True to the words, Gurcharan Singh Vohra, during the course of his life, was a force to be reckoned with in both hospitality and legal fields.
The founder of the now popular Sarova group of hotels, which has been among the most awarded and recognized hotel chains in Africa, rose from a humble background.
His father, Sardar Singh Vohra, had earlier on travelled from Rawal Pindi, in the Himalayan Ranges, and landed on the East African Coast.
Gurcharan, during his childhood in downtown Nairobi, worked at his father’s bicycle shop along River Road.
A report by Business Daily in 2013 notes that during his school years, his teachers encouraged him to apply for a law degree course at the Honourable Society of Lincolns Inn, London.
In his first attempt, Gurcharan was accepted at the institution to pursue the course and graduated at the age of 17 years in 1952.
His admission to the bar was, however, delayed since he was still considered a minor at the time and upon his return to Kenya, he set up a law firm.
The firm, Vohra and Gitau, specialised in criminal, divorce, family and common law.
After a stint in the courtroom, he teamed up with former Kirinyaga Central MP John Ngata Kariuki to acquire the Ambassadeur Hotel on Moi Avenue in 1974.
Two years later, they acquired Whitesands Beach Resort Hotel which sat on a 22-acre land before advancing to acquire The Stanley hotel in 1978, which was the beginning of the empire.
The empire kept growing to include two hotels in Nairobi, another in Mombasa and five lodges among others.
When Gurcharan passed away in 2013 aged 78, Ngata took over the chairmanship of the hotels chain.
The hotels have hosted amongst many, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah, Milton Obote of Uganda and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania.