Shiv Arora, Superior Homes Chief Executive officer, pauses as one of the youngest chief executive officers on the rise. At only thirty he has accomplished his studies abroad, rose through the ranks to become his own boss at Superior Homes Kenya.
Arora who prides himself as a seasoned and entrepreneurial professional in the real estate and investment industry, with experience spanning across banking, investment management, private equity and real estate is a man with tainted rise.
Arora is one character who truth is not part of his DNA. To the beginners, he will lie to them how he was brought up in an ordinary childhood set-up, with his parents coming from a fairly humble background yet the well-connected man who got a job with Citibank, treasury at its prime time studied at a premier academy in Nairobi before flying to United Kingdom to acquire Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the University of Warwick.
There’s also that matter of colour where Africans give anyone brown big salaries and opportunities. This has often proved overrated especially on his case.
While at his well-paying first job, with a seemingly end result in his mind, he joined Britam as an intern before rising to serve as the investment analyst. It’s while serving at that docket where the unthinkable happened.
To be precise, in 2004 Shiv Arora together with Edwin Dande, Elizabeth Nailantei Nkukuu, and Patricia Njeri Wanjama left Britam after they were accused of theft of over Ksh1.2 billion.
Britam said the theft was discovered after audits done by accounting firm KPMG and law firm Coulson Harney.
The four former employees claimed that no such theft had happened and wrote to Britam asking them to disclose the said reports.
Britam refused to disclose the audit reports and the four former employees then filed a lawsuit in the high court in 2016 seeking to compel Britam to disclose the audits.
Britam on their submissions argued that releasing the audits would be “prejudicial to their commercial interests”.
Arora would then proceed with Edwin Dande and the two others to form Cytonn, a now struggling investment firm, where he worked as investment associate before being promoted all the way to chief operating officer.
Because Arora believes Kenyans have already forgotten the accusations made by Britam, he went ahead to run a real estate firm in the name of Superior Homes where he is in charge of management of the group business all the way from construction development to our hospitality developments.
If you dare ask him how he made it up there, he will avoid mentioning the theft claim at Britam and quickly turn to a motivation speaker telling you how it takes hard work, commitment, and dedication to propel your career. And that everyone is smart and everyone is bright, it just depends on how hard you work.
There are some heists that are carried out smoothly that no one can trace; this appears like one of those. The truth is out there.
It’s disturbing that after fueling and propelling Cytonn to its struggling phase, the UK-based university alumnus jumped ship to a politically-tied firm, Superior Homes, whose most apartments such as Greenpark Estate sits on riparian land – a river tributary that feeds highly polluted Athi River.
Arora is yet to clear his name in the mind of his former boss at Britam Mr Benson Wairegi who recently termed their squabbles as a matter of “values and integrity”
“When we ran into a problem with some of my employees [Arora and co] here and we had to go to court because it was a matter of values and integrity. I’m an introvert, publicity-shy and going to court, before cameras, newspapers writing about you…That made me feel really really naked,” Wairegi said.