Quit campus, became pilot, SportsPesa boss Karauri is now MP

Independent candidate garners 32,406 votes to replace Mercy Gakuya as Kasarani legislator.

In Summary
  • He has been a risk taker all his life. And it has always paid off. Handsomely.
  • Karauri lost the Jubilee primaries but decided to soldier on.
SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri.
SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri.

They say nothing good comes easy. Sportpesa boss Ronald Karauri knows this too well.

He has been a risk taker all his life. And it has always paid off. Handsomely.

Another gamble has just paid off, again. Karauri has been elected MP for Kasarani constituency in Nairobi. It was his first attempt, as an independent candidate.

He lost the Jubilee primaries but decided to soldier on.

The Sportspesa CEO garnered 32,406 votes against his opponents John Kamau, who got 30,444, and incumbent MP Mercy Gakuya, who had 24,790 votes.

Now aged 44, Karauri sold his land worth Sh25 million to buy a six per cent share of the betting company. It was a crazy gamble most people would never attempt in their wildest dreams.

His risky move immensely paid off. The betting firm went on to attract top multibillion-shilling sponsorship deals with renowned English Premier League clubs such as Arsenal, Southampton, Hull City and Everton.

Karauri assumed the role of SportPesa’s chief executive in 2015, turning it around into a multi-billion-shilling betting firm.

The young, fabulously rich CEO ranks among the highest paid in Kenya, with over Sh12 million salary excluding bonuses and allowances.

Karauri is an astute businessman who has tried out several ventures. He owns Skylux Lounge, an opulent club in Westlands area, Nairobi.

He owns a fleet of top-of-the-range cars. It is a hobby.

The businessman has similar plates on all his cars from 777 to 888, representing the Boeing aircrafts series.

Apart from grand cars, Karauri owns high-powered motorbikes such as the Ducati, and a plane.

He was born in Meru to former Tigania MP Mathews Adams Karauri.

He later moved to Nairobi to pursue his studies at Harambee Primary School, Buruburu.

He joined Mang’u High School for his secondary education. After excelling, he enrolled at the University of Nairobi to pursue a mechanical engineering degree.

He did not complete his degree at the time. An opportunity at Kenya Airways opened and, being not one to waste chances, Karauri signed up.

He dropped out in his third year in order to become a pilot.

He is married to Ruth Karauri who is the mother to their three children, a son and two daughters.

Karauri and his wife met at the flying school where Ruth was a captain at KQ.

The father of two worked as a commercial pilot for a total of 11 years.

He tried his luck during the Kenya Airways (KQ) cadet recruitment process way back in 2000.

He was selected and sent for training in Ethiopia and his career progressed.

He joined the national carrier after training and worked as a co-pilot for six years before being promoted to the position of a captain which he held for another five years.

Karauri is passionate about cycling and has team with whom he enjoys a good riding adventure once in a while.

The betting firm CEO also describes himself as a car fanatic, his favorite model being the Range Rover Overfinch.

Edited by Henry Makori

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