The richest man in China makes and sells bottled water. Yes, Zhong Shanshan is ahead of Alibaba founder Jack Ma on the mantle. Bottled water has brought an estimated $94 billion empire to him, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is also the 7th richest person in the world, well ahead of Warren Buffett and Google Co-founder, Sergey Brin.
People, who says a pure water manufacturer in Nigeria cannot ride to the mountaintop? Now, you can understand why the government should not be selecting winners with preferential treatments here and there. Even the techies must not have it easier when benchmarked with those packaging groundnuts. For all the vibes of Chinese technology, the king is a bottle water man. That tells you where the real beats are.
Yes, besides coding, there are many ways to ride to the top; I made that same point in a well received article in the Harvard Business Review a few years ago.
- Chinese billionaire Zhong Shanshan is the richest person in Asia.
- The 66-year-old billionaire, who chairs both bottled water company Nongfu Spring and vaccine maker Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise, made more than $70 billion in 2020.
- Zhong’s lifestyle appears to be much more low-key than that of Asia’s previous richest man, Mukesh Ambani, who’s known for living in a reported $1 billion home and mingling with Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton.
- Zhong is known as the “Lone Wolf” and rarely makes public appearances or speaks to the media.
- He lives in an apartment in Hangzhou’s Xihu district, which borders the city’s scenic West Lake.(source: Business Insider)
In Nigeria’s case, we kill one to save the other. We wanted rice farmers to succeed, so we needed to close the borders and kill off any business that relies on land borders to survive. And in order to keep the herders and their cows happy, we need to sacrifice the crop farmers and their farmlands.
To keep the BDCs in business, we need to kill the naira, so by creating multiple exchange rates, we can mint new millionaires by mere roundtripping. To ensure that no part of the country grows faster than the other, we need to kill innovation and meritocracy, while scaling mediocrity.
To send every kid to the university, we need to kill quality, just erect buildings and name them universities and then keep the fees low; only to mass produce illiteracy.
Is there a sector where we are not killing something to give life to the other? This is Nigeria’s story, a story of people with misguided notion of what essence of existence is.
Do not be in a hurry to blame it on politics or a particular group, most creatures here have warped and pitiful understanding of what it means to live, rather than mere existence.
If we spend more time in reflection and introspection, maybe minds can be liberated and elevated.
Something to remember.