Sobhagayachand Vidhu Shah, the billionaire proprietor of Sarit Centre, one of Kenya’s oldest and popular shopping malls is dead.
Vidhu Shah, known to friends and family as Bachubhai, died on Tuesday evening while receiving treatment at a Nairobi hospital. He was 86.
President Uhuru Kenyatta sent a message of condolence, describing Bachubhai as “one of Kenya’s finest and visionary entrepreneurs whose business acumen contributes greatly to the country’s economy.”
“Mzee Bachubhai was a true patriot and a nationalist who created job opportunities for many Kenyans through his entrepreneurial exploits. He strongly and truly believed, and lived the Kenyan dream of hardwork, determination and success.
“His entrepreneurial spirit saw him establish Sarit Centre, Kenya’s first shopping mall in the 1980s when nobody else thought about it. He did not stop at that but moved on to establish several other successful businesses including Text Book Centre which has continued to quench Kenyans thirsty for knowledge,” the President added.
President Kenyatta also hailed the late Bachubhai’s philanthropy. Bachubhai teamed up with other well-wishers to set up Cancer Care Kenya, an initiative that supports Government’s efforts to provide affordable cancer treatment in the country.
“As a country, we will always be grateful for Mr Shah’s generous contributions in the education and health sectors. Using his own resources, he set up a school in Murang’a County, which has continued to be a centre of excellence.
“We also appreciate his support in tackling cancer through Cancer Care Kenya, where he was the main benefactor,” the President eulogised.
“Mzee Bachubhai was exceptional in his commitment to both business and community, as demonstrated by the success of his businesses and contributions to philanthropic causes. He believed in hardwork, excellence and forging of strong bonds of friendship amongst Kenyans of all walks of life,” the President mourned.