in the world, Arabian Business Magazine, 2012
- 215th among 500 most influential Arabs, Arabian Business Magazine, 2012
- He was voted CEO of the year at the Africa CEO Forum, 2015
- 9th Richest Arab, Forbes, 2016
- Personality of the Year, Tuscany region in Italy, 2016
Net Worth Of Issad Rebrab
According to Forbes, Rebrab was worth $3.2billion as at March, 2014. In 2020, he is the only Algerian that appeared on Forbes Africa’s billionaire list. He was number 6 on the list. Currently, his estimated net worth is $4.3billion.
See Also: See Also: Proven Way To Validate Your Business Idea With Customers
Issad Rebrab Quotes
“Think big, start small, and move fast.”
“Africa needs a more unified legislative framework to facilitate and regulate trade within North and Sub-saharan Africa.”
“In order to improve the transfer of skills and knowledge, and to better develop our labour pool, it is crucial that Algeria rolls out a programme of inter-country cooperation.”
“Time is not on our side. The population of Algeria will reach 50 million in 2025, with each person consuming fuel and electricity, and we will have 10 million new jobseekers, for whom we will need to create one million jobs per year.”
“We will increase staffing levels from 18,000 today to nearly 100,000 in 2025 and make massive investments in the training and recruitment of talent.”
“We (Algerians) have great potential and we can make up for lost time.”
Business Lessons From The Life Of Issad Rebrab
1. Keep Going
Needless to say, every business is exposed to some level of risk but risk like war can mark the end of a business. In the case of Issad Rebrab, he rose again after the terrorist attack that destroyed his main installations in 1995. This would have been difficult for another businessman who is not resilient.
But, Rebrab didn’t see it as the end of the world. Rather, he came back with a better business idea and strategy that made him one of the most celebrated entrepreneurs in Africa.
In like manner, an entrepreneur should always be prepared for challenges that come with an entrepreneurial journey.
There’s a popular saying, “do not put all your eggs in one basket”. Every business has its peak and down periods. Hence, diversification is a strategy every business owner should consider so that when a particular industry isn’t as profitable as expected, you can rely on your investment in other industries.
Issad Rebrab is a typical example of a man that embraced diversification. He did not invest in some random industries, he went for the most profitable and sustainable industries. He invested in agri-business, food processing business, automobiles and the likes of them.
3. Be Future Oriented
One notable thing about Issad Rebrab is that he is confident about the future. Obviously, he plans for the future ahead and also put others on his agenda.
Likewise, every entrepreneur must not just see the NOW of their business, they should be able to put plans in place for years to come.
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