New MBAs should start their careers in frontier markets like Nigeria, Kenya, says Harvard Business Review

“Where are the stores?” asked the Scandinavian executive. Strive Masiyiwa was interviewing him to be CEO of the Nigeria telecoms venture lead by Econet Group, which Strive founded and chairs.

“We had an enormous amount at stake, over $1 billion in planned investment, and our board wanted to recruit the best in the world,” says the Zimbabwe-born Masiyiwa, whom Fortune ranked last year as one of the 50 Greatest Leaders in the World.

“We recruited globally, and this candidate was absolutely top flight. But when he got to Nigeria, he asked ‘Where are the stores? We’ll need stores to sell airtime.’ I told him that we needed no stores, that we were in Lagos, the world’s largest supermarket.”

Read more: New MBAs Should Start Their Careers in Frontier Markets – HBR.

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