By Kagenyi Lukka
In his response to Gordon Wavamuno, the founder of Ruparelia Group, one of Uganda’s largest conglomerates, Sudhir Ruparelia had this to say: “Hello Gordon, you seem to question me and my businesses. Did I ever come and steal from you? Did I ever borrow from [you], and furthermore, do I owe you any money? Ig you have grudges, don’t involve me in them.”
Sudhir was responding to information attributed to Wava, as he is fondly known, during a private meeting with journalists at his country home and farm in Nakwero near Gayaza, where the former owner of the now defunct WBS TV questioned Sudhir’s vast wealth.
While meeting the journalists, Wava wondered how Sudhir accumulated the wealth when he was just a forex bureau dealer working closely with Nile Bank.
This is a typical act of jealous by Wava. The record of Sudhir is known
Sudhir has built his empire through creativity, innovation and hard work.
I would like to inform Wava that it is hard work and sweat that brings wealth, and not jealous and beef.
If Wava wants tips on how to get wealth and how to keep it through creating respected businesses, he should book a financial date with Sudhir—rather than pouring scorn on a man who we have all seen rise from the cobweb of creativity, hard work and innovation.
For the record, below is how Sudhir acquired his wealth.
Sudhir is the founder of Ruparelia Group, a company that owns a string of hotels, a number of famous country clubs and more than 200 commercial properties.
He started building his empire in Uganda in 1985 after returning from the United Kingdom, when he went after being expelled from Uganda by then President Idi Amin in 1972 along with the other Asians in the country.
Sudhir began by importing beer and salt from Kenya and subsequently started a foreign exchange bureau which laid the foundation for his entry into commercial banking.
In 2013 he acquired Victoria University, Kampala, making him Africa’s 50th richest man, worth $800m, according to Forbes.
Sudhir is also one of the richest men in East Africa.
Meera Investments, his property holding company, owns over 300 residential and commercial properties in Uganda, Dubai and London.
Under the Ugandan conglomerate, Sudhirt owns hundreds of Ugandan properties, hotels, a country club, a chain of foreign exchange bureaus, a business that grows and exports roses and until last year owned Crane Bank, the country’s second largest commercial bank.
Sudhir was born in Uganda but he moved to the United Kingdom with his parents as a teenager after President Idi Amin expelled all Asians from the country in 1972.
He worked menial jobs in the U.K and eventually returned to Uganda in 1985 with $25,000 in savings which he used to trade commodities and currency and acquired property at dirt cheap prices, the earliest beginnings of the Ruparelia group.
Surely, this is how he made his money, from a humble man to a business mogul.
Kindly, Wava, respect this humble rise to wealth. Be humble and go pick lessons from Sudhir rather than denigrating him.
The writer is a social critic and aspiring MP Ikiiki County Budaka District.