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  OBITUARY  

September 05 - 11 , 2008

 

 Coastweek   Kenya


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MANOHAR DATTATRAYA NAVARE -
INSURANCE INDUSTRY DOYEN

an excellent networker and one of the
founder members of the 'Saturday Club'

Coastweek - - Manohar Dattatraya Navare arrived in Mombasa in March 1947 to manage the Indo-Africa Insurance Co. which changed to the Pan Africa Insurance Co. after Kenya's independence.

The company grew to become one of largest insurance company in British East Africa.

His 30 years at Pan Africa were successful in no small measure due to some remarkable people that he worked with, most notably his Chairman A.B. Patel who was also his mentor and who my father held in very high regard.

As the executive director of the company Mr. Navare was appreciated for his firm ethical stance and his strong technical capabilities.

He developed close relationships with the insurance and the general business community in East Africa and with reinsurers in London and in Zurich. His reputation was such that reinsurers were prepared to provide reinsurance treaties just on the basis of his presence on the Board of Directors.

Coastweek - - Manohar Dattatraya Navare.

He was also invited to be on the electoral panel of the insurance 'Hall of Fame' in Berlin.

He never disappointed anybody in the trust in which he was held.

In his work he was an effective negotiator and showed great capability in marshalling re-sources to support him.

In his work he was ahead of his time by employing local Kenyans in the office - a very rare sight in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

A number of his protégés now hold key positions in Kenyan insurance and business.

He played a prominent role in both the development of the profession and education within the insurance industry, voluntarily giving time to the insurance society (in Kenya and internationally (in conjunction with the Chartered Insurance Institute) and to student affairs.

He was an excellent networker and one of the founder members of the Saturday Club which attracted multiracial businessmen and professionals in Mombasa.

He worked 30 years at Pan Africa, and after retirement he guided a start up insurance company to maturity over the 11 years that he spent with it as executive director.

The start up was the Apollo Insurance founded by the entrepreneur Shashi Shah and his family.

The Chairman was the elder brother Budhibhai Shah and the Nairobi operations were run by the younger brother Ashok Shah.

At Apollo the combination of his skills and integrity together with Shashi and his family's acute understanding of business management transformed Apollo into a sizeable and profitable business.

In Kenya spent the biggest chunk of his life - 41 years to 1988.

He took up bridge, a game at which he excelled and which would play a prominent part in his life both in Mombasa and later in London.

Manohar lived a long and a successful life.

In many respects it was unique to his time.

Yet he did his work with high professional competence, and took his family, social life, and his spiritual life as seriously as he did his business life.

Manohar died in London on 22 August 2008.

He leaves behind his wife and two children.

- Pradip Navare.

 

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