Chris Kirubi sets ambitious goal

Christopher J. Kirubi
Billionaire Christopher Kirubi. PHOTO/FORBES
Christopher J. Kirubi, 72, is without doubt one of the richest Kenyans – with a net worth of at least Sh25 billion.

The flamboyant businessman with interests in FMCG, real estate, investments and media says he is working extremely hard to make his first billion dollars (Sh90 billion).

Mr Kirubi says that although people refer to him as a billionaire, he is not contented with his current net worth and is therefore working harder to become a dollar billionaire.

“I know Forbes and other people have called me a billionaire. But I don’t want to be a billionaire of shillings. I want to be a billionaire of dollars. That is the destination I feel I need to get to because I have the capacity to do it,” Mr Kirubi said in July while welcoming the 2014 Centum Graduate Program participants.

Mr Kirubi challenged the 22 trainees to follow the example of established businessmen who have made it big by working harder than everyone else.

“Please follow the example of what some of us do. Why should I work twice as hard as you and then you say I am more successful than you?” he added.

READ: 7 Tips for success from Chris Kirubi

The Centum Graduate Program is a yearly initiative that identifies fresh university graduates with high leadership potential across East Africa.

Last year, the initiative that was launched in August 2013 received more than 6,000 applications from a range of technical backgrounds including law, economics, architecture, engineering, IT and commerce among others.

Mr Kirubi is the single-largest investor in Centum with a 25.2 per cent stake, currently valued at Sh10.8 billion, ahead of ICDC whose ownership stands at 22.97 per cent.

The Centum stock has more than doubled since September 2013, when Mr Kirubi disclosed an intention to acquire 30 per cent shares of the investment company.

The businessman was recently quoted in the local media as saying that his decision to raise his stake in Centum is an expression of confidence in future prospects of the company.