Creating wealth has almost become an art for most of Africa’s young people. It is the reason some continue to stay in business even in the face of a lack of support systems and favourable economic climates.
In recent times, there have been encouraging stories of how the continent’s young people are making it big in their respective fields. Gradually, a new generation of young and sophisticated minds, looking out for new challenges, is emerging and retiring mediocrity to the bench.
From Nairobi through to Lagos to Accra and Johannesburg, there is the sound of a new Africa – one that sees only prosperity. It is a wave that has got the rest of the world to begin to have a rethink (that mindset that still believes nothing good comes out of here), to a more respectable tag – that says “in Africa we trust”.
Young Ugandan billionaire of Asian origin Ashish Thakkar, Managing Director of the Mara Group of companies, who was recently listed by Forbes as one of ten Young African millionaires to watch, is an embodiment of the new Africa.
In the Ugandan capital, Kampala, he presides over a 4500-workforce group that has operations in some 17 African countries. A success story that started about 15 years ago, Thakkar has slowly but aggressively rolled out what is today a respected group that is holding their own against other multinationals.
Born in the United Kingdom, Thakkar moved to Uganda at age twelve and started charting a dream that has led him on to greater things.
Keen on a breakthrough as a young entrepreneur, he started selling computers during school holidays to friends, colleagues and professionals.
Today, the Mara Group has several units under its operations, with holdings in Information and Communications Technology, Real Estate and Hospitality and Manufacturing and Services.