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The power of IPOs in wealth creation

BY: Maclean Kwofi
IPOs
Dr Mandla Lamba, CEO, Agilitee Africa

By the end of 2020, China had witnessed a strong economic shock but a ‘V’ shaped economic recovery and growth, the world has never seen. A V-shaped recovery is a quick, sharp improvement in an economy after a sharp decline.

The COVID-19 stricken Asia nation added $1.5 trillion to the wealth of China’s billionaires bringing to $4 trillion the total worth of China’s billionaires, according to a new report which described the increase as the country’s fastest growth ever.

This is attributed to the spate of initial public offers (IPOs) and robust tech growth in recent times.

China’s soaring stock markets, a flood of initial public offerings and surging growth in the sector have been identified as what has helped to fuel the country’s latest wealth boom.

In the United States for instance, it has been observed that since the 1980s when Apple Inc went public, Google in 2004 and Facebook in 2012, instant millionaires were created.

Companies and individuals' net worth rocket upwards when companies like Apple, Google and Facebook and Alibaba Group, and Xiaomi Corp, all sold their IPOs.

The post-COVID economic era has shown that the tech and green space attracts a lot of investors in thousands of dollars when IPOs are sold.

Could Africa take advantage of this development?

Agilitee IPO

South Africa based Agilitee, one of Africa’s fast growing green technology and electric vehicle manufacturing companies, is poised to lead the revolution in Africa.

The tech industry forms a majority of the exemplary IPOs in recent times that have raised billions of dollars through IPOs in China and the United States.

Agilitee is not only a technology firm but a green technology firm operating in the electric vehicle space as well. This puts the firm in a very strategic and good position to attract major investors.

With its IPO valued at $20 billion, it looks to raise $2 billion by selling 10 percent of its equity through the public offering through the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Like the blue-print laid by China and US, could the success of Agilitee’s IPO create some millionaires in Africa?

Already the firm is offering another 10 percent valued at $2 billion to the less fortunate in Africa with the long-term objective of raising millionaires to alleviate poverty in Africa.

Agilitee Origin

To tell and appreciate the company’s origin, it is perhaps important to roll back to 2015.

Pinpointing the exact moment when an idea is born is almost an impossible task, even for the originator of the concept.

In trying to understand how the Agilitee concept came about, it is perhaps more apt to focus on the contributory factors which have made it possible for the idea to take shape, rather than seeking to locate the proverbial building blocks behind the concept.

But when the founder and current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Agilitee Africa, Dr Mandla Lamba started the project, he knew that the destiny of the company would be a force to reckon with, a home-bred technology giant.

In the words of Dr Lamba, “The journey to where we are was not easy, a lot of twists and turns and ups and downs but a lot of success has been enjoyed in the midst of pain.

“The story of Agilitee has been that of not amplifying problems and challenges at the expense of the goodness of God,” he said.

The journey

Dr Lamba said the conception of the company started in 2015 and the formalisation of the company was done in 2018.

“We are the first electric vehicle manufacturer and green tech company in Africa, first black owned electric vehicles and black owned green tech company in the whole world.

“I believe that is enough reason to count blessings. Recently we manufactured the first full AI television that has a telematics for voice recognition and instruction in Africa and the third in the world. A lot has been achieved over the years,” he said.

Market strategy

The CEO explained that the Ghanaian market was part of Agilitee’s strategy to penetrate the ECOWAS region, and added that “all I can say is that Ghana should brace itself for becoming part of the first countries in Africa to lead the green revolution”.

Within a few years of operations, the tech firm has grown to become the first in Africa with locally produced green tech innovations.

“We haven’t had any competition so far except being fought by the remaining elements of the apartheid power holders who believe that black people from South Africa shouldn’t be given an opportunity to pioneer any industry,” he said.

Supports

Beyond politically and racial related challenges, Dr Lamba said Agilitee continues to enjoy a lot of support from both the black and white communities in South Africa.

“Recently, we were approached by groups in Australia, Canada and London who want to bring Agilitee to their countries which is a very good thing, however our main focus is in Africa because we are Africans who were born in Africa and our ancestors are buried here.

“We have dropped the first electric motorbikes, most recently we dropped the very first full AI TV that has a telematics for voice recognition and instruction remote system and the very first intelligent kettle. We have manufactured home appliances and office electronics but we drop a few every month,” the CEO added.

Dr Lamba maintained that Job creation, training and transfer of skills in order to replace the jobs that were lost and will never be recovered as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) was what excites him the most.

“Then the fact that Ghana is one of the first seven countries we chose to spearhead the green revolution means an expedition way to experience. We have solutions that we are working on that are the first in the world and Ghana will have before many developed economies,” he added.