Who is Sudhir Ruparelia?: Flash Uganda Media looks at his biography, age, family, wife, tribe, net worth, businesses, properties, Crane Bank, house, work and experience, house, and children; Meera, Rajiv, and Sheena of the chairman of Ruparelia Group of Companies.
Sudhir Ruparelia is a Ugandan successful businessman, tycoon and investor of Indian descent.
He is the Chairman and majority shareholder in Ruparelia Group of Companies and a member of the Kwagalana Group, a club of the wealthiest people in Uganda founded in 2002. The club is headed by city tycoon Godfrey Kirumira.
Sudhir has made investments in various sectors that include; banking, insurance, education, media, real estate, floriculture, hotels, leisure and resorts in Uganda.
In 1985, Sudhir began building his empire after his return from the United Kingdom (UK) where they had run to for refugees after President Idi Amin Dada expelled them from Uganda alongside other Asians in 1972.
In 2019, Forbes reported that Sudhir was the wealthiest person in Uganda and East Africa in particular, with an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion.
However, he was also reported to be the 24th wealthiest person in Africa in November 2013, with an estimated net worth of US$1.1billion.
Tycoon Sudhir is a very social man and down to earth. He’s so often in the public spotlight for his great contribution to Uganda’s economy.
Early Life and Education
Sudhir Ruparelia was born on 17th January 1956 to an upper-middle-class Indian Gujarati family in Kabatoro, Kasese District in the Western region of Uganda.
Sudhir’s great father from India first settled in Mombasa Kenya in 1897, set up a shop before coming to Uganda in 1903. His grandfather was born in 1908 while in 1932, his father was born. Ruparelia has two sisters and one brother.
Ruparelia attended Bat Valley Primary School in Kampala, from P1 to P6, after he joined Jinja Main Street Primary School in Jinja District from where he attained his Primary Leaving Education (PLE) certificate.
Then Jinja Secondary School, however, in 1971, Ruparelia joined Kololo Senior Secondary School before attending UK schools where they ran for refugees after the expulsion of Asians in Uganda by President Idi Amin Dada at the age of 16.
Work and Experience
Sudhir Ruparelia started doing business in 1985 with US$25,000 he earned from several casual jobs he did while living in the UK that includes, factories, butcheries, supermarkets among others.
While in the UK, Ruparelia narrates that he used to work in supermarkets, factories, and butcheries.
After his return, Ruparelia began trading beer and spirits imported from Kenya. However, in 1989, beer importation was banned to encourage local brewing of alcohol in Uganda.
This move discouraged Ruparelia and switched to forex business, he opened up Crane Forex Bureau, since all his customers were foreigners with foreign currencies, the first Forex Bureau in the country.
After realizing much profits from the business, Ruparelia ventured into other businesses that including Crane Bank (CB) in August 1995 that was later confiscated by the Bank of Uganda (BOU) the regulator of all Banks in Uganda, the largest venture of the Ruparelia Group on 20th October 2019 due to a significant decline in capital and potential run on the Bank.
In 1996, Ruparelia founded an Insurance Company named Goldstar Insurance Company Ltd. He went further to re-invest the profits into hotels, education, floriculture, leisure and hospitality industries, and real estate.
Among Ruparelia’s commercial properties include; Speke Hotel founded in July/August 1996, Speke Resort Munyonyo, Speke Apartments, Tourist Hotel, Kabira Country Club ltd, Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort Ltd, Delhi Public School, Kampala International School (KISU), Kampala Parent’s School, Rosebud Ltd, Sanyu FM an English based station, Victoria University founded in 2013, among other investments.
Thereafter, he founded the Ruparelia Group. In 2007, Ruparelia was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree in business by the Uganda Pentecostal University for his contribution towards Uganda’s economic growth.
Ruparelia is also the founder of the Ruparelia Foundation, a charity organization and MEERA Investments ltd.
He as well admitted pocketing billions of shillings meant for government at his Munyonyo Resort.
Awards and Recognition
Sudhir Ruparelia received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Uganda Pentecostal University on 25th October 2007.
He was voted because he has been an inspiration to many people in East Africa as regards business leadership.
He also attained a Golden Jubilee Presidential Medal on 9th October 2013, from President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda.
Sudhir Ruparelia is married to Jyotsna Ruparelia and together they have three children; Meera, Rajiv, and Sheena.
The two got married in 1977. Meera the eldest is married to an Indian, a businessman in Kenya, Sheena Ruparelia second born and Rajiv Ruparelia is their last born.
In February 2020, Ruparelia was appointed by Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Nepal President as honorary Consul of the Republic of Nepal.
While on 17 March 2020, he presented his credentials to Sam Kutesa, former Uganda foreign Minister and officially became the first honorary Consul of the Republic of Nepal to Uganda.