Naushad Merali

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Naushad N. Merali
Born (1951-02-01) 1 February 1951 (age 66)
Nairobi, Kenya
Residence Nairobi, Kenya
Nationality Kenya
Occupation Businessman, Industrialist
Known for Being one of the wealthiest residents in Kenya and operating numerous business ventures
Spouse(s) Zarin (wife)

Naushad N. Merali, CBS (born 1 February 1951 in Nairobi, Kenya) is the founder of the Kenyan mobile service provider Kencell along with French media giant Vivendi.[1] He attended Highway Secondary School in the suburbs of Nairobi, Kenya. As one of Kenya's leading industrialists, Merali has brought commercial development in Kenya for more than 30 years and is constantly expanding his businesse throughout East Africa.[2]

His wife is Zarin Merali, who is a director for the Kenyan Paraplegic Organisation.[3] She is also an interior design consultant.[3]

Merali's ancestors were believed to have emigrated from the state of Gujarat in what is now known as India. His mother's maiden name is assumed to be Patel; a surname occupied by famous Indian businessmen and 33% of all American mid-sized hotel owners.[4][5][6]


From the 1980s to March 2005, Merali was the director of the now-defunct W.P.H. Kenya Tea company.[7]

In 2004, he managed to purchase 60% ownership of the business from Vivendi for $230 million.[1] Merali would transfer ownership only an hour later to Celtel for a $20 million profit.[1][8] While owning 5% of Bharti Airtel's Kenyan wireless phone operations, Merali spends his time steering the affairs of the Sameer Group.[1] The Sameer Group is a conglomerate of 15 Kenyan companies that range from financial services to agriculture and even information technology.[1] Three of these companies appear on the Nairobi Stock Exchange and Merali is worth $210 million as of 2 November 2011.[1] He is reported to have shares in the Commercial Bank of Africa as of 2003.[9] Merali's purchase of the Grand Regency Hotel during that year caused a lot of controversy in the Kenya area.[9]

Merali also holds positions at the Kenya Export Promotion Council, the International Who's Who of Professionals, and the National Investment Council of Kenya.[10] The President of Kenya has appointed him to positions such as membership in the Kenya Export Promotion Council, membership in The National Poverty Eradication Commission of Kenya, and membership in The Presidential Committee on Employment.[10] He appeared at the 2011 World Economic Forum in Davos as one of the African delegates along – making him one of the three Kenyan delegates.[11] As of September 2011, Kenya Data Networks – one of his business ventures – is facing financial problems and the shareholders are ready to cause a shakedown in the entire management team.[12] These financial problems came to frutition by 2013 when Merali relinquished control of the company.

In 2012, Merali invested in construction.[13] Two of Merali's former firms, Kenya Data Networks and Swift Global are in the process of being merged into Great Britain's Liquid Telecoms as of February 2013. Many executive positions could be declared redundant as a result of this multinational merger. Both retail and wholesale services for the lower end of the consumer spectrum were provided by both of these firms as individual companies; as rival Internet service provider Safaricom already had a firm grasp on the upper end of the market.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Naushad Merali information at
  2. ^ Naushad M. Merali information at
  3. ^ a b Zarin Merali information at
  4. ^ Maybe he is a Patel, I hear Indian … at Kenyan Entrepreneur
  5. ^ Kamdar, Mira (2007). Planet India: how the fastest-growing democracy is transforming America and the world. Simon and Schuster. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-7432-9685-4. 
  6. ^ Ungar, Sanford J. (1998). Fresh blood: the new American immigrants. U of Illinois Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-252-06702-0. 
  7. ^ Report page for W.P.H. Kenya Tea 1994 at Mars Group Kenya
  9. ^ a b Kenya: Libyan Government to Purchase Equatorial Commercial Bank at
  10. ^ a b Naushad Merali career information at
  11. ^ List of Africa delegates at the 2011 World Economic Forum at
  12. ^ Merali's Midas Touch at
  13. ^ Naushad Merali tempted by property at Africa Intelligence
  14. ^ UK firm seeks regulator’s nod to merge former Merali companies at Business Daily Africa