Kenya has a significant gap between the upper and middle, and lower classes of the economy. While having the most developed and largest economy in eastern and central Africa, 16.1% of its population is still below the global poverty line.
Due to this economic imbalance, the country’s wealth is controlled by less than 0.1% of the citizens, leaving 99.9% (more than 44 million people) with barely enough to sustain themselves.
The two wealthiest people in the country jointly own over Sh175.5 billion, more than the wealth of 16.5 million Kenyans. Here are some of the renowned billionaires in Kenya.
Sameer Merali took over the Sameer Group after the death of his father Naushad in 2021. This made him the youngest and wealthiest billionaire in Kenya. However, he did not just step into the position as, over the years, he has been honing his entrepreneurial skills.
Before stepping into his father’s shoes, Sameer started working at Sameer Investments Limited, one of the group subsidiaries. Gradually, he worked his way to appearing in different important positions in the group.
For instance, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of Sameer Investment Limited, as the Chairman of Ryce East Africa Limited, Nandi Tea Estates Limited, and Warren Enterprises Limited.
The Kenyan Sameer conglomerate is a diversified group involved in agriculture, construction, information technology, real estate, and finance. The group is present in over 130 countries.
Bhimji Depar Shah
Bhimji Depar Shah is a Kenyan businessman, industrialist, entrepreneur, and billionaire with billions of Kenyan Shillings.
The Bidco group is a conglomerate that generates revenue from different sectors. In 1970, Shah established Bidco Industries, a garment factory. He diversified into soap making in 1985.
In 1991, he started the production of cooking oils. Today, the company is one of the country’s biggest producers of cooking oils. Other products are detergents, beauty soaps and baking powders. These products are sold beyond the borders of Kenya.
His son Vimal Shah sits as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Jaswinder Singh Bedi
Jaswinder Singh Bedi is a Kenyan industrialist who is worth billions of Kenyan shillings. He is a renowned international trade negotiator, exporter, and owner of one of the leading textile factories in Kenya.
He once served as the chairperson of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and the African Cotton & Textile Industries Federation, and as the Export Promotion Council.
While the president of Kenya is one of the wealthiest men in Kenya, his wealth is said to be cumulative of the Kenyatta family’s wealth.
The Kenyatta family runs a variety of businesses, including those in real estate, land titles, tourism, milk processing, banking, media, and transportation. One of their noteworthy investments is Northlands City, located on the outskirts of Nairobi.
The Kenyatta family also owns Brookside Dairies, which consists of thousands of acres of land in Gatundu, the Dagoretti region, Kahawa Sukari, Nakuru, Taita Taveta, Naivasha, Karen, Rongai, and the Rift Valley.
Mahendra Rambhai Patel
Mahendra Rambhai Patel accumulated his wealth through the Ramco Group.
The Ramco Group started as a small hardware store in 1948 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Today, the family-owned business has over fifty companies in East Africa, mainly in six sectors: real estate, Hardware, Print, Services, Office Supplies, and Manufacturing.
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