EXPERTS KENYA Ronald Karauri’s Inspiring Journey from Pilot to SportPesa Billionaire 2 months ago Szarlot Post Views: 156 SportPesa CEO) Ronald Karauri quit the university where he was studying engineering to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot. He was lucky to be selected by Kenya Airways (KQ) among cadet trainees who were sent to Ethiopia for training. After completing the training he returned to the country and worked at the national carrier as a co-pilot and later captain He retired from KQ in 2015 and took over as SportPesa CEO a year after he co-founded the firm which made KSh 12.6 billion profit in its first five years. Ronald Karauri is one of the most successful businessmen in Kenya. The SportPesa chief executive officer (CEO) quit the university where he was studying engineering to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot. Karauri’s KQ journey In 2000 Karauri was lucky to be selected by Kenya Airways (KQ) among cadet trainees who were sent to Ethiopia for training. After completing the training he returned to the country and worked at the national carrier as a co-pilot. According to his LinkedIn profile, he co-piloted and piloted the Boeing 737 from January 2003 to December 2008. After working as a co-pilot for six years, he was promoted to the position of captain. He served in the role from January 2009 to December 2014. During the stint, he was the Kenya Airline Pilots Association chairperson. He retired from KQ in 2015 and took over as SportPesa CEO a year after he co-founded the firm. “It was not an easy decision back then because I was comfortable at KQ and good at my job. I was leaving that for the tough task of running a company,” The EastAfrican quoted Karauri. SportPesa Karauri revealed that he sold his parcel of land at KSh 25 million to buy shares at SportPesa. He narrated that he was in a gaming house when the idea of creating a betting company came about and he became interested. “The gaming house is very interesting because you meet so many people and I was the only one flying. The idea was started by one of the people at the table and I told him I would like to join you,” – he said. Under Karauri’s leadership, SportPesa raked in KSh 12.9 billion in profit during its first five years of operation. It inked sponsorship deals with local and international football teams including Everton, Hull City, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards. SportPesa shutdown However, the company halted its operations in the country over high taxes charged by the government. It closed shop after the taxes slapped on the industry made the business no longer viable. The company expressed disappointment in the government’s decision through parliament to impose a 20% excise tax on all betting stakes. “The tax is based on a fundamental misunderstanding by the Treasury of how revenue generation works in the bookmaker industry. This decision will have a damaging impact on both customers and Treasury,” – it stated. SportPesa resumes operations The betting firm resumed operations in November 2020. The company was given the green light to operate again after the Betting Licensing and Control Board (BCLB) lifted the ban. SportPesa, once a major investor in the country’s premier league football , is currently the main club sponsor of the National Super League (NSL) side Murang’a Seals. Karauri elected Kasarani MP Karauri emerged as the winner of the Kasarani parliamentary race in the 2022 polls with 32.406 votes. The businessman who ran on an independent ticket beat United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate John Kamau, who came in second with 30,444 votes. The incumbent MP Mercy Gakuya of the Jubilee Party came third with a total of 24,790 votes. SportPesa legal battle In June 2022, billionaire businessman Paul Wanderi Ndung’u joined the legal battle for the ownership of SportPesa. Ndung’u owns a 17% stake in Pevans East Africa which pioneered gaming in Kenya under the SportPesa brand. He claimed he was left out of the ownership of Milestone Ltd which operates SportPesa. Ndung’u argued the SportPesa brand became popular after Pevans injected KSh 5 billion to market it. Source: tuko.co.ke About Post Author Szarlot I am a fan of casino games especially roulette and blackjack. After that I analyze current events in the gambling industry. See author's posts SzarlotI am a fan of casino games especially roulette and blackjack. After that I analyze current events in the gambling industry. Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Print Tags: pilot, Ronald Karauri, SportPesa Continue Reading Previous The Rise of Crypto Casinos in KenyaNext BetEngines launches the first Sportsbook software solution tailor-made for the African market. 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