Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Uganda's Richest Man To Spend $2 Million On Daughter's Wedding

Sudhir Ruparelia
Sudhir Ruparelia of Uganda
Sudhir Ruparelia, one of the richest men in east Africa, is sparing no expense to host a lavish wedding ceremony for his daughter when she ties the knot next year.

Ruparelia, a Ugandan property and banking magnate who is worth at least $900 million according to FORBES’ latest ranking of the 40 richest people in Africa, revealed via email that he plans to spend as much as $2 million organizing the wedding for his daughter, in what is expected to be the most expensive wedding ever witnessed in the Eastern African region.
Meera Ruparelia, 27, is Sudhir’s first daughter. She will be getting married to Ravi Kotecha, a businessman who apparently is from a wealthy Asian-Kenyan family. The wedding is expected to take place early next year in London and Kampala. The couple will have their civil marriage in London, with the reception taking place at the GrosvenorHotel Park Lane. They will also have an Indian wedding at Speke Resort Munyonyo on Valentine’s Day next year.
On how the $2 million budget will be spent, Sudhir promised to give details later.
Meera is believed to be the tycoon’s favourite child, so much that he has named a number of his business concerns after her. Meera Investments, his property holding company, owns over 300 residential and commercial properties in Uganda, Dubai and London. Meera Ruparelia has a business degree from the City University of London, and she has held different positions at various subsidiaries of the Ruparelia Group. At one point, she worked as a cashier at Crane Bank, the commercial bank her father owns.
“I wanted her to learn the business. I realized she was not going to learn the entire business if she didn’t start from the bottom,” Ruparelia said during an interview at his office in Kampala late last year.
She now occupies an executive position at Ruparelia Group, managing her father’s property portfolio within and outside of Uganda.
Sudhir Ruparelia, 57, is the founder of the eponymous Ruparelia Group, a Ugandan conglomerate that owns hundreds of Ugandan properties, hotels, a country club, a chain of foreign exchange bureaus, a business that grows and exports roses and Crane Bank, the country’s second largest commercial bank. Sudhir was born in Uganda but he moved to the United Kingdom with his parents as a teenager after President Idi Amin expelled all Asians from the country in 1972. He worked menial jobs in the U.K and eventually returned to Uganda in 1985 with $25,000 in savings which he used to trade commodities and currency and acquire property at dirt cheap prices, the earliest beginnings of the Ruparelia group.