Naushad Merali’s net worth, biography, family: An in depth look at the life and times of the Sameer Chairman.
Naushad Merali’s net worth: Biography
Naushad Merali was born on 1st February 1951 in Mombasa county, he chairs Sameer Group, a Kenyan conglomerate active in agriculture, construction, information technology, property and finance.
Naushad was formerly the chairman and largest individual shareholder of Bharti Airtel’s operations in Kenya, but in 2014 he sold his shares and stepped down from the company’s board. His Zarina and Naushad Merali Foundation gives to hospitals and needy children.
Naushad Merali’s net worth: Career
He started his career by buying troubled companies. In 1975, he bought Frank Ryce for Sh.600,000. The deal was funded by the Commercial Bank of Africa.
Merali later secured the franchises of Komatsu and Daihatsu. In 1984, he bought the Bank of America’s stake in CBA, a deal that was funded by local banks and was valued at Sh 85 million. He now owns a 14% satke in CBA valued at about Sh 1.5 billion.
In 1985, he acquired 51% stake in Firestone East Africa for Sh 165 million. The company earned him millions of shillings in 1994, when the company was listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange(NSE)
Over the years he bought a long list of businesses including First American Bank of Kenya, Equatorial Bank and East African Cables. He made the largest profit ever made in the shortest time in Kenya,s business arena, having made Sh 1.6 billion in less than two hours.
In March 2004, when an executive from French media giant Vivendi jetted into Nairobi to inform him that the firm had signed a contract to sell its 60% stake in Kencell to MTN of South Africa for Sh 18.4 billion(at that time)
The news did not impress Mr. Merali who quickly informed Vivendi of his intention to excise his pre- emption rights. He paid sh 18.4 billion to the French madia company, thereby making him the sole owner of Kencell.
He later sold the shares to Celtel for Sh.20 billion earning himself Sh 1.6 billion in profit.
Naushad Merali’s net worth: Award
Mr. Merali’s contributions to the economy and the well-being of its people have earned him the highly prized National Award of “Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear”.
Naushad Merali’s net worth: Membership
He is a member of the Kenya Export Promotion Council, the National Investment Council (both major policy making organs of the Kenyan Government), the World Economic Forum, Switzerland, The Conference Board, New York, and the International Who’s Who of Professionals.
He has also been appointed to The National Poverty Eradication Commission, The Kenya Export Promotion Council, The Committee to review Terms & Conditions of Service for Civil Servants and the Presidential Committee on Employment-all of which are presidential appointments.
Naushad Merali’s net worth: Life
He is so casual that on a first meeting one needs to be convinced that he is meeting Naushad Merali, perhaps Kenya’s richest man and biggest single investor with listed wealth in excess of Sh 3 billion. But an even bigger surprise is that he is not excited about it all. “Happiness and satisfaction is not in money. It is in what you do with the money,” he says.
“After all, however fat your bank account, you cannot eat more than three meals a day, put on two suits or drive in two cars at the same time”.
And so Merali has decided to give back to the community through charity and creating employment. Though he owns several banks, Merali says one may not believe that his personal bank account balance sometimes reads zero.
He discloses: “I have made a decision to give 50% of my annual earnings to charity. However, sometimes I exceed the limit and find I have given 100 per cent”, he says with a shy smile. Creating employment is the next passion for the 62- year old Kenyan-born entrepreneur.
Through his listed companies, he employs over 50 000 people in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa. “My vision is to create direct jobs for at least a 100 000 people.”