Company: Khimji Ramdas Group
Wealth: 625 Million
The Khimji family’s presence in Oman spans three centuries, starting as traders importing grain, tea and spices from India and exporting dates, dry limes and frankincense from Oman during the 19th century. But it was the arrival in 1870 of Ramdas Thackersey and his son Khimji Ramdas that really kick-started the family’s prosperity in the sultanate. Together they founded a business that would grow to become one of the country’s largest business groups, covering the consumer, infrastructure and industrial sectors.
Such is the family’s prominence in Oman, when Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said took over as ruler in 1970 he granted the Khimjis citizenship — a rare offering in the Gulf — and bestowed the title Sheikh upon Kanaksi Khimji, Thackersey’s great-grandson and the present head of the family and the Khimji Ramdas Group, making him what is believed to be the only Hindu Sheikh in the world.
Today, the group reportedly turns over more than $1bn annually and has partnerships with more than 400 global brands.
Kanaksi Khimji has also helped established 19 Indian schools in Oman, educating 35,000 Indian students. The company is a corporate member of the World Economic Forum.
Company director Nailesh Khimji (above), also plays a vital role in the growth of the Khimji Ramdas Group.