Since 1999, Mr. Merali has served as the chairman of the company, begining at the advent of Kenya’s mobile technology revolution as 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, Mr. 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, Mr. 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).
Mr. Merali said, “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.” Mr. 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, Mr. 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.”