Indians know a fertile ground when they see it, and they know how to grab an opportunity when it presents itself. It is no surprise therefore when you see the richest Indians in South Africa, and they are all astute businessmen, some of whom sit at the heads of multinational conglomerates, that have been in existence for several years.
South Africa is a fertile ground for investment; this is probably the most fertile ground on the African continent. South Africa has a huge population and an economy that is buoyed by the abundance of natural resources, tourism, communication, and services. South Africa is also a hub for international trade, as well as the top destination for international students. Without a doubt, South Africa has everything that makes a country great; this is why it is fully expected that Indians make a rush to get a piece of the pie that is South Africa.
Top 5 Richest Indians in South Africa
1. Bhimji Depar Shah
Net-worth: USD 700 Million
Industry: Manufacturing, Diversified Investments
Bhimji Depar Shah was born in Kenya, but he is just as Indian as anyone else. He is an industrialist whose name is enough to open doors. Bhimji Depar Shah is the founder and chairman of Bidco Group of Companies. Bidco Group has some of its biggest investments in Kenya and South Africa. The company is a manufacturing business that produces some fast-moving consumer goods; daily need items such as soaps, detergents, and baking powder. Some of the products of this company are top brands that have been in existence for years, and that is very well recognized.
The company is constantly looking for investment opportunities outside the grounds that are considered company territory; so as to expand its operations and make even more money.
2. Sudhir Ruparelia
Net-worth: USD 1.2 billion
Industry: Diversified Investments
Sudhir Ruparelia is one of the wealthiest Indians in South Africa from Gujarat, but has become well established in Southern Africa. in fact his family was in Uganda, Africa before the 1970s, and they were expelled by the Dictator Idi Amin who expelled Asians from the country in 1972. Therefore, the Ruparelia family moved to the United Kingdom.
When Idi Amin’s government fell, and peace was restored to the country, Ruparelia’s family moved back to Uganda and restarted their business empire. Today the Ruparelia Group is a heavily capitalized business conglomerate with interests in Property, Hotels and resorts, banking, and so many other businesses. The company is also a multinational; while his businesses are mostly based in Uganda, he also has some interests in South Africa, and he is constantly looking to invest in other fertile grounds.
3. Ashish Thakkar
Net-worth: USD 500 million
Industry: Diversified Investments
Ashish J. Thakkar is an Indian-origin businessman who has diversified investments in Rwanda, as well as other parts of Africa, including Southern Africa. Ashish Thakkar was born in the United Kingdom, but he moved to Africa as a youngster. That enabled him to learn more about Africa, and gain first-hand experience about the unique traditions of Africa, especially as to business can be done on the continent.
Today, he is the founder of Mara Group, a Pan-African conglomerate, which he founded at the age of 15. Mara Group is truly a multinational company with business operations in more than 22 African countries. The Mara Group South Africa operations are quite heavily centered on technology. Mara Phones are quite popular in South Africa, they are usually cheaper than most international brands but also loaded with all the latest features you can find on smartphones.
Ashish J. Thakkar is not just one of the richest Indians in South Africa, he is also one of the most well recognized young leaders in Southern and Eastern Africa. He is the co-founder of Atlas Mara Limited and the founder of the Mara Foundation.
He has received several recognitions for his good work; he is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders, he has been awarded the Base Leadership Award at the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards event, and he has been recognized by Esquire as their Middle East Man of the Year in 2016.
4. Manu Chandaria
Net Worth: USD 1.7 billion
Industry: Diversified Investment
Manilal Premchand Chandaria is an Indian-origin businessman who claims Kenya as his nationality, however, his business dealings, know no boundaries; he is well established as a multinational businessman which earns him a place on this list.
Manu Chandaria is a senior member of the Comcraft Group of Companies, which is a billion-dollar business conglomerate that has business operations in over 40 countries including South Africa. He is also a prominent board member and investor in several companies on the continent. Compast produces steel, plastic products, aluminum, and several other products, making it a diversified company; a conglomerate with enough businesses to keep it steady even with economic shocks.
Manu Chandaria has received several accolades for his good work; he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003. He was also awarded the Elder of the Burning Spear by former president Mwai Kibaki of Kenya.
5. Merali Family
Net worth: $500 million
Industry: Communication Technology, Diversified Investments
Naushad N. Merali died on 3 July 2021. He left behind about $500 million worth of assets which are now administered by his family. Naushad Merali was the founder of Kencell, a top Kenyan mobile service provider, and he was also behind French media giant Vivendi.
Naushad Merali attended Highway Secondary School Nairobi, Kenya. He immediately went to work building an empire that has operations in Kenya, South Africa, and so many other African countries.
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As you might have noticed; this list of the richest Indians in South Africa is a very flexible one plus they are among the world’s wealthiest. It contains people that have the majority of their investments in other countries of Southern Africa. in fact, not only have we grouped Southern Africa as one for this post, we have even added East Africa, even though the personalities from that region that have made the list usually have investments in South Africa, even if they are not residents of the country.