Dr Kanaksinh Karsandas: Businessman With Ksh3.8 Billion Stake in KCB Changing Lives

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Dr Kanaksinh Karsandas: Businessman With Ksh3.8 Billion Stake in KCB Changing Lives
File image of Dr Kanaksinh Karsandas during a previous hospital visit. |Courtesy| Business Daily|

By Prudence Minayo

Dr Kanaksinh Karsandas Babla is not only one of the richest men in Kenya but also a very philanthropic businessman. He comes from the Bablas family and shies away from the limelight but nonetheless has vast interests in various fields. The family has shares in the Kenya Commercial Bank Group.

In 2011, they had a less than 1% stake in the bank but by 2015, they had raised the stake to 3.14% which according to a Business Daily report at the time was worth Ksh3.8 billion.

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Regulatory filings in 2015 indicated that the Bablas family had approximately 95 million shares which stood for 3.14 per cent. Thus, placing them among the top local individual shareholders at one of Kenya’s biggest banks.

This article takes a look at the most known member of the Bablas family, Dr Karsandas.

Background

Dr Karsandas’ family immigrated to Kenya from Tanzania in 1936. They settled in the coastal town of Mombasa. He was born in 1931 and built a fortune through investing in the Nairobi Security Exchange (NSE).

Philanthropy

Despite being a recluse, his charitable contributions to the less privileged in Kenya cannot be ignored.

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“I owe a lot to this country (Kenya). This country has given me everything I want, and now it is my time to give back to the country in my sunset years,” Dr Karsandas was quoted by a publication of the Mumbai registered trust global Bhatia foundation.

Having given millions to charity over the years, below are his famous charitable donations.

He has donated over Ksh70 million to Lions Club. This is an organization that supports the disabled and provides disaster relief.

He is behind the Kanubhai Bablas Eye Bank in Kenya which is a project worth over one hundred million Kenyan Shillings at the Lions Sight First Eye Hospital in Nairobi’s Loresho area. The Kanubhai Eye Bank in Nairobi was inaugurated by the late retired president Mwai Kibaki in 2009. It is meant to boost the availability of corneas and is considered one of a kind in East and Central Africa.

The billionaire also funded another project worth USD 1 million at the Pandya Memorial Hospital in Mombasa.

He has also provided about USD 1 million in funding for the Bablas Diani Secondary School in Mombasa.

The NSE investor has also funded open-heart surgeries for babies and efforts to deal with breast cancer through awareness campaigns.

Other organizations that have received funding from his pocket include Bomu Medical Center, Mvita Health Care and Hare Krishna Center in Nyali, Mombasa.

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