The ARNO Group’s thousand and one transformations

Starting out as an importer of manufactured products in Cameroon in the 1960s, the ARNO Group has constantly reinvented itself over the course of generations to become a diversified conglomerate with pan-African ambitions. 

In 1965, Oryx Club, the legendary Douala football team, won the first edition of the CAF (Confederation of African Football) Champions League. In goal was a talented young goalkeeper, Anestis Arnopoulos – but Arnopoulos was already more than a football player. He was also an entrepreneur. Two years earlier, in 1963, he founded a company that would set the bar for others in Cameroon: the ARNO Group. Almost sixty years later, “everyone in Cameroon knows ARNO,” says Yanis Arnopoulos, Anestis’ grandson. The family business, still based in Douala, is active in many sectors (food and non-food retail, buildings energy, and real estate) and in 2019 posted a consolidated turnover of more than €30m, with three generations working together in harmony. Yanis Arnopoulos, Chief Operating Officer, represents the family’s third generation. 

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