Naushad N. Merali, CBS (2 January 1951 – 3 July 2021) was the founder of the Kenyan mobile service provider Kencell along with French media giant Vivendi.Merali became famous in an almost folk tale for a corporate boardroom manoeuvre that earned him a $20million dollar profit in one hour thanks to pre-emptive rights of his stake in private Telecom company Kencell Kenya in 2004. He attended Highway Secondary School in the suburbs of Nairobi, Kenya. As one of Kenya's leading industrialists, Merali brought commercial development in Kenya for more than 30 years and was constantly expanding his businesses throughout East Africa.
Naushad N. Merali
|Born||2 January 1951|
|Died||3 July 2021 (aged 70)|
|Occupation||Businessman Industrialist, Philanthropist|
|Known for||An african corporate boardroom folktale about a boardroom manoeuvre that earned him a $20million profit in one hour for his shareholding in a Kenyan private telecommunication company in 2004.|
Based on annual Forbes ranking of Africa's richest in Kenya Merali was the third richest man in Kenya and 48th richest man in Africa, with a net worth of $370 million, as of November 2015. He ranked behind Bhimji Depar Shah and family Kenya's richest with a net worth of $700M who ranked 31st richest man in Africa as of November 2015 and Narendra Raval of Devki Group, who ranked second richest in Kenya with a net worth of $400 million. 
WPH Kenya Tea CompanyEdit
From the 1980s to March 2005, Merali was the director of the now-defunct W.P.H. Kenya Tea company.
Bharti Airtel KenyaEdit
In 2004, he managed to purchase 60% ownership of the business from Vivendi for $230 million. Merali would transfer ownership only an hour later to Celtel for a $20 million profit, while owning 5% of Bharti Airtel's Kenyan wireless phone operations.
Merali spent his time steering the affairs of the Sameer Group. The Sameer Group is a conglomerate of 15 Kenyan companies that range from financial services to agriculture and even information technology. Three of these companies appear on the Nairobi Stock Exchange and Merali was worth $210 million as of 2 November 2011.
Merali also held positions at the Kenya Export Promotion Council, the International Who's Who of Professionals, and the National Investment Council of Kenya. The President of Kenya has appointed him to positions such as membership in the Kenya Export Promotion Council, membership in The National Poverty Eradication Commission of Kenya, and membership in The Presidential Committee on Employment. He appeared at the 2011 World Economic Forum in Davos as one of the African delegates – making him one of the three Kenyan delegates. As of September 2011, Kenya Data Networks – one of his business ventures – was facing financial problems and the shareholders were ready to cause a shakedown in the entire management team. These financial problems came to fruition by 2013 when Merali relinquished control of the company.
In 2012, Merali invested in construction. Two of Merali's former firms, Kenya Data Networks and Swift Global were in the process of being merged into Great Britain's Liquid Telecoms as of February 2013. Many executive positions were declared redundant as a result of this multinational merger. Both retail and wholesale services for the lower end of the consumer spectrum were provided by both of these firms as individual companies; as rival Internet service provider Safaricom already had a firm grasp on the upper end of the market.
Merali's ancestors were believed to have emigrated from the state of Gujarat in what is now known as India. His mother's maiden name is assumed to be Patel; a surname occupied by famous Indian businessmen and 33% of all American mid-sized hotel owners.
Since the inaugural ranking of Forbes list of Africa's richest in 2011, Merali ranked among top 3 richest people in Kenya, and among 40 richest in Africa 5 times. In 2015 he ranked 3rd richest in Kenya and 48th in Africa with a net worth of $370 million. In 2014 he ranked 2nd richest in Kenya with a net worth of $550 million. In 2013 he ranked 2nd in Kenya with a net worth of $430 million. In 2012 he was second richest with a net worth of $410 million. In the inaugural ranking of Africa's richest he ranked 3rd richest in Kenya with a net worth of $210 million.
He died at a city hospital in Nairobi, on the morning of 3 July 2021.
- Nsehe, Mfonobong (23 May 2014). "Kenyan Mogul Naushad Merali Retires As Airtel Chairman". Forbes.
- "Naushad Merali". Forbes.
- Naushad Merali information at Forbes.com
- "Merali retires as Airtel Kenya chairman". Capital Business. 23 May 2014.
- Naushad M. Merali information at Changes-Challenges.org
- "Bhimji Depar Shah & family". Forbes.
- Barton, Merrilee. "Narendra Raval". Forbes.
- Report page for W.P.H. Kenya Tea 1994 at Mars Group Kenya
- THE CELTEL PURCHASE OF KENCELL – THE STORY BEHIND THE DEAL at BalancingAct-Africa.com
- Kenya: Libyan Government to Purchase Equatorial Commercial Bank at Ratio-Magazine.com
- Naushad Merali career information at Sameer-Group.com
- List of Africa delegates at the 2011 World Economic Forum at ABNDigital.com
- Merali's Midas Touch at StandardMedia.co.ke
- Naushad Merali tempted by property at Africa Intelligence
- UK firm seeks regulator’s nod to merge former Merali companies at Business Daily Africa
- Maybe he is a Patel, I hear Indian … Archived 18 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine at Kenyan Entrepreneur
- Kamdar, Mira (2007). Planet India: how the fastest-growing democracy is transforming America and the world. Simon and Schuster. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-7432-9685-4.
- Ungar, Sanford J. (1998). Fresh blood: the new American immigrants. U of Illinois Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-252-06702-0.
- Zarin Merali information at KenyanParalegic.com
- Patrick Alushula (3 July 2021). "Billionaire investor Naushad Merali dies at 70". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi, Kenya. Retrieved 3 July 2021.