Written by Mfonobong Nsehe | From Forbes
It’s a few minutes to midnight on a blustery Friday in Kampala, Uganda’s capital and commercial hub. Ali-shah Jivraj rips through the streets of the boisterous city at 80 mph in a white Porsche 911 Carrera S. It’s his latest toy, and he’s invited me for a spin. As we drive up to his favorite bar in town, located at the upmarket Kololo area, he proudly describes and demonstrates the features of his new machine with the clout of a veteran automobile salesman.
“I decided to buy myself a Porsche. When you work hard, you deserve to spoil yourself a little bit,” he says with a smug grin.
By all means, Ali-shah Jivraj deserves his new toy.
Jivraj, a 27 year-old third generation Asian-Ugandan entrepreneur, has worked extremely hard to become one of Africa’s most successful young entrepreneurs. He is the founder and CEO of Royal Electronics, a $15 million (annual revenues) Ugandan company that assembles and distributes electronic home appliances such as Television sets, radios, speakers, and DVD players.
He also owns a real estate firm which is developing high-end residential apartments in two of Kampala’s toniest residential areas, and he is setting up a battery manufacturing plant in the country of Burundi, in Southeast Africa. And what’s most fascinating about Jivraj is the fact that he’s built his small empire only with a little help from his family.
Jivraj was born into one of Uganda’s most legendary business dynasties. His grandfather, Merali Jivraj, was one of the richest and most influential businessmen in the pre-Idi Amin era, with extensive interests in mining and agribusiness in western Uganda.
Read more at Forbes