Special Reports

Top 40 Men Under 40 2014: How we picked the winners


The past 12 months have been a mix of outcomes in Kenya’s socio-economic space giving the Business Daily yet another rich mix of new and old faces to parade in the annual list of men to watch.

Looking at this year’s list of Top 40 Under 40 Men, one may conclude that some faces have become too regular in there for comfort.

Well, that list of regulars includes KCB chief executive Joshua Oigara, James Mworia of Centum and Dr Gachao Kiuna of TransCentury.

But one only needs to look at what these young executives have done in the preceding 12 months to acknowledge why they deserve a repeat appearance in the Business Daily’s list of Kenya’s Men to Watch.

At Centum, for instance, Mr Mworia has turned a formerly risk averse investment company into a bold corporate citizen that has consummated some of the year’s biggest deals, including the buying of a majority stake in K-Rep Bank and bidding for multi-billion shilling infrastructure projects.

Some of these actions are expected to define Kenya’s economic path in the medium and long term making it necessary to recognise the men behind them.

In picking this year’s list of 40 men, we have attempted to keep the faith, resisting the temptation of making it merely a parade of the best known, most prominent or most influential young men in Kenya today.

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We have instead underpinned our choices on the candidates’ ingenuity, performance and durability in the positions they hold.

We have as is the tradition verified each candidate’s age, and interrogated data on the size of the company, or businesses (turnover or number of employees) they lead, the scope and complexity (i.e whether it is a national/multi-national or cross-sectoral operation), and the competitive landscape of the segment of the economy in which these companies sit.

Men occupying senior positions in companies with a multi-national reach scored higher marks than those in charge of national/local agencies.

In this list are also professionals such as lawyers, architects, and partners in accounting firms and doctors, included purely on the work they have done.

The Top 40 Under 40 project has also awarded high marks to men who have excelled in emerging sectors such as social enterprise.

Here’s the full list, arranged in descending order of biological age. 

  • Alex Nyaga, 39, CEO, Parapet Cleaning Services
  • Joshua Oigara, 39, CEO, KCB Group
  • Julian Kyula, 39, CEO, Decisioning Holdings (MODE)
  • Ken Njoroge, 39, CEO/Founder, Cellulant ltd
  • Patrisio Njeru, 39, CEO, Smart Solutions Africa
  • Gilbert Saggia, 38, Country leader, Oracle Corporation
  • Michael Mutiga, 38, MD, Citibank Kenya  
  • Peter Njonjo, 38, GM, Coca-Cola East Africa
  • Alexander Sasha Mutai, 37, QS/Partner, Integrated YMR Partnership
  • Gachao Kiuna, 36, CEO, Transcentury

  • James Mworia, 36, CEO, Centum Investments
  • Justus Kirigua, 36, MD, Pewin Cabs
  • Oscar Githua, 36, Forensic Psychologist
  • Anthony Njogu, 35, Coulson Harney Advocates
  • Edi Gathegi, 35, Hollywood actor
  • John Syekei, 35, Partner, Coulson Harney Advocates
  • Mahesh Acharya, 35, Partner, Kaplan & Stratton
  • Daniel Ndambuki (Churchill), age not revealed, comedian, radio presenter
  • Alex Mbatha, 34, MD, Finbank SA Burundi
  • Dennis Makori, 34, CEO/Founder Onfon Media

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  • Jamie Pujara, 33, CEO/Founder, BuyRentKenya
  • Charles Njagua Kanyi (Jaguar), 32, Musician
  • Mohamed Mohamed, 32, MD/Co-founder, Ladnan Hospital
  • Chris Gathingu, 31, CEO, Tangazo Letu
  • Ben Maina, 30, Techpreneur (Former CEO Rupu)
  • Eric Kinoti, 30, CEO, Shades Systems EA
  • Kennedy Odede, 30, CEO/Founder, Shining Hope for Communities
  • Dennis Kimetto, 30, athlete
  • Darshan Chandaria, 29, Director, Chandaria Industries
  • Muli Musyoka, 29, Trichologist

  • Cedric Nzomo, 28, VP, Ringier Africa
  • Kelvin Macharia Kuria, 27, founder, Sunrise Tracking
  • MacDonald Mariga, 27, professional footballer
  • Trushar Khetia, 27, Founder, Tria Group
  • Onkar Rai, 26, MD, Menengai Oil Refineries
  • Wesley Owiti, 26, co-founder, Cherehani Africa
  • Eugene Mbugua, 24, entrepreneur
  • Victor Wanyama, 23, professional footballer
  • Barclay Paul Okari, 22, CEO, Impact Africa Industries
  • Eric Muli, 22, CEO, Alpha Force Security

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