A man of modest origins, he shot to prominence thanks to 1970s coffee boom. Today, he heads companies in a variety of sectors, including Centum Investment, the UAP insurance group and the Kenyan branch of the DHL logistics group. He likes to define himself as being part of the daily life of all Kenyans, notably via his Haco Tiger Brands group, which produces Bic razors and pens, cosmetics and household goods, and a wide range of food products, including Beacon sugar, Tastic rice and All Good sauces.
Chris Kirubi is one of the country's most influential businessmen because he has always been able to keep up good relations with Kenya's different political regimes. He was close to Mwai Kibaki before the latter became president but kept this friendship under wraps under the Daniel arap Moi regime so as to avoid displeasing the government of the day and to protect his business interests. He has always seemed to support the government in power but Mwai Kibaki's arrival in power after the December 2002 elections allowed him at last to be open about his friendship with the Kenyan leader.
Born in 1942, he is not yet ready for retirement. He is highly active in the social networks and has made new technology his preferred means of communication. In 1998, he broke into radio to become chief executive of Capital FM, which he finally managed to buy in 2004. He often cites Virgin boss Richard Branson as his model. He is convinced that the media sector is not a profitable one but ventured into it with the sole objective of having fun. Since 2004, he has been presenting and deejaying his own radio show, The Fuse. Flamboyant and eclectic, Chris Kirubi cuts a colourful figure in the Kenyan business world.