Who Owns Sarit Centre? Vidhu Shah Family Wealth.
Sarit Centre Mall is not only the most prominent mall in Kenya but it’s also the biggest and one of the oldest with its roots being traced back to the 1970s. Recently, the Mall celebrated its 40th anniversary and since its inception, the mall has been growing day by day both in infrastructure as well as the mode of operations. The mall is located at the core of Nairobi’s business center, Westlands.
For the past four decades, the mall has thrived in all aspects becoming the hub of retail, entertainment, and community. On top of that, it also boosts the pride of offering affordable and quality products and services thus becoming darling to both local and foreign customers.
In our feature, we tell the story of the founders of Sarit Centre,
Who Owns Sarit Centre?
The oldest mall was founded by the late Sobhagayachand Vidhu Shah and Maneklal Rughani. The two were close friends who seized every business opportunity that came their way, their business journey began after Kenya got its independence.
During their early days in business, the two ventured into the Text Books Centre business where they launched numerous branches in Nairobi and Kakamega. The idea of shifting from books to the shopping center was inspired by their visit to London.
Following their experience in London, the two decided to replicate the ideas they got in London here in Nairobi. In the 1970s, the two launched the construction of Sarit Centre, however, the construction was greatly affected by the 1982 attempted coup which led the project to paralyze.
The Launch of Sarit Centre Mall
Despite being delayed by the coup, on April 27th, 1983, Sarit Centre opened its door officially to the public. Their first clients were Uchumi and Text Book Centre which was owned by them.
However, following their inauguration, the mall didn’t pick as they had hoped, and their tenants ended up counting losses. To curb the losses, the owner decided to figure out a way to entice customers and reimburse the tenants for their losses.
Five years down the line the mall began taking a profit trend and this led the founder to keep on adding more features in the mall so as to meet market demand. In 1995, the mall underwent a massive expansion increasing its size and also spicing up with the introduction of amenities.
The mall went on to become the talk of the town in the 1990s and 2000s with customers flocking to shop at the mall. In 1997, Maneklal Rughani died living Vidhu Shah at the helm of the business.
Shah went on to take the business to another level, revamping the mall in 2015, giving it a different look and making it a “City within a City.” Currently, the mall boosts over 70 retail and services with famous stores being, Woolworths, LC Waikiki, and others.
Following the death of Vidhu Shah in 2021, the business is currently managed by the Shah family with Sarit Nitin Shah serving as its Chief Executive Officer while Atul Shah serves as the financial aspects oversees.
Vidhu Shah Family Wealth
The Shah Family is one of the richest families in Kenya with a wealth valued to be over Ksh 100 billion. Their wealth is classified as generational wealth that even their great-grandchildren will benefit from.