Vimal Shah Biography

Vimal Shah was born in 1960 in Nyeri county, Kenya. He is a businessman, entrepreneur and industrialist. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Bidco Africa.

As of October 2014, he is the current Chairman of the East African Business Council. He is also the chairman of KEPSA. In March 2014 he was elected to the 3GF (Global Green Growth Fund) based out of Amsterdam.

Vimal Shah Education Background

He attended the American International University, Nairobi Campus, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance.

Vimal Shah Job History

In 1985, his brothers and him decided to start a soap manufacturing business. When Kenyan banks denied them financing, they turned to family and friends instead. Growing cotton locally would take too much time, so they imported oil from Malaysia. When they finally made the soap, shopkeepers in Kenya were unfamiliar with it, so the brothers loaded up a van and delivered the soap to shopkeepers on consignment, getting paid only after the soap sold.

Eventually, customers and retailers caught on. The Shahs have since built a modern state-of-the-art soap factory in Thika, valued at US$12.7 million, financed 60% by banks and 40% by family and friends. Since then, the trio have built oil-processing factories for cooking oils as well as soap, bought land or contracted farmers to produce ingredients and made hundreds of brands for east Africa’s growing population of consumers.

He is the CEO of Bidco Oil Refineries, the largest manufacturer of edible oils in East and Central Africa where the company based in Kenya but with operations in three other East African countries – Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.They manufactures detergents, soaps, baking powder and canola, as well as other edible oils. Bidco has a 49% share of the edible oils market in Kenya.

In 2002, they acquired a significant portion of Unilever’s edible oil businesses.The three family members share ownership of the fortune. Bidco grosses over $500 million in annual revenues and its products are manufactured, sold and distributed in 14 countries across Africa.

Bidco Africa consists of three companies:

  • Bidco Oil Refineries Limited, with head offices in Thika, Kenya.
  • Bidco Uganda Limited, headquartered in Jinja, Uganda.
  • Bidco Tanzania Limited, with headquarters in Dar es Salaam.

The firm moved into Uganda in 2003, where it acquired a 20,000-acre plantation on Kalangala Island and planted its first oil palm trees there in 2005. The company also set up a plant in Jinja, which has started production.

Vimal Shah Awards

East African entrepreneur of the year,All African Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) organised by ABN Productions in partnership with CNBC Africa.

Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS)’ by President Mwai Kibaki’s ‘First Classfor exceptional effort and contribution to national development.

He was also a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011, a position he held together with his brother and business partner, Tarun Shah.

Vimal Shah Wealth

In November 2014, Forbes Magazine, estimated the net-worth of Vimal Shah’s father, Bhimji Depar Shah, then aged 82, together with Vimal Shah, then aged 55, and Vimal’s younger brother Tarun Shah, at US$700 million, making them the 33rd wealthiest individual or group in Africa in 2014. Forbes used their own methods to arrive at this figure, including the fact that BIDCO grossed US$500 million in sales in 2013. It has manufacturing factories in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The Group’s products are marketed to 13 African countries. In April 2015, Vimal Shah announced plans to quadruple business volume before 2020, by building new manufacturing factories in Mozambique, Madagascar and Ethiopia in addition to existing operations in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda

Vimal Shah Family

Vimal Shah is a married to Manda Shah and father of Soham (born in 1998).

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