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How This Entrepreneur Runs A 50 Year-Old Family Business In Tanzania

Shekhar Kanabar, 35, is the CEO of Synarge Group, a 50 year-old family-owned Tanzanian conglomerate that has its tentacles in lead manufacturing, battery recycling and automotive spare parts.

Kanabar’s father founded the business in the 60s as a cloth trading business, but the business has since grown to become one of multi-company enterprise with more than 150 employees and millions of dollars in revenue.

Kanabar recently talked to me about the company’s origins, his management style, and Synarge’s future plans.

 

Honorary Consul Shekhar Kanabar
Honorary Consul Shekhar Kanabar
(CEO, Synarge Group of Companies)

Who is Shekhar Kanabar? 

I’m in my mid-thirties. I went to high school at Aiglon College in Villars, in the Swiss Alps. After graduating I went on to further my education in Boston, Massachusetts, at Bentley College for a year and then Babson College, where I majored in entrepreneurship, economics and finance. I still continue to do executive education courses with IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland. Furthermore, Young Presidents Organization has been an integral part of my growth both educationally and professionally. YPO’s motto is ‘better leaders through idea exchange, education and networking’. It is the world’s most powerful business network.

I joined the family business at the age of 23, soon after graduating from college in Boston. Although I was receiving job offers in the US, I felt an obligation to come back home so I could make a difference and not just be a spoke in a wheel on Wall Street. Being from a serial entrepreneurial family and my passion for business lead me to believe I needed to come back and create my own legacy. It was a difficult decision to leave my Western lifestyle and comforts and come back to Tanzania.

Last year I was appointed as the Honorary Consul of Lithuania to Tanzania, so I still carry a little of Europe with me.

 

Read the full interview on the Forbes website: here

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