Home » From family business to multinational empire: Introducing Ylias Akbaraly, Madagascar’s richest man

From family business to multinational empire: Introducing Ylias Akbaraly, Madagascar’s richest man

by Omokolade Ajayi
Madagascar’s richest man Ylias Akbaraly

In the heart of Madagascar, a land known for its vibrant culture and untamed beauty, resides Ylias Akbaraly, the visionary entrepreneur who has become not only the island nation’s wealthiest individual but also a beacon of hope for the marginalized.

As the chairman of Redland, the holding company of the esteemed Sipromad Group and Thomson Broadcast, Akbaraly has spearheaded an extraordinary transformation, propelling his family business into a global powerhouse that transcends industries and continents.

Today, Forbes recognizes Akbaraly as Madagascar’s richest man, a title he earned through his astute business acumen and unwavering dedication. In 2016, his net worth stood at an impressive $700 million, a testament to his remarkable journey.

With an unwavering commitment to tradition and a passion for uplifting others, Akbaraly has proven that success can be achieved through determination and compassion.

His ambitions extend far beyond his homeland, which he demonstrated in 2018 by acquiring Thomson Broadcast, Redland transformed into a global entity.

With a presence in France, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Africa, and the Indian Ocean, Redland now encompasses various industries, including industry, finance, energy, technology, tourism, aviation, real estate, and broadcasting.

This strategic expansion has broadened Redland’s horizons and created numerous direct and indirect job opportunities worldwide.

Under his leadership, Thomson Broadcast finalized the acquisition of GatesAir, a subsidiary of The Gores Group, a leader in wireless and over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters. 

The synergy of Thomson Broadcast and GatesAir, which have recently experienced rapid growth due to the North American Spectrum Repack program, will strengthen the companies’ creativity, design, and product efficiency while broadening their broadcast solution offerings.

Ylias Akbaraly’s Journey to Prominence: From humble beginnings to global empowerment

The story of Akbaraly’s success began with Sipromad, a humble commodities trading house founded by his father.

Under his leadership, Sipromad has evolved into a multinational conglomerate with annual revenues of $350 million.

The group’s interests span diverse sectors, including agribusiness, aviation, hotels, security services, utilities, and consumer goods, making Sipromad a dominant force in Madagascar’s economy and beyond.

Akbaraly’s remarkable journey is a testament to his entrepreneurial prowess and unwavering commitment to preserving African traditions and culture.

He firmly believes in the incredible capabilities of Africans and emphasizes the significance of development without compromising cultural heritage.

His extensive education at prestigious institutions like Lycee Lavoisier in Paris and Lycee Français in Antananarivo, combined with management studies at the Institut Superieur de Gestion in France, and a master’s degree in product marketing from Berkeley University in California, equipped him with a global perspective that shaped his future endeavors.

Listening attentively to competitors and customers, Akbaraly revolutionized Sipromad’s offerings by introducing smaller packaging sizes at more affordable prices.

Such innovative changes propelled Sipromad’s brand to overnight market leadership, establishing it as a household name in Madagascar and allowing Ylias Akbaraly to diversify his business interests.

Today, his extensive portfolio includes more than 200 residential and commercial properties, including the iconic Orange Tower in Antananarivo’s city center, valued at more than $300 million.

His compassion, innovation, and unwavering commitment to transforming lives have not only made him Madagascar’s wealthiest individual but also an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs.

As Akbaraly continues to shape the landscape of Malagasy business and philanthropy, his journey serves as a testament to the immense potential that resides within Africa’s entrepreneurial spirit.

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