Narshi Punja Shah (1928-2008)

Mr. Narshi Punja Shah was born in a village called Kajuda near Jamnagar, Gujarat on Diwali November 8, 1928. He was the youngest of 8 children. He moved to Kenya in 1939 at age 11 and did his primary and secondary education in Kisumu. In 1945, he joined the family’s textile business. The business expanded to include sugarcane, wheat, maize, sisal, and dairy farming. He also mined copper in South Nyanza and ventured into automobiles and real estate business.

Narshibhai married Kanchanben May 16, 1948. His family includes his eldest son Sunil, wife Shakuntala, their 2 children Sajni and Savan; his second son Kamal and son Punit, and his daughter Nutan, her husband Arvind, their son Rohin, daughter Devina and her husband Sunny.

Narshibhai played a very active role in many organizations such as Visa Oshwal Vanik Community (V.O.V.C.) of Kisumu and Nairobi; and the Oshwal Education Board. He was a founder member of the Lions Club of Kisumu.

In 1968 Narshibhai moved to Nairobi where he expanded his automobile business. With the help of Sunil and Kamal, United Millers was born in 1977, and has become a household name, providing thousands of jobs and incomes directly and indirectly.

Narshibhai was a very religious and philanthropic person, well spoken, and a world traveler. He is today the highest donor to the Oshwal Education Fund. Among others, he completely renovated the Cutchi Gujarat Shiv Mandir on Race Course Road Nairobi.

Narshibhai was able to accomplish many dreams and goals in his life. In April 1998, he organized an Eye Camp in Kisumu that benefited the lives of over 14,000 Kenyans. In December 2003, he built and provided for the Kisumu Visa Oshwal Community a Jain Deraser. And finally in September 2005, he traveled to Mansarover to give his last respects. He was an inspiration to many and an example of a life worth living. On June 21, 2008, he took his last breath at 8.20pm.