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Family Business Empires That Have Thrived Long After The Deaths Of The Founders 

They say that the first generation creates, the second builds and then the third generation blows the wealth and everything away. However this is different in some of the big family businesses, conglomerates and big corporate companies. 

In this article WoK brings you the list of some of the business empires that continue thriving even after the death of their founders.

Gilani’s Supermarket

Gilani’s Supermarket was first established in Nakuru in 1972 by the late Mr. Ghulam Hussein. It started off as a small retail shop under the brand name Gilani’s Agency and by the time he was passing on, the business had expanded into a supermarket.

The supermarket is currently in its third generation managed by five directors from the Gilani family. Currently the supermarket has employed 750 people and has grown to become one of the best supermarkets in the country.

From the profits gained through the supermarket, the company has expanded into the real estate and hospitality sector. They run a chain of restaurants under the brand name ‘Gilani’s restaurant’ and own the Imperial hotel – a five star hotel located in Kisumu city.

The family through the Gilanis Holdings Limited owns the Gilanis Tower One building which is currently the tallest commercial building in Nakuru.

Also Read: The Family Behind Gilani’s Supermarket And Imperial Hotel In Kisumu

Centum Investments

Centum Investment is a company that was founded by the late billionaire Chris Kirubi who controlled a majority share of 29.9 percent. Centum is the company behind the famous Two Rivers Mall which is  the largest mall in East and Central Africa.

The company also owns Capital Fm, SABIS international school and has shares in Safaricom PLC, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Coca Cola. After his untimely death IN 2021, the company has been passed to his family. The CEO of Centum Investments is James Mworia. 

Also Read: Five Multi Billion Businesses That Collapsed When Founders Died

Sameer Group

Sameer Group was founded by the late billionaire Nashaud Merali who was also the founder of Kencell (now Airtel). Sameer Group is a conglomerate of companies with interests in agriculture, construction, information technology, property and finance with roots in the entire East African countries.

After his untimely death in July 3rd 2021, the company still continues to grow and thrive raking in billions in turnovers. The company is now in the hands of his able son named Sameer Merali-who was named the richest man in Kenya. Some of the companies owned by Sameer Group include in Agriculture – Sasini tea and Savanna coffee.

In manufacturing – Eveready and Ryce Engineering. Finance Sector – shares in Equatorial Commercial Bank and Kenya Data Networks in the Information Technology (IT) Sector. It also owns Yana Tyres, Yansam East Africa Motors. Sameer Group also owns Sameer Industrial Park which is located along Mombasa Road.

Also Read: The Multi-Billion Businesses The Top Five Richest Men In Kenya Control

Ramco Group of Companies

Ramco Group of Companies was founded in 1948 by Rambhai Patel and started off as a hardware store in Nairobi. The hardware slowly mutated into a company and it currently has operations in the entire East African countries such as Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

It employs over 4,000 people with annual turnover of over Ksh 32.3 billion. After the death of its founder, the company is now under the hands of his able sons – Kirit, Mahendra and Chandrakt.

It has grown to have over 50 subsidiaries with interests in print, hardware, manufacturing, office supplies and property. In 2014, it was listed by Forbes among the top ten family-owned businesses in Africa.

Naivas Supermarket

Naivas Supermarket is arguably the best supermarket in the country with over 65 outlets spread across different cities and major towns in Kenya.

It was established by one businessman Peter Mukuha Kago in the late 1980s and registered as a company on 27th July 1990. Kago later died in 2010 and left his children, among them David Mukuha, who is the director, as the heirs of the family business.

The supermarket has continued thriving and expanding since then opening new branches and creating job opportunities for thousands of unemployed Kenyan youths.

Chandarana Foodplus

Chandarana Foodplus was established in 1959 by the late Shantilal Mulji Thakkar. It started off as a small grocery shop situated at the busy corner of Highridge Shopping Center in Nairobi.

Chandarana Foodplus has since transformed into a successful chain of supermarkets offering fresh vegetables and fruits, cheese, delicatessen, dairy products and fresh pastries. After the death of its founder, his sons Anil Thakkar, Sanjay Thakkar and Dipan Thakkar took over the leadership of the business, steering it to the next level.

The business is now diversified and sells meat products, wines and spirits, household items, electronics, health and beauty products, pet food and baby items.

ARM Cement Limited

Athi River Mining Limited was founded in 1974 by the late J. Harjivandas Paunrana as a mining company and producer of agricultural lime.

The company later mutated and in 1996 the company produced its first bag of cement. After the untimely death of the founder, his son Mr. Pradeep Paunrana took over as the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at 24 years only.

He steered the company to diversifying into producing fertilizers, minerals and chemicals and made the company’s Rhino Cement brand one of the best in the country.

He also set up the Rhino Foundation – a nonprofit organization established in 2010 and seeks to help the less privileged people in the society. He later tried to grow the company by unsuccessfully trying to join the Tanzanian market, a venture that resulted in losses and leading the company to be sold in October 2019 to billionaire Narendra Raval who is the founder and owner of Devki group.

Quickmart Supermarket

The supermarket was founded in 2006 by John Kinuthia and has since seen tremendous growth long after the patriarch of the family passed on. The founder of the supermarket passed the baton of giant retailer to his son Duncann Kinuthia. Currently, the supermarket has a total of 46 branches spread across the country.

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