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Kenyans In Their 40s Running Successful Multi-Billion Business Empires

Kenya is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, grossing a GDP of USD 99 million. The country has also been listed amongst 5 African countries that account for more than 50% of Africa’s total private wealth held by individuals.

According to a 2022 Knight Frank wealth report, 39 additional Kenyans joined the rank of the Worlds High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs), with a net worth of more thank Ksh. 116 million in 2021. This is a 1.17% rise, compared to 3,323 individuals the previous year.

The report further revealed that 908 Kenyans are self-made millionaires, implying a net worth of at least Ksh. 117 million (USD 1 million).

In this article, WoK will highlight some of the Kenyans in their 40s running successful multi-Billion business empires.

Ronald Karauri

Sportpesa Chief Executive Officer Ronald Karauri is a pioneer in the sports betting space in Kenya. Before co-founding the Sportpesa in 2014, the father of three had previously worked as a commercial pilot for a total of 11 years at the national courier, Kenya Airways.

He is the current Kasarani member of parliament.

Polycarp Igathe

Polycarp Igathe is a Kenyan businessman, politician and corporate executive, who serves as the Vice President in charge of Sales and Marketing in Vivo Energy Africa. Before that, he served as the Chief Commercial Officer of Equity Bank Kenya.

The 49 year old businessman turned politician is listed among the wealthiest businessmen in the country.

Juliana Rotich

45 year old Juliana is Co-founder of BRCK Inc.  A hardware company based in Kenya that makes BRCK and other devices. BRCK  is a self-powered mobile WiFi router that has on-board battery and storage, a backup generator for the internet.

She is also an internationally sought-after keynote speaker as well as a strategic advisor to the councils of BASF, Microsoft 4Afrika and Waabeh Ltd. She is also a trustee of the iHub in Kenya and Bankinter Foundation for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Spain.

Njeri Rionge

Njeri Rionge is one of Africa’s leading entrepreneurs and one of the very few women pioneers in the ICT sector on the African continent. She co-founded internet service provider Wananchi Online that has since been transformed into Wananchi Group Holdings – one of east Africa’s leading providers of pay-tv, broadband internet and VoIP services.

Wananchi has since become very successful, raising close to Ksh. 7.017 billion ($60 million) in growth capital from a consortium private equity firms. She also founded Ignite Consulting, a thriving business consultancy; Business Lounge, Kenya’s leading startup incubator; Ignite Lifestyle, a health care consultancy; and Insite, one of Kenya’s most successful digital marketing outfits.

In 2018, Njeri was named one of the 25 richest women in Africa by a Nigerian publication.

Kamal Budhabatti

46 year old Kamal Budhabatti is the founder and CEO of Craft Silicon, a Ksh. 5.85 billion (market value) Kenyan software company which provides software in core banking, microfinance, mobile, switch solutions and electronic payments for over 200 institutional clients in 40 countries spread across four continents.

Mike Macharia

Mike Macharia is the Founder of Seven Seas Technology. The company is a leading provider of integrated business and technology solutions across Africa in the telecom, financial, Real Estate, service industry and government. It is also listed in the NSE.

The 45 year old began his career as an accounting intern at Comtech Systems, steadily growing through the ranks to become a Finance manager, Sales manager, and even a member of the company’s board of directors.

Macharia’s company is valued at roughly Ksh. 3.5 billion, with him as the majority stakeholder with a 35% stake worth Ksh. 1.12 billion.

Ken Njoroge

46 year old Ken is a co-founder and the former group CEO of Cellulant. He previously served as co-founder and Solution Design Director of 3Mice Interactive Media. The company grew from a two-man team to a leading web development firm in East Africa. 3Mice was later acquired by Africa Online- the largest Pan-African Internet Service Provider.

In 2004, Ken Njoroge and his Nigerian partner, Goke Akinboro founded Cellulant, a Ksh. 14 billion (revenues) mobile commerce company that manages, delivers and bills for content and commerce services over mobile networks in Africa. Its clients are spread across 8 African countries and include clients like MTN, Standard Chartered bank and Absa.

Dennis Makori

42 year old Dennis Makori is the founder of Onfon Media, one of the most successful value added telecoms service providers in Kenya. Onfon, which Makori founded in 2007, develops voice and data applications for mobile devices. The company has more than 100 employees, with operations in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana and annual revenues of Ksh. 468 million.