Merali retires as Airtel Kenya chairman

He has served as the chairman of the company since 1999, at the advent of Kenya's mobile technology revolution. Merali was the founder of Kencell, now Airtel Kenya/COURTESY

He has served as the chairman of the company since 1999, at the advent of Kenya’s mobile technology revolution. Merali was the founder of Kencell, now Airtel Kenya/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 23 – Naushad N. Merali has announced his retirement from the chairmanship of Bharti Airtel Kenya, after 15 years of distinguished service.

Bharti Airtel is a leading telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa.

Merali is one of Kenya’s most respected industry captains having invested in various sectors of the Kenya economy. He has served as the chairman of the company since 1999, at the advent of Kenya’s mobile technology revolution. Merali was the founder of Kencell, now Airtel Kenya.

The 63-year-old is the founder of the Sameer Group, a business conglomerate with activities in transport, construction, agriculture, dairy, information technology, telecoms, finance and other sectors.

A seasoned business entrepreneur, Merali has also served on various presidential committees relating to trade and social services and is a member of the National Economic and Social Council.

Owing to his contribution to the development and economic growth of Kenya, Merali has been awarded honours of the highly-coveted national awards of the Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS) and Elder of the Burning Spear (EBS).

“I take this opportunity to sincerely thank the entire Board for the support extended to me during my tenure as chairman. I will always be available to assist the board and the company whenever I am required to do so,” he said.

Merali also noted that his increased commitments within the Sameer Group has made him desire to retire as chair of Airtel Kenya board.

Giving tribute to the outgoing Chairman, Christian de Faria, CEO Airtel Africa, said: “We are extremely grateful for the excellent leadership and guidance offered by Mr Merali in steering the Airtel Kenyan operation for over a decade.”

He added: ” Mr Merali’s contribution and counsel has been invaluable for the business and we will continue to consult as he is a part of the Airtel family. His passion for the telecoms sector and dynamism as a leader have made an indelible mark and we wish him well as he pursues other business.”