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Mahen’s Moments in Time. Chapter 1. 1955

Date: January 12, 2023 | By: Ashish Sanghrajka | Category: Travel Blog

Dear Advisor Partner,

Happy New Year to you and your families. 2022 reminded us that we have much to be grateful for and what we were truly capable of. We loved reaching new heights with you and appreciate your partnership, as it is vital to our success. Speaking of that, 2023 makes a major milestone for Big Five and one that makes me very proud, our 50th anniversary. In February 1973, in Nairobi Kenya, the dream of Big Five was born. My father, who many of you have met, was working at the front desk at a major hotel in Nairobi. While sitting at the hotel’s Big Five bar, he and his friends decided to partner up, and Big Five was born. Initially, Big Five was a transport company and Kenya DMC. Our US office opened in 1985, followed by operations in Latin America in 1989 and acquiring an Asia portfolio in 1997. We thought initially to list every major milestone along the way and present one of the timelines you always see in a car museum or corporate HQ lobby. Then we remembered life isn’t about winning or losing, it’s about the struggle, the journey, and your actions along the way. We decided to chronicle the struggle and the journey and let the timeline speak for itself.

Navigating those five decades has not been easy as anyone who has ever spoken to my mother or father about this has learned. There were days I watched my parents seriously debate giving up, and even remember the days I felt the same despair. There were days my parents thought perhaps their detractors were right and they would fail, but there were heroes who helped the dream move forward, my mother cardinal among them. As we pass 50 years, As we pass 50 years, I will continue to sit with my father to share short stories of Mahen’s Moments in Time, both before and during this historic journey. So, I thought this was appropriate as the first of his many stories dating to 1955:

“My father was a traveling salesman and when I was just 8, I started traveling occasionally with him. On one road trip, we saw herds of elephants on the road and occasionally some zebras and antelopes. Of course, cattle were in abundance and my father always said ‘These cattle have the right of way and when you see the wildlife, enjoy them until they pass to the other side of the road.’ He knew what distance we should keep from the wildlife. I was always amazed to see the size of elephants and sometimes cried thinking they will crush us.

Till today, I remember my father’s assurance ‘Look at them with love and they will love you back. Keep your distance, don’t bother them, and let them go about doing what they are doing, and they will leave you alone.’   This advice created my love for animals and always wanted to take advantage of looking out for them.”

Enjoy the special video we made for this moment. CLICK HERE

We invite you to share in celebrating 50 years together. If you have a story to share, please feel free to let me know, or if you want to just say hello to Mahen, I’m sure he would love to hear from you.


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