Naushad Merali, Kenyan Industrialist And Billionaire, Dies

Merali pioneered a thought process on how to do cutting edge business and succeed.


Naushad Merali, Kenyan Industrialist And Billionaire, Dies
Naushad Merali died on Saturday morning, at age 70

Naushad N. Merali died on Saturday morning (July 3rd) at the Nairobi Hospital, he was undergoing treatment for an undisclosed ailment. He was the founder of Kencell (now Airtel) and the chairman of the Sameer Group.

A statement by the Shia Ithna Ashri Jamaat secretariat said the burial will be held on Saturday, July 3. “It is the family’s request that Covid protocols be adhered to firmly hence, only immediate members of the family and those assisting with the burial proceedings to attend. The family thanks you for honouring this request,” it said.

Until his demise, Merali chaired Sameer Group, a Kenyan conglomerate active in agriculture, construction, information technology, property and finance.

As of November 2015, Merali had a net worth of at least $370 million (Sh37 billion), Forbes estimated, placing him at Number 48 on the list of Africa’s 50 wealthiest people.


In Kenya, he was ranked the third-richest person, behind Bidco Africa Limited founder, Bhimji Depar Shah (first), who had a net worth of $700 million (Sh7 billion). Bhimji’s son, Vimal Shah, serves as the company’s CEO.

The Head of State eulogised him as a top industrialist whose businesses created thousands of jobs for Kenyans contributing significantly to the stability of the Kenyan economy.

“I have received the shocking news of the passing away of Mr Merali with a heavy heart. The cruel hand of death has robbed our country of a successful entrepreneur whose investments contributed significantly to the economic stability and progress of our country,” Uhuru said.

He noted that the Chairman of the Sameer Group of companies was a gifted businessman whose contribution to the progress of the Kenyan nation will be missed.


Uhuru said that Merali’s philanthropy earned him the ‘Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear’ state commendation.

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