Haresh Keswani, an Indian-born Nigerian moved to Lagos in the early ’80s to start working for a small trading company catering to retailers. His dream of do-
ing big things could not hold him as an employee for long. On the 8th of August 1988, at the age of 29, he pioneered the second-wave retail revolution in Nigeria through the birth of Park n Shop. Since then he has not looked back. Over the past 39 years, he has gone through many phases on his journey from a single supermarket of only 120 m2 to becoming a dominant player in the retail industry. Today, he operates over 50,000 m2 under the brand SPAR, one of the world’s leading retailers.

Aside from SPAR in the retail space, Haresh has successfully developed and established many other brands in Nigeria in various sectors, including Cascade in PET packaged drinking water, Millennia in furniture, along with commercial real estate properties Port Harcourt Mall, Calabar Mall and Enugu Mall. Although the service sector forms the core of the Haresh’s business interest, his passion, innovative spirit, and love for Nigeria is demonstrated in his energetic investment in the country and the future generations. Haresh always advocates to every leader to be legacy-minded and to focus on next-generation
and Human Capital Development. He practices this philosophy through multiple initiatives that
he has set in motion such as the “Next-Gen Role

Model” workshops to mentor budding Entrepreneurs of Nigeria, ‘Farmers Club & Academy’ t teach farmers how to improve yields and reduce wastages, and ‘SME Development Workshops’ to train and inspire future business owners. With his belief in the future of Nigeria, Haresh has now started diversification in the Agriculture and Food Processing space with a sole aim of improving the food value chain. His journey tells the story of a man with foresight
and perseverance, and even after 39 years, his energy is just as contagious, and his passion remains relentless.

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    August 3, 2019
    BusinessDay has created the Business Leadership Awards to recognize leaders who have created and sustained outstanding entrepreneurial initiatives, and built successful businesses that are strengthening Nigeria’s global competitiveness and attraction as a destination for talent and capital