Narendra Raval Biography: Narendra Raval is a Kenyan multi-millionaire businessman and one of Kenya’s most successful entrepreneurs.
Narendra Raval is the founder of Devki Group, a $650 million (annual revenues) Kenyan conglomerate that manufactures steel products, roofing sheets and cement
Narendra Raval is popularly referred to as ‘Guru’.
Raval, who in 2015 was featured in FORBES’ ranking of Africa’s richest people with a fortune of more than Ksh 41.2 billion (US$400 million), left India in 1982 where he was a Temple assistant in a Swaminarayan temple to take up a job in a hardware shop in Nairobi. By 1990, he already owned his own shop in Nairobi’s famous Gikomba market. He operated the shop with his wife, Neeta (a medical doctor), toiling for more than 18 hours every day.
In 1992, the couple took a loan and started a roofing and fencing business, developing a small steel rolling mill near Athi River on the outskirts of Nairobi.
That business would soon become the Devki Group, a company with steel and cement manufacturing facilities in Kenya, Uganda and Congo that today has annual revenues of more than Ksh 61.8 billion (US$600 million) and has since made Raval one of Kenya’s most recognisable and successful businessmen, and one of the country’s top 10 tax payers. Raval, one of Kenya’s most prominent philanthropists, gives scholarships to hundreds of destitute Kenyan children every year and funds the rehabilitation of schools and other educational centers in low-income areas in Kenya. He also provides startup funding to low-income female entrepreneurs in Kenya to start their own businesses.
“I’ve been incredibly fortunate in business and I’ve made a large fortune here in Kenya. This country has been really good to me, and it bleeds my heart when I see Kenyans suffering from poverty and ill-health. I keep thinking of ways to solve the many socio-economic problems we have, and I hope my fortune can go a long way in providing solutions to some of these problems after I’m long gone,” he says.
Story credit: Forbes
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