Home » 5 companies owned by Kenyan tycoon Vimal Shah

5 companies owned by Kenyan tycoon Vimal Shah

by Yusuf Abdulfatai
Vimal Shah

Kenyan tycoon Vimal Shah steers the ship at Bidco Africa, a powerhouse in the East African fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, initially established by his father, Bhimji Depar Shah, in 1970.

Taking the helm of Bidco Industries in the early 1990s, Shah transformed it into a mammoth diversified FMCG company with more than 23 brands in East Africa.

Bidco Africa now boasts a staggering 60-percent share in the cooking fat market and 54 percent in the cooking oil market within Kenya, with a presence spanning 17 regional countries.

Shah, as CEO of Bidco Africa, propelled the company into diverse industries, championing sustainable development, renewable energy, and carbon footprint reduction.

His business and leadership acumen earned him accolades for innovation, product quality, and social responsibility, including the title of the most admired manufacturing company in East Africa in 2016.

According to Forbes’ 2013 ranking of Africa’s wealthiest individuals, Shah, the chairman of Bidco Africa, had a net worth of $1.6 billion.

Billionaires.Africa has identified five companies owned by Shah:

  1. Bidco Africa Limited
    Founded in 1970 by Bhimji Depar Shah, Bidco Africa Limited is a prominent manufacturer of edible oils in East and Central Africa. The company’s diverse product range includes detergents, soaps, baking powder, canola oil, and various other edible oils. Bidco Africa has expanded its presence with subsidiary branches in Uganda and Tanzania, boasting an extensive distribution network that spans 17 countries across East, Central, and Southern Africa. Under the leadership of Shah, the company has successfully extended its operations to India and Madagascar, solidifying its position as a leading FMCG manufacturer in East Africa, with an impressive annual revenue of nearly $1 billion.
  1. Kapa Oil Refineries Limited
    Kapa Oil Refineries Limited is a diversified manufacturing company headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. Established in the 1960s as Karania Packers, the company produces a wide range of products, including cooking fats, edible oils, margarine, baking powder, noodles, laundry soaps, detergents, and personal care items. Kapa Oil Refineries operates as one of the key subsidiaries of Shah’s Bidco Africa.
  1. Kenya Sweets Limited
    Founded in 1943, Kenya Sweets Limited (KSL) is East Africa’s oldest family-owned confectionery manufacturer. Based in Nairobi, this illustrious company exports 40 percent of its confectionery products, which encompass hard boiled candy, lollipops, bubblegum, processed sugars, and compressed tablets, to the East African Community (EAC) region. Kenya Sweets Limited boasts three regional subsidiaries, contributing to its enduring success in the confectionery industry.
  1. Hemby Holdings Limited
    Hemby Holdings Limited is a privately held company owned by Bhimji Depar Shah and his family. It serves as the intermediate investment holding company for the Thika-based manufacturer, Bidco Africa. Hemby Holdings holds the entire stock of Bidco Africa. The indirect shareholding in the group’s stock is equally divided among Bhimji Depar Shah (33.3 percent) and his sons, Vimal Shah (33.3 percent) and Tarun Shah (33.3 percent).
  1. Vimal Shah Foundation
    In addition to his successful business ventures, Shah is dedicated to philanthropy and supporting social causes through the Vimal Shah Foundation. This foundation actively champions initiatives in education, healthcare, and community development. Furthermore, Shah serves on the board of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, where he contributes to broader philanthropic efforts.

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