Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, the founder and chairman of Ruparelia Group is again on top of the list of Uganda’s richest entrepreneurs, according to the 2023 latest rankings.
Despite terrible shocks like commodity-price inflation, global monetary tightening and international supply-chain bottlenecks, Uganda’s entrepreneurial activity is accelerating at a terrific speed.
According to the World Bank’s 21st Edition of the Uganda Economic Update released on June 29th, the country’s real GDP growth is estimated to reach 5.7% in FY22/23, albeit still below the pre-COVID-19 projection of 6.5%.
This unprecedented growth, despite key challenges, has been bolstered by heightened entrepreneurial activity, with different business-minded people investing in the services sector, bolstered by the rapid advancement of ICTs.
In this article, we take a look at Uganda’s top-notch entrepreneurs, who are in the driving seat, in propelling the economy to high growth levels. We bring you the top ten of Uganda’s affluent individuals, who have contributed to the growth of the country’s economy in many ways, including;
They own a wide array of huge enterprises which employ a vast number of Ugandans, hence helping the country to defuse unemployment pressure, and perpetuating beauty to the lives of many Ugandans by offering them jobs, hence earning means of livelihood. Some of these employees have used part of their salaries to start their ventures, widening the country’s industrial base.
Important still, huge ventures owned by these high-end entrepreneurs pay significant amounts of taxes to the government, hence widening the state’s source of revenue.
Below are Uganda’s top 10 richest entrepreneurs as of 2023.
- Sudhir Ruparelia
The founder of Ruparelia Foundation, Dr. Ruparelia’s investments are mainly in the areas of banking, insurance, education, broadcasting, real estate, floriculture, hotels, and resorts.
Over the years, he has been topping this list and is touted for raising his fortune from $25,000 which he saved from his hustle in the United Kingdom before he returned to Uganda in the mid-1980s as a beverages merchant and later as a foreign currency dealer. He is the chairman of the Ruparelia Group, a conglomerate that rules Kampala’s most wealthy businesses.
- John Bosco Muwonge
A mysterious billionaire, Muwonge prefers to work behind the shadows. He prefers to keep a low profile and is hardly seen in public.
- Karim Hijri
The CEO of Imperial Hotels is regarded as the main architect of the Dembe Group of Companies. Karim Hijri has attained an impressive feat as Uganda’s second wealthiest person.
His Dembe Group of Companies has morphed into a major conglomerate in Uganda, taking netizens by surprise, through its subsidiaries such as Imperial Group of Hotels. Karim Hijri’s net worth is estimated at $750 million.
- Hamis Kiggundu
Hamis Kiggundu aka Ham. He is the CEO and Founder of Ham Enterprises Ltd which owns Ham Tower and Ham Shopping Grounds in Kampala. Ham has cemented a multi-million dollar empire through booming dealings in vast real estate holdings, hospitality, international trade, logistics and agro-processing, all hinged on one goal of promoting prosperity. He is also Uganda’s leading philanthropist mostly through his charity entity popularly known as Ham Foundation.
He has in turn used money acquired from his trade dealings to build more commercial buildings, and luxury housing complexes which include a US$ 49 million redevelopment project whose works are ongoing on the magnificent Nakivubo stadium in Kampala.
He also owns a 5-million-dollar mansion on the shores of Lake Victoria, which is said to be one of the largest luxury homes in Uganda, with pretty impressive luxury amenities, like a helicopter pad, swimming pool, basketball court, indoor cinema, and twenty-five bedrooms.
At the moment, Ham is seriously working on actualizing his dream of Ham Agro bank, in addition to agro-processing industry headquarters at his Akright Entebbe road-based industrial complex. He is also developing the ‘Ham Palm Villas’ a luxury residential estate comprising 500 fully serviced modern houses on about 200 acres of land, making it the largest luxury residential society in Uganda.
- Charles Mbire
Charles Mbire also spends sleepless nights thinking about how to make an abnormal dime and it is for this reason, that he is on this list. His major dealings are in cement manufacturing, transportation, agribusiness, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, real estate, energy, and finance.
- Sikander Lalani
A prominent businessman, Dr. Lalani is the Managing Director at Roofings Group. He is an industrialist and former histopathologist in Uganda. He is known for his flourishing investment dealings in steel manufacturing. He abandoned his businesses in Rwanda in 1994 due to the outbreak of genocide and fled to Tanzania, later on to Uganda. With the help of the World Bank and syndicated loans, the entrepreneur has rapidly built a steel-manufacturing conglomerate in Uganda, generating US$US$60-70 million per year in exports, and with more than 1,500 employees.
These include; Roofings Limited (1994), Roofings Rolling Mills (2009), and Roofings Polypipes (2010) – producing a wide range of steel products in East and Central African region. His net worth is estimated at 300 million dollars.
- Drake Lubega
Drake Lubega is known for owning a vast array of high-end businesses and commercial buildings in downtown Kampala. He is famous for building or purchasing properties worth USD 7 million or less every six months, as he collects the rent. Some of his properties include; Qualicel Bus Terminal, Totali Building, Kikuubo Buildings, Buildings at Nakivubo Blue, Mini Price Buildings and Elite Secondary School in Bwebajja.
- Gordon Wavamunno
As the best part of his wealth is believed to have stemmed from his automotive business, Gordon Wavamunno is immensely linked with the ownership of Spear House together with Spear Motors -his automotive company.
- Patrick Bitature
Bitature is the founder, and CEO of the Simba Group of Companies which is primarily based in East Africa. Simba Telecom Ltd is regarded as Uganda’s biggest seller/merchant of MTN airtime. Bitature’s current net worth is estimated at around $100 million. On the other hand, his interests span hospitality, energy, real estate, procurement and logistics, among others.
- Mukesh Shukla.
Born in Arua, Mukesh owns Shumuk Group of Companies, a conglomerate of over 10 companies. His net worth is estimated at $100 million. One of the top 10 richest men in Uganda, he acquired his major wealth through his companies and businesses which include an aluminium cooking utensils company, a milk processing plant company, a money lending business, a stock exchange bureau, etc.
Surprisingly, he is also into politics. His wealth has been kept alive through investments in real estate, manufacturing, transportation, and agriculture.
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