The CEO of the Kenyan betting site that has partnerships with EPL clubs explains why he quit his job as a pilot

The CEO now heads one of Kenya's biggest business empires.

He heads arguably one of the region's top sports betting platform with a foothold in not just Africa but Europe as well.

Ronald Karauri is the head of SportPesa, a Kenyan betting site with operations in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, the Isle of Man and the United Kingdom, where it operates in conjunction with TGP Europe.

The online betting platform is owned and operated by Pevans East Africa, a company with shareholders from Bulgaria, Kenya and the United States.

And for Karauri, overseeing the growth of the gaming site to become Africa's betting giant has been quite a milestone having conceived the idea from a casino.

But prior to his appointment as CEO of SportPesa, the 38 year old was the chair of Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KAPA) where he enjoyed a high-flying career horned in the cockpit of the aeronautical masterpiece Boeing 777 before calling it quits.

In an interview with SDE,Karauri explained why he quit his stellar career as a pilot to head into the corporate world.

"You know, as the boss at KALPA (Kenya Airline Pilots Association), I was deeply involved in fighting the likes of Mbuvi (then KQ boss Mbuvi Ngunze), so I did not quit immediately when the business started," he stated.

He divulged that his decision to quit was informed by the on goings at the company.

"But later on, as the business grew in terms of capacity, because we needed to have someone in charge. Instead of hiring someone with experience, which is not easy to find, I decided to quit in 2014. It is not that I didn’t want to quit, but the way things were, I had to. It was a big change, I now come in the office early in the morning," he said.

SportPesa now mulls over being listed at the Nairobi bourse — with the company having remitted to the taxman over Sh1.6 billion in taxes last year alone compared to Sh800million in the corresponding year.

The betting site has partnerships with four English football clubs - Hull City, Arsenal, Southampton, and Everton. It is the main shirt sponsor for Hull and Everton.

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