How Senegalese tycoon Yerim Sow secretly built a fortune estimated at $350 million

Abu Mubarik March 21, 2022
Yérim Sow, founder of the Teyliom Group. Photo credit: Teyliom

Yerim Sow is a Senegalese business tycoon with an extensive portfolio. For two decades, Sow has secretly built a business empire out of the view of the media. In 2017, Forbes Afrique reported that he has built a fortune estimated at 350 million dollars.

He is the founder of Teyliom Group, an investment company with multiple portfolios, including luxury hotels Radisson Blu Dakar, Noom, Seen and Yaas as well as a commercial bank, Bridge Bank. Sow first started as a retailer before launching his own IT company in 1988 called Direct Access.

Six years later, he shifted his focus to the mobile phone markets in Senegal and Ivory Coast. Having achieved success, the Senegalese began to aim for bigger projects.

With his eyes set on the telecom industry, he took a stake in Loteny Telecom, holder of the first mobile operator license in Ivory Coast, in partnership with the Pan-African operator Telecel International.

Sow founded Teyliom Group in 2001 to consolidate his interest in the telecom industry. Then MTN, the South African telecommunication giant, came knocking. MTN bought 51% of Loteny from Sow. The Senegalese businessman went on to obtain a mobile license in Cape Verde where he created the company TPLUS, allowing him to play a huge role in the Guinean market of telecommunications, according to reports. The Teylium group was renamed Teyliom in 2013. Today, Teyliom’s business interest is not limited to only telecom.

Two years ago, Sow launched Noom Hotel, a 5-Star hotel in Niamey, Niger’s capital city, at the cost of more than $32 million. It comprises 141 rooms including 123 standard rooms, 10 executive rooms, 5 junior suites, 2 rooms for disabled guests, and a prestige suite, according to Forbes.

Besides owning a commercial bank called Bridge Bank, Sow also invested in the beverage industry with the acquisition of the Ivorian company Continental Beverage Company. The real estate sector was not left out in Sow’s investment directions, acquiring Radisson Blu hotel and the Sea Plaza.

Sow comes from a family of seven children. His father, Aliou Sow, was a prominent Senegalese construction magnate. His father founded the construction group Compagnie sahélienne d’entreprise (CSE).

Sow was born in 1967 in Dakar and he grew up in the upscale district of Fann Residence. After his secondary education, he went to Canada to study at the University of Montreal. He studied engineering and proceeded to the United States where he studied commerce at Boston University.

Last Edited by:Francis Akhalbey Updated: March 22, 2022


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