Los Angeles based financier Michael Dodo is a renowned venture capitalist who invests in businesses in need of working capital, mentorship and solid leadership. Founder and CEO of both The Dodo Group, and beauty brand conglomerate Luxury Brands LLC., he successfully discovers, restructures and scales failing businesses into stable, successful and highly profitable companies.
Born and raised in Johannesburg South Africa, Michael Dodo earned his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of South Africa before immigrating to America, with a mere $300 in his pocket. Soon after settling in Los Angeles, he was recruited by Tag-It Pacific, a garment hang tag and label production company, first as their Controller and then quickly promoted to VP of Finance and Operations. He was not only instrumental in taking the company public, but also ran both their Hong Kong and Mexican divisions before parting ways in 2001.
He, and a business partner, then purchased Triple L Distribution, a company which soon became the second largest redistributor of dry grocery and equipment supplies to the food service industry in the West. Under Michael’s supervision, TLD successfully maintained a fleet of 70 tractor trailers and 5 fully stocked warehouse locations, and the company grew from $16 million to $128 million in annual revenue. He was then approached to step in as CEO of FHI Heat, a professional grade hair tool company, to restructure and cultivate the brand. Next, he purchased West Central Produce, later known as West Central Foodservice, growing the company into one of the largest premium wholesale food, beverage, and restaurant supply distributors on the West Coast, with sales exceeding $300M per year.
In 2017, he launched his first of two conglomerates – Luxury Brands LLC., positioned as a parent company for beauty, luxury, and lifestyle consumer brands. FHI Heat, and sibling haircare brands STYLUS, NEO BOND, Hair Veil and Daily Beauty, were strategically placed under the Luxury Brands LLC. corporate umbrella., and last spring, Michael’s latest acquisition Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics and Skincare was purchased out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and added to his growing beauty brand portfolio.
Michael’s namesake company – The Dodo Group, has focus in F&B, a space in which Michael has significant experience. Lodi Canning Company, a 100-year-old plus, farm-to-table vegetable canning company, and Wateria, a 25-year-old, 15-step Drinking Water Purification System both sit under DG and are growing at a tremendous rate.
When asked what advice he would give to a budding entrepreneur or business owner, he said “Don’t scale your business too quickly. Incremental growth is key to success, with reasonable goals and KPIs set into place. And, although it’s challenging at times, try not to micromanage. Instead, trust in your team to do the jobs they were hired to do, so that you can put 100% of your focus on growing and running your business.” Sound advice from an industry leader.