Why Sudhir Is E. Africa’s No.1 Billionaire

Tycoon Sudhir, the first time Forbes declared him East Africa's riches (Photo by Stuart Yiga)
Tycoon Sudhir, the first time Forbes declared him East Africa’s riches (Photo by Stuart Yiga)

Moving two places up from last year’s number 24 according to Forbes Magazine rankings, to no.22, is enough proof that Dr. Sudhir Jayantilal Ruparelia is a man among the ‘men’ on planet earth not only in East Africa as a region but also in the whole of Africa as a continent especially when it comes to issues of finance.

For those who know him better, say  he has whatever it takes to maintain his empire which comprises of; Banking, insurance, hospitality, property development, horticulture, leisure centers, education, conventions, to mention but a few, basing on his good relationship he has with different categories of people.

Despite the fact the he can ‘make even the American Dollar speak’, Sudhir is a down to earth person.

This is evident in the that, he sometimes participates in many ordinary activities together with his colleagues in their famous umbrella body, ‘Kwagalana Club’ which is headed by Godfrey Kirumira.

While appearing on a local personality skills development model show dubbed  ‘Pakasa’ recently, he said that he owns about five hundred bank accounts which he monitors so closely such that by 7am, of every other day, he knows how much money is on which account.

He further threw another gauntlet by saying that all the money on these various accounts is in different currencies.

LOADED; Ruparelia with his Sweet heart Jyostna (Photo by Stuart Yiga)
LOADED; Ruparelia with his Sweet heart Jyostna (Photo by Stuart Yiga)

“I don’t mix shillings with Japanese Yen, or Dollars with Pounds, I make sure each currency is separate,” he reportedly said. Besides, he lives an exemplary life, hates selfishness and also makes sure his legacy has a story to tell to the current and future generations to come.

Like any other wise tycoon, he distances himself from partisan politics though the only language he loves to listen to is peace and stability since where these two prevail, safety to his business conglomerate become guaranteed.

He is a happily married to Jyostna and has three children who include; Rajiv, Meera and Sheena.

FACTS ABOUT SUDHIR

Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia is a Ugandan-Asian whose family came to Uganda in 1903. In 1956, he was born at Mengo hospital in Kampala. He was He is also the founder of the Ruperalia Foundation.

When President Iddi Amin ordered all Asians out of the country in 1972, he went to UK where he started working at the age of 16. While in exile in UK, he carried out various odd of jobs before he later returned to Uganda in 1985.

According to the American Forbes business Magazine well known for listing the World’s richest personalities, in 2013, Sudhir beat Vimal Shah the Kenyan billionaire to become the East Africa’s richest and as of November, 2014, he remained unshakable when he again maintained his position on top.

The fact that he has even excelled two positions ahead, that is to say, moving from the position of 24, where he was in 2013, to reach a position of 24, out of the top most 50 richest in Africa, and ranked 1465, amongst the World’s top Billionaires, leaves a lot to be desired from him.

He is also one of Uganda’s largest property owners. Through his Ruparelia Group, he owns more than 300 commercial and residential properties, including the Speke Hotels and the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort. He also owns Crane Bank, which is Uganda’s third largest commercial bank, a chain of foreign exchange bureaus and Victoria University, the first down town private university in Kampala. He started building his empire in Uganda in 1985 after returning from the United Kingdom. He began by importing beer and salt from Kenya and subsequently started a foreign exchange bureau which laid the foundation for his entry into commercial banking.

Unlike in the past, Uganda’s capital currently has a number of lucrative structures majority of which belong to the Ruparelia Group.

Among them include the recently constructed Kampala Boulevard which is opposite Post Office, Eagle Plaza on Luwum Street, Crane chambers, Kampala Parents and International School, Victoria University on Jinja road, Common Wealth Speke Resort-Munyonyo, Kabira Country Club, Speke Hotel, and another building which is still under construction along Wampewo Avenue, among others.

$2M DAUGHTER’S WEDDING

Uganda’s top banking magnet broke a record when he hosted a $2 million lavish wedding ceremony for his daughter Meera who was getting married to her rib Ravi.

The function was held in one of the London’s top luxurious based hotels including Mandarin Oriental, (was strictly attended by Ruparelia and the Jagdish Kotecha, families) Later, a second function was organized in Grosvenor Hotel, and was attended by their invited special guests who managed to join them in the UK before the third one which was held at Speke Resort Munyonyo in February, 2014.

“As Kwagalana members, we are proud to be associated with him because he has always been there for us and supporting us financially and materially,” one of the Kwagalana members testified on condition of anonymity.

He also added that the speed at which Sudhir is excelling needs no doubt because he knows him as a hard-working man who leaves no stones unturned especially when it comes to aiming at positive results.

ABOUT HIS AWARDS

They say that ‘Hard Work Pays’ and therefore, being a hard working, innovative, and  self-made man, he has always  been receiving class above the ordinary awards as a sign of recognition and appreciation for his excellent out-standing achievements.

Some of the awards include; on 25th October, 2007, he received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the Uganda Pentecostal University, Presidential Export awards for the years; 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2009. 2014, as Chairperson of the Ruparelia Group, he was voted the Africa’s Innovation Leader of the year, among others.

BREAK-DOWN OF HIS KEY ASSETS;

Meera Investments – $600 million, Crane Bank – $250 million, Speak Hotel Group – $240 million, Rosebud – $10 million,Other Investments (Schools, Personal Homes) – $30 million, Total: $1.12 Billion.