Billionaire entrepreneur Kul Bhakoo made a fortune running one of Kenya’s largest printing companies, and later parlayed his love for art and design into the world of hospitality.
He is a co-owner of Ole Sereni, one of the city’s most popular five-star hotels. He co-owns the hotel alongside his friends Bobby Jandu of Allied Plumbers, Mso Dave Bola, a Zambian businessman and Nazir Noobin, another businessman.
Bhakoo had established Kul Graphics in Nairobi in the 90’s, and it soon grew into one of the city’s largest printing operations. In 2019, Kul Graphics became one of six major Kenyan printing companies that merged to form Chrome Partners in what was the biggest such transaction the industry had ever seen.
The merger was in reaction to deteriorating business conditions and high equipment costs. The merger allowed the firms to pool resources and acquire equipment jointly. Following the merger, they established a massive printing mall at Industrial Area which to date handles many of the largest printing contracts in the region.
Success in the printing business had enabled Bhakoo to spread his wings to the hospitality sector.
Ole Sereni opened its doors in 2009. The stunning building, overlooking the Nairobi National Park and offering impeccable views of the Savannah, was previously owned by the US Government and once served as the US Embassy in Nairobi. The ownership group led by Bhakoo sought financing from a local bank and purchased the building.
Ole Sereni boasts a total of 134 rooms, with 58 of the rooms classified as superior. It has 48 deluxe rooms facing the park. The hotel is adorned with paintings and various artworks in rooms and hallways, a deliberate decision by Bhakoo.
The hotel also features a massive restaurant with indoor seating and a terrace overlooking the Nairobi National Park, as well as the Waterhouse sports bar, The Steak House and the Ngong Pool Bar.