Ladi Delano, the Nigerian who made his 1st million in his 20s as a liquor entrepreneur in China

Abu Mubarik October 24, 2022
Screenshot video of Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.

Meet Ladi Delano. He is the founder of Solidarnosc Asia, a Chinese alcoholic beverage company that made Solid XS, a premium brand of vodka. He started the company in 2004 when he was only 24 years old.

The company grew to become one of the favorite liquors in the Chinese market and at a point, controlled a 50 percent share of the market. The liquor sold in 30 cities across China and generated over $20 million in annual revenue.

He would later sell the liquor brand to one of his competitors for over $15 million and invested the money in his next venture. He started The Delano Reid Group, a real estate investment holding company focused on mainland China.

He also led a consortium of investors to invest in Nigeria. Through a joint venture, he was successful in bringing the Bakrie Group from Indonesia to invest $1 billion over five years in the mining, agriculture, and oil and gas industries in Nigeria.

The serial entrepreneur was born to Nigerian parents in 1983 in Britain. He suffered from mild dyslexia and deafness in one ear, which made education challenging for him and eventually affected his college education. He eventually dropped out of college and ventured into entrepreneurship.

His father, an MBA college lecturer, provided advice on all his business moves. Delano’s first venture into entrepreneurship was offering career advice to students and trying to get recruiters to advertise their companies to students. He also set up an m-commerce platform for students to make purchases with their mobile phones. However, the business collapsed six months later, and he lost millions of dollars.

But it did not deter him from becoming his own boss. Growing up as a kid, he was fascinated by Asian culture and decided to fly off to figure out life in Asia. He first traveled to Malaysia from Thailand, then to Hong Kong, all in eight months, before joining his family in their new home in Chicago.

While in the U.S., he got an internship job at Merryl Lynch and later moved to London, where he and a group of friends decided to venture into the liquor business after some time at Merryl Lynch. At the time, there was a vodka revolution taking place on the streets of London, and Delano and his mates wanted to supply the shots, according to StartupTipsDaily.

This led to the birth of his multi-million dollar liquor venture, Solid XS vodka. He moved the business to China due to the high cost of doing business in London.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: October 24, 2022


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