Strive reduces himself to “Simply the largest shareholder of Econet”.
Strive Masiyiwa founder of Econet says he does not personally own Econet, but is simply the largest single shareholder of the listed entity with tens of thousands of other shareholders.
Writing on his popular Facebook blog, Masiyiwa explains why some people struggle to see a business beyond a person.
He says Econet Wireless Zimbabwe is a publicly listed company, with tens of thousands of shareholders. Virtually every person who has a pension of any kind or insurance policy is an indirect shareholder as well.
“I have never personally held more than 50%, since (Econet) was listed. So I actually don’t own the company. I’m simply the largest single shareholder,” writes Masiyiwa.
He says while there are more than 5 000 people working at the company, he had never actually seen or met 98% of them, including many in senior leadership positions.
“(But) you will still find even media people saying of a public listed entity ‘the Strive Masiyiwa-owned businesses. And some will even ask me to intervene on things I have no idea about, and should not be expected to know.”
Masiyiwa says the reason for this is because some people are “still trapped in a mindset of the #BigMan.”
“They never shook away the BigMan idea developed when they were young,” he says, adding that this was not unique to Zimbabwe, but common across Africa.
“Many of us simply struggle to see institutions and corporate structures, and only see a person.”
Masiyiwa counselled that if Africa was to build businesses that expand continentally and spread globally, they needed to put away the simplistic understanding of how businesses are structured, and the rules by which they operate.
Strive Masiyiwa is the entrepreneur and billionaire founder of the pan African Econet group. He is a Forbes global influencer and a leading business mentor with 3,9 million active Facebook followers that he mentors through his regular posts.