A sign of a billionaire happy in his own skin and comfortable with his humble beginnings. He pushed supermarket trollies in London for a few pounds a week and burned his fingers in search of a buck.
Today, Dr Sudhir Ruparelia is one of the most successful businessmen in Uganda and arguably one of the richest men in Africa. He has interests in banking, real estate, hospitality, media, floriculture, insurance and education.
Most of Uganda’s wealthy family businesses transcend generations, and some are preparing for a change from the old guard to the young Turks.
The generational transition of Uganda’s wealthiest families is more visible and has been taking shape for the last decades.
Wealthy names such as Sudhir Ruparelia, ranked as Uganda’s wealthiest at US$1.2 billion in 2018 by the Forbes magazine with interests in real estate, hospitality and finance is letting the young Turks into the family business.
Since its inception, the Ruparelia Group of Companies has been committed to the establishment and development of innovative pioneering and enduring businesses among various sectors in Uganda, including:Financial services, hospitality, conventions and leisure centres, education, real estate, media & advertising, Agriculture and recruitment & HR services.
In a period of more than 20 years, values instigated by The Group’s Chairman and founder, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, have been propagated in the operations and performance of the various Ruparelia Group businesses, most of which are the Country’s leading players in their respective sectors.
32-year-old Rajiv Ruparelia, a son of Sudhir has in the last five years grown through the ranks to assume the role of the managing director at the Ruparelia Group taking on roles that previously were a preserve for his father.
Good governance model has demonstrated the power of effective leadership for Ruparelia Group. Empowering individuals – both family members and outside professionals.
Good governance has supported the family’s culture of hard work, commitment, knowledge, expertise, emotional intelligence and innovation.
Rajiv Ruparelia says,” For over 25 years, Ruparelia Group has had a vision that emphasizes creating opportunities for all, especially Ugandans, to take advantage of the economies of scale and expertise to either affordable own and rent/lease high quality and high performance properties in the finest locations in Kampala.”
In this article, we bring you the over 20 companies under the Ruparelia moneybag that have kept this group flying high.
1. PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT
Crane Management and Meera Investments, are two companies that have made Sudhir and his family Uganda’s largest private property owners, managers and developers for commercial and private real estate. The companies invest in office buildings, retail centres, industrial facilities, residential units, development projects among others.
CRANE MANAGEMENT SERVICES which has been in existence since 1996 is a professional property management company which manages a large portfolio of properties within Kampala and in towns like Jinja, Mbale, Mbarara to name a few. It manages all kinds of properties from commercial, industrial, residential to office blocks.
Ruparelia Group’s Gold Star Insurance Company is a significant player in the Ugandan insurance market. The Company began operations as early as 1996 when the Ugandan populace by choice did not insure their property and the regulatory body was still in its infancy. This however did not deter the company’s growth and development into a leading insurance company in the country.
3. HOSPITALITY, CONVENTIONS, LEISURE
The Ruparelia Group runs some of Uganda’s largest and finest hotels and resorts serving both the luxury and budget market. The Group offers the ultimate in luxury accommodation, leisure facilities and the finest conference and business meeting venues in Uganda, along with related businesses including a rafting company.
All Ruparelia Group hotels and resorts are situated in the most strategic locations and offer an array of luxury services, intense hospitality, modern amenities and business facilities.
Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort is the front-runner in the Ruparelia Group Leisure and Hospitality business.
Ruparelia Group’s undertakings in education are substantially influential in Uganda’s education sector.
With schools at the elementary and high school level, all the way up to the local and international University level, the group has offered world-class education services in all disciplines to students of multiple nationalities and backgrounds. These include Kampala International School, Kampala Parents’ School, Delhi Public School and Victoria University.
88.2 Sanyu FM
Sanyu FM is the pioneer private FM radio station in East and central Africa, broadcasting with a footprint of 100 KM radius around Kampala, on the frequency of 88.2 Mhz, and another 100KM footprint around Mbale, on the frequency of 96.4 Mhz.
The Station has over its 20-year existence maintained its position as a leading radio station in Uganda with its strength rooted from the unique, clearly differentiated mix of music, top-notch presenters and hourly news updates.
Ruparelia Group has had far-reaching success in the floriculture market in Uganda and the companies have made a name for themselves as front-runners in the industry. The farms not only excel in the production of a multitude of premium high-quality rose varieties but also in exports, commanding over 35% of the rose-export market in Uganda.
Premier Roses — located in Entebbe, Uganda —produces the highest quality of exclusive roses in the world while maintaining its status as top exporter of cut roses in the country.
7. PREMIER RECRUITMENT LIMITED
Premier Recruitment is located on the 1st Floor of Crane Chambers and is a recently incorporated company licensed for external recruitment. The agency is also part of UAERA.
8. RUPARELIA FOUNDATION
You can say this is one SPEND project for the Group. One which gives back to the community. The Ruparelia Foundation works to improve and promote health, education, sports, general welfare, poverty eradication, improve livelihoods, support the welfare of wildlife and preservation of the environment by fostering partnerships among businesses, corporations, with the government, non-governmental organisations and individuals.