Who Owns Menengai Oil Refineries? Rai Family Wealth and Business
Menengai Cream bar soap is a popular brand in most households in Kenya manufactured by Menengai Oil Refineries LTD. The company is committed to manufacturing quality home care products.
Aside from bar soap manufacturing the company also produces cooking oil, fats, banking powder as well as skin care products. Somo and Menendazi Vanilla are some of the brands belonging to the company.
So, who owns Menengai Oil Refineries Ltd? The multi-billion business is a family-owned venture; in this article, we look at the company’s founder and owner. We will also dig deep into other businesses that are owned by the family.
Who Owns Menengai Oil Refineries?
Menengai Oil Refineries Ltd was founded in 1988 by P.D. Shah and his father D.K Shah. At the time the company operated under the name Menengai Drapers Ltd. In 1990, the duo registered the company as Menengai Soap Factory Limited eliminating Drapers Ltd from their brand.
The business success accelerated and in four years’ time, it was one of the leading manufacturing companies in Kenya. In 1994, the company decided to expand its empire and venture into other manufacturing sectors. The businessmen launched a cooking oil manufacturing company under the brand Menengai. However, since it was an oil manufacturing company, Menengai Oil Refineries was born.
Selling the Company to the Rai Family
After running the company for over two decades, the Shah family eventually decided to sell the company to another Kenyan family of Indian descent, the Rai Family. The Rai Family took full ownership of the Nakuru-based company in 2011 and went on to make it better than it was.
Some of the improvements they made include the introduction of modern and heavy machinery inputs, capacity building, and product rebranding. At the moment the company is the leading provider of products such as Fry Vegetable Cooking Oil, Menengai Cream Bar Soap, Karibu and Somo Vegetable Cooking Fats, Menendazi Baking Powder, Menengai Milking Jelly, and Menengai Kibuyu Bar Soaps. On top of that, the company has extended its wings from Nakuru to different countries in East Africa.
Rai Family Other Businesses
Rai Family is considered one of the wealthiest families in Africa and they are well known for their sugar brand, Kabras Sugar which is also a household name in Kenya. Aside from Kabras which operates under its mother company West Sugar Factory, the Rai Family has ventured into almost every production business from food, and timber to cement. Below are some of the empires run by the Rai Family.
The Rai Group
The group was founded by Rai ruler, Tarlochan Singh alongside his wife. The group has numerous companies attached to it including Rai Ceramics, Tulip Properties Ltd, Rai Expo Park Ltd and Tarlochan Singh Rai Limited, Rai Plywoods (K) Ltd, Rai Produces Ltd, Rai Holdings Ltd, Rai Agriculture Enterprises Ltd, Rai Investments Ltd, and others.
Timsales, RaiPly, and Webuye Panpaper
Rai Family has reaped heavily in the Timber business owning some of the largest timber products companies in East Africa, Timsales which began operations in 1932. In 1971, Tarloch Singh Rai founded RaiPly alongside his sons, the company is an agroforestry company and it has been operating ever since. In 2016, they acquired the collapsed Webuye panpaper company for Ksh 900 million and they are currently in the process of reviving it.
Rai Family Wealth
The family wealth has surpassed Billions and estimating all properties they own as a family the numbers can be over Ksh 100 billion. In 2021, the Rai’s were in court in a wealth dispute following the death of their father in 2010. Jaswant Rai was left as the executor of the will but his two brothers alongside his late mother were against the idea they moved to court.