Swarup Ranjan Mishra: India-born Kenyan MP with 18 phones, 200 suits and 1000 pairs of shoes

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When Martin Cooper invented the first commercial mobile phone, his vision was to give people the freedom to talk on the phone away from their cars.

Years later, this has been manifested in a greater magnitude thanks to modernization.

For Kenyan Member of Parliament (MP) Swarup Ranjan Mishra, one mobile device is not enough to keep up with his day-to-day businesses. That is his motivation for owning not 2 or 3 but 18 mobile phones.

Kesses MP, Mishra Swarup (second right) meets Uasin Gishu politician, Jackson Kibor (right), in April 2018

But why would a man of his calibre own that many phones?

The legislator revealed in a TV interview that he owns 18 phones. He likened keeping a tab on them to having many wives.

“I have 18 phones but I only carry eight. Just like when people marry 10 wives or have 16 children they will always keep tabs on them,” the Kesses legislator stated.

Ranjan Mishra was elected as MP for Kesses Constituency, Uasin Gishu County on August 8, 2017, a win that made him the only non-local to win a seat in Rift Valley.

The doctor cum politician who branded himself as an adopted child of the Nandi community won in a  landslide victory that left his opponents sour.

He won a historical 45,089 votes, while his closest contender Cornelius Kogo of Kanu came in second with a paltry 2,789 votes.

When questioned about how he was able to win over members of the Kalenjin community who are known for being conservative and mostly prefer their own to lead he responded: “My principle has always been to serve the common man. I also listen to their needs, especially in my clinic which they have come to appreciate.”

The soft-spoken medical doctor became one of the medical professionals who branched into the world of politics. He joins his Seme counterpart, James Nyikal, Nyamira Deputy Governor, James Ondochi and Boni Khalwale.

Ranjan, who has been nicknamed  Kiprop arap Chelule is also the founder of Mediheal Group of Hospitals, which has branches in Kenya, Rwanda and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His lavish lifestyle and flamboyance are known to all – for someone who owns a fleet of luxury vehicles, houses, high-end watches and over 200 suits, it would be difficult to keep it a secret.

“Kiprop means born during the rain while Chelule means from outside, but now fully assimilated. My clan is Kap Chepkendi,” Dr Mishra, a fluent Kalenjin speaker explained.

The doctor admitted that he led three very demanding lives: a politician, academician and businessman. Albeit, he noted that he does not mix business and politics as the latter is “humanitarian work”, evidenced by his philanthropy.

“Business took me into humanitarian work by involving myself in politics. However, I always keep politics and business very separate. I am a hardcore businessman, but a very generous politician” he stated.

Sometime in August 2018, the politician gave free cows to every home in Kesses Constituency that did not have one. In January 2020, he also managed to secure 50 scholarships for his constituents to study in India.

Humble beginnings

While being dedicated to making life easier for his constituents, it is unknown to many, Mishra, only moved to Kenya in 1994 at age 29. Born in India into a medicine practising family, his grandfather was a traditional medicine man and his father a pharmacist. It was almost natural that Mishra signed up for a degree in medicine, majoring in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Ranjan met his wife, Pallavi Mishra, who is also an obstetrician /gynaecologist while in college. The pair went on to further their careers in Ireland and later to Melbourne University Hospital, Australia. They worked for a year without pay due to financial constraints and decided to pursue greener pastures.

The couple moved to Kenya when Pallavi got a job in Eldoret. Mishra on the other hand who was awaiting confirmation for an opening in Australia secured his first salaried job at the Moi University where he was a lecturer in the Department of Reproductive Health, College of Health Sciences.

“When I got lectureship at Moi University, I got so excited. In the first six months in Kenya, we did not have a car. We had to walk five kilometres to Eldoret to buy food, ” he revealed in an interview.

Eventually, Mishra and Pallavi opened a private practice – a venture that paved way for him to travel around the world and make a fortune. According to the politician, he noticed “a gap in the medical industry” and specifically infertility care thus the motivation to start Mediheal.

“We were both young and we unexpectedly made money. After seven years, I became bored of waking up in the night to go and deal with emergencies and decided to venture into business with the money we had made.

Kesses MP Swarup Swarup addressing a press conference on November 5, 2018.

“Fertility was a new sub-speciality in medicine at that time.  Because we were setting up for the first time, we set up as a fertility centre but made it was a fully-fledged hospital with other departments,” he noted.

Mishra confessed that politics to him was a platform to help people, a continuation of what he did as an individual through Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR).

“When I joined politics, people thought it was a joke. All my best friends and well-wishers discouraged me and urged me to change my decision, but when I won, things were different,” he revealed.

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