Home » Building Empires and Changing Lives: The Inspiring Story of Ashok Kumar Sivji Shah

Building Empires and Changing Lives: The Inspiring Story of Ashok Kumar Sivji Shah

by Paul Nyongesa
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In the annals of entrepreneurial success stories, one name that stands out is Ashok Kumar Sivji Shah.

A man of remarkable resilience and visionary thinking, Shah’s journey from humble beginnings to becoming a renowned business magnate and philanthropist is nothing short of inspiring.

Born with an innate curiosity and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, Ashok Shah’s educational journey began with the completion of his GCE O Levels in 1969.

Despite financial constraints, he pursued his passion for accounting, studying with Pitmans and the Royal Society of Arts in the United Kingdom.

Although financial hardships led him to discontinue his professional ACCA exams after passing level 2, Shah’s determination was undeterred.

In 1970, Ashok Shah took his first bold step into the business world with the establishment of Oriental Perfumery Works.

This venture paved the way for his foray into the manufacturing of perfumes, hair oil, foodstuffs, vinegar, and rose sherbet juices.

Shah’s astute business acumen and commitment to quality soon propelled his company to success.

However, Shah’s entrepreneurial journey was just beginning.

In 1996, he founded Krish Commodities Ltd, a pivotal moment that marked his expansion into the importation of bulk commodities such as rice, sugar, wheat, and cooking oil.

His shrewd decision-making and dedication to excellence led him to venture into milling and packaging under the brand name Sunrice, a popular choice in Kenyan supermarkets.

Shah’s appetite for success did not stop there.

In subsequent years, he founded My Pasta Ltd, manufacturing the renowned Spago brand of spaghetti and pasta.

His dedication to quality and innovation resulted in the distinction of having the first manufacturing plant for pasta in Kenya and the second in East Africa.

While Ashok Shah’s achievements in the business realm are undeniable, his commitment to philanthropy and community service is equally noteworthy.

Recognizing the importance of giving back, he has been instrumental in providing food supplies, medical assistance, and school fees to less fortunate individuals in Kenya, India, and the United Kingdom.

His involvement in tax-related matters and obtaining tax exemptions for various religious and community organizations underscores his dedication to social welfare.

Shah’s leadership extends beyond business and philanthropy.

He served as Chairman of the Coast Gymkhana, Mombasa, from 2013 to 2015, and his advisory role to the club’s management from 2016 to 2019 showcased his dedication to community institutions.

A proud member of the Lions Club of Mombasa from 1998 to 2018, Shah contributed his expertise to numerous committees and initiatives, leaving an indelible mark.

In December 2022, Ashok Kumar Sivji Shah’s exceptional contributions were acknowledged with the prestigious Head of State Commendation, a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence and community service.

Furthermore, his future promises even more recognition, as he has been nominated by the Hindu Council of Kenya for the King’s Award of the United Kingdom in 2024, a testament to his potential OBE or MBE recognition.

Above all, Krish Commodities Ltd was featured  in the International Media

Ashok Kumar Sivji Shah’s life journey is a testament to the power of determination, innovation, and compassion. From his early business endeavors to his significant philanthropic contributions,

Shah exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurship intertwined with a deep sense of social responsibility.


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