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Shaka Kariuki: From A Family Car Tout To Becoming A Sub-saharan Investment Mogul

They say no person climbs Abraham Marslow’s pyramid to the point of self-actualization but methinks there are people who are just a few points off this breakthrough.

Or maybe it is subjective because Transcentury chair Shaka Kariuki once appeared in an interview and said he rated himself 11 on a ‘happiness’ scale of 0 to 10.

Shaka Kariuki is a serial businessman who has immense experience in finance and leadership. He exudes charm and currently serves as a Board Chair of both Transcentury PLC and the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK).

As a man who wears many hats, Kariuki has conquered Kenya’s corporate sector, and he’s now spreading his business nous to the larger Sub-saharan Africa.

He is the CEO of Kuramo Capital Limited; a company that has a portfolio estimated to be $ 500 million.

Additionally, he serves as the vice chair in both Platcorp Holdings and Sterling Capital Limited. The serial businessman sits in the Board of Directors of BYU Marriott School of Management (U.S) and has also invested in the biggest agribusiness company in DRC. Kariuki is also the Executive Chair of NAS Foods Ethiopia.


Kariuki studied at Jamhuri High School then proceeded to Brigham Young University for an undergraduate in Economics. He holds an MBA with emphasis in Finance from the same institution.

Additionally, he holds a Masters in Government from Harvard University.


Kariuki owes his success in business to his parents who always challenged him to look for opportunities. In a past interview with Jackson Biko, Kariuki revealed that his father once saw a carton box while he was driving and challenged him on seizing opportunities even in things regarded as “garbage.”

His father’s message was that people would perceive the box differently: others would see it as a waste which had to be discarded while others  would challenge themselves on how to process it into something else.

In the same interview, Kariuki revealed that he began investing in treasury bills at a very tender age, through his father.

Kariuki’s mother also instilled in him the importance of toiling hard in order to make a dime. The mother was a paediatrician and would task him with the role of a tout as she would use her car to ferry people to and from the Kenyatta National Hospital.

She’d say; if you want to make extra cash you have to be the turnboy.’ So I was her tout, calling on people to enter her car. In that regard, I have always been around enterprise from a very early age,revealed Kariuki.

Money Lessons 

Kariuki dispells the popular notion that money ‘goes where there is money.’ According to Kariuki, opportunities are what generate money. He opines that before investing in any company, he keeps in mind crucial aspects of the business.

One of the factors is the market for the products produced. The question here is whether there is adequate demand for a company’s goods.

Kariuki also scrutinises the leadership of an existing company; its governance and management.