My conception of entrepreneurship
John Ruskin, British writer and art critic, wrote, “What we think, what we know, what we believe is ultimately of very little importance. What matters is what we do.” I have adopted this quote into my work ethic. In my opinion, entrepreneurship is expressed through action. It is a great way to harness our talents and put them at the service of society, to contribute to its wealth by creating new jobs, new products and services.
Entrepreneurship is also a form of expression of great ambition. I’m not talking about personal ambition to earn more, but about the organizational ambition that allows us – through our actions – to inspire other young people to dream higher, to believe in themselves, and to act effectively to experience success and personal achievement.
Entrepreneurship, a family passion
I am the oldest of four children. I have two sisters, Fatou Kiné and Khadija, and a brother Alioune. As a senior, I play a dual role: naturally that of big brother, but also whenever needed, the role of mentor. I am fundamentally attached to family, and for it I am ready to move mountains.
I am fortunate to have brothers and sisters who all have great intellectual autonomy and who are, like me, entrepreneurs. Some are at the head of Group subsidiaries.
Indeed, I belong to a family of “builders”. We have a common passion for creation. This passion is probably the fruit of an extremely stimulating family environment in which we have always been immersed.
All my uncles are entrepreneurs, and my late maternal grandfather, Idrissa Gueye, was certainly one of the first Senegalese to invest in the industry. My family has been a fertile ground that allowed me to stimulate my own creativity.
My grandfather “Idrissa GUEYE”, this exceptional man!
My maternal grandfather, Idrissa Gueye, passed away in January 2020. He was not only my Grandfather, but he was also my model, my inspiration.
He was for a very long time the president of the Kaolack Chamber of Commerce. He was the first to introduce me to company board meetings. I was very young, still in elementary school, and I stood behind him to hold his briefing files or even his bag. His death was a huge pain for the whole family. He instilled in us strong values that still guide me every day. He was a man of boundless generosity. When he died, I was able to better appreciate the social anchoring he had. Almost all of the country’s religious leaders have come to present their condolences in Kaolack. He maintained respectful and peaceful relations with all the different religious brotherhoods of Senegal. Idrissa GUEYE was a consensual, pious, and humble man. In his relationship to others, he was human above all.
His international and multidimensional facet also struck me during his funeral. In addition to religious families, the political class also came to pay tribute to him, as well as people from the sub-region, Europe and Asia, who were all former work colleagues or friends with whom he sat on the board of directors of African, European and Asian groups.
These people did not hesitate to make the trip to attend his funeral and give heart touching testimonies. But I think what touched me the most was the testimony of multitudes of people to whomever he gave psychological and financial support in all discretion when they needed it and without asking for anything in return.
The anonymous crowd that also came out is further proof of the social impact he has had in society. My maternal grandfather was a great man. His children and grandchildren humbly aspire to follow in his footsteps.