BizNis Africa 2017 Newsmaker: Ashish J Thakkar


Ashish J Thakkar is the Founder and CEO of Mara Group.

Thakkar is a serial entrepreneur who started his first company at the age of 15.

Thakkar has emerged the first African ever to be named in Fortune Magazine’s prestigious annual 40 Under 40 list which features young hotshots around the globe who are leading businesses as diverse as air travel, natural gas and genetic coding, as well as government.

Thakkar is a team member of the Commonwealth Business Council and COMESA.

He has been profiled by several publications and media outlets including Forbes, The Economist, CNN, Africa Business Journal, Ventures Africa, San Jose Mercury, Reuters and the BBC.

After surviving the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Thakkar moved to Kampala, Uganda with his family.

During High School in Kampala, Ashish began selling computers to his classmates and friends.

That computer trading business formed the earliest foundation of the Mara Group, a Pan-African conglomerate that is actively involved in everything from manufacturing to agriculture to property development and Information Technology.

The Mara Group has total assets in excess of $1 billion and over 7 500 employees across 21 African countries.

In the near future, Thakkar will represent East Africa on Virgin Galactic’s mission into space, thereby making him Africa’s second astronaut.

Thakkar’s net worth is $260 million or ZAR2.2 billion.


About Author

Thabo Mphahlele is the BizNis Africa Head of Sales and Marketing. Mphahlele was previously MultiChoice Production Support Analyst responsible for developing and monitoring applications. In addition, Mphahlele develops and automates batch scripts and is responsible for the daily infrastructure maintenance at MultiChoice. As a Production Support Analyst, he is responsible for incident analysis solving , developing and constructing business reports for SQL and Oracle and implement change controls for the business. Additional responsibility includes monitoring system performance via SOA, Kibaba (Elasticsearch), H.P BSM, HP Sitescope. Mphahlele is responsible for creating infrastructure performance reports through HP Ops Analytics, monitoring payments via Splunk and in-house built-in tool and disaster recovery simulation and testing. At Nashua Mobile, he was responsible for application development and enhancing the web sites At South West Gauteng College, he was the IT Technician and Network Administrator. During his tenure at Double Digit Media, he was he focused on application and web site development for new and existing clients Mphahlele contributes as a Content Manager for BizNis Africa.

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