These are not your average mom and pop stores.
Most of the biggest and most successful companies of Pakistan have been controlled by families for generations, and no family business comes without family troubles. Many of these companies have experienced very public feuds between relatives. These things aside lets come to point because this discussion will go endless.
Here’s the list of the top 10 family-owned business groups of Pakistan.
The Nishat Group
Mian Muhammad Mansha Yaha is the owner of this successful empire having around 30 companies on board. Mansha, who owns the Muslim Commercial Bank as well, is now setting up a billion rupee ($ 17 m) paper sack project too. He is one of the richest Pakistanis around. Nishat Group was country’s 15th richest family in 1970, 6th in 1990 and Number 1 in 1997. Chinioti by family, Mansha is married to Yousaf Saigol’s daughter. He is deemed to have made investments in many currencies and metal exchanges both within and outside Pakistan. He has had his share of luck on many occasions in life and has been awarded Pakistan’s highest civil award by President Musharraf. He could have bought the United Bank too, but then who doesn’t have adversaries. Nishat Group comprises of textiles, cement, leasing, insurance and management companies. If Mansha was bitten by Bhutto’s nationalization stint of 1970, his friends think he was compensated by Nawaz Sharif’s denationalization program to a very good effect. There is no stopping Mansha and he is still on the move!
Jang Group of Newspapers
Jang Group of Newspapers is a subsidiary of the Independent Media Corporation. Its headquarters is in Printing House, Karachi. It is Pakistan’s largest group of newspapers and the publisher of the Urdu newspaper the Daily Jang , The News International, Mag Weekly, GEO News and Geo Network of TV channels.
Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, is the current head of the business house based in Karachi. He is the CEO of Jang Group of Newspapers and also holds the title of Editor-in-Chief. Late Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman (1927-1992) was the founder chairman and editor of Jang Group of Newspapers.
Hashoo Group is a Pakistani multinational conglomerate headquartered in Islamabad founded in 1960 by Saddaruddin Hashwani in Karachi.
Hashoo Group was established as Hassan Ali & Company, a commodities trading company based in Karachi Port, by 1970s it has become one of Pakistan’s largest trading companies. However in 1972 Pakistan nationalised cotton and rice exports leading the group to diversify into hospitality. In 1978, the group established Holiday Inn Hotel in Islamabad, and another one in Karachi in 1981.Both of the hotel’s where converted into Marriott brand in 1990s. In 1985, the group made a successful bid for the majority shares of Pakistan Services Limited, which then owned four Inter-Continental Hotels across Pakistan, the hotel’s where re-branded into Pearl-Continental Hotels.
In 1995, Hashoo Group acquired the US-based corporation Occidental Petroleum’s Pakistan operation’s (now known as Orient Petroleum Inc.). In 2001, it acquired the Destinations of the World franchise in Pakistan. In 2012, the group launched Hotel One, a mid range hotel chain in Pakisntan.
The Packages Group
Syed Babar Ali is the founder of Packages Limited (Pakistan’s largest paper and board mill), Milkpak Limited – now Nestlé Pakistan Limited (the largest food processing company in Pakistan); Tetra Pak Pakistan Limited, IGI Insurance Company Limited, Tri-Pack Films Limited, and IGI Investment Bank. He is the Chairman of Sanofi-Aventis Pakistan Limited, Siemens Pakistan Engineering Company Limited, and Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Limited. He believes in the joint venture philosophy and most of his businesses are joint ventures with major multinationals.
House of Habib
The House of Habib is a prominent Khoja business family in Pakistan. The Habib group’s most famous and successful subsidiary is its Banking and Finance division.
The history of the House of Habib goes back to middle of the previous-to-last century when Esmail Ali of Jamnagar district of Gujarat, in western India, set up a small utensil factory in Bombay. His son Habib Esmail, born in 1878, founded the House of Habib. Habib was very young when his father died, forcing him to join the business of his uncle Cassum Mohammad. Cassum Mohammad was the owner of Khoja Mithabai Nathoo, a merchant, and a manufacturer of copper and brass utensils. It was because of his association with Mithabai Nathoo that Habib Ismael came to be known as Seth Habib Mitha.
The House of Habib holds many distinctions in Pakistan’s history. Habib Bank was shifted to Pakistan on the personal bidding of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. He came to the aid of the nascent state “even before the Govt of Pakistan was ready to issue appropriate government paper” with a Rs 80 million loan when the Reserve Bank of India failed to deliver Pakistan share of Rs 900 million held by it. It is said that Mohammad Ali Habib gave a blank cheque on Lloyd Bank to the Quaid-e-Azam who wrote Rs 80 million in it.
The Habib family set up offices in Vienna and Geneva as early as 1912 and incorporated Habib and Sons in 1921, which dealt in brass, metal scraps and gold with “Lion of Ali” & Zulfiqar embossed on it. The Habib Bank still uses this as its insignia. Habibs today are headed by Rafiq Habib and the Dawood Habib family in two distinct groups.
The Saigol Group or “Sehgal Group” is a group of companies owned by one of Pakistan’s wealthiest families, the Saigols/Sehgals. The family and its companies are based in Lahore, Pakistan.
The Saigols originally hail from Chakwal. The group is managed by three Saigol brothers: Tariq, Nasim and Taufeeq. Also part of the family is sister Naz Saigol, now married to Mian Muhammad Mansha Yaha.
Amin Saigol was the founder of the Saigol dynasty, starting a shoe shop in 1890 that eventually developed into the Kohinoor Rubber Works. In 1948, the Saigols migrated from Calcutta and initiated their business in Faisalabad, the textile city of Pakistan, under the banner of Kohinoor Industries Limited.
Tariq Saigol, the eldest brother, is head of Kohinoor-Maple group, which owns the Kohinoor textile mills and Maple-Leaf Cement. He is known to be openly critical of the Pakistani government’s lack of interest in the textile sector. Nasim Saigol heads PEL and Kohinoor industries. Rafiq, the youngest brother, takes care of the group’s other business interests. Bashir Saigol was assigned the managing directorship of Kohinoor Textile Mills, Rawalpindi and Conforce Limited. He is survived by son Iqbal Saigol, who heads his own small group. After the division of the family silver, KTM Rawalpindi came to the lot of Tariq Saeed Saigol who is now heading his own Kohinoor group.
There is a village in Pakistan called Saigolabad – 7 km from Chakwal City, named after this influential business family. The group also have an investment in the United Arab Emirates.
Nawa-i-Waqt is an Urdu daily newspaper in Pakistan. It was launched on March 23, 1940, under the leadership of Hameed Nizami. Hameed Nizami was the founder of this newspaper. His younger brother Majid Nizami was the chief editor and publisher of Nawa-i-Waqt Group of Publications until he died in 2014.It is one of the most influential newspapers in the country. It has a special position in Pakistan’s media, as the guardian of Pakistan’s ideology, with well-established center-right and nationalist credentials. Currently, it is one of the four top influential Urdu newspapers in Pakistan. In 2016, Rameeza Majid Nizami (daughter of Majid Nizami) serves as the Managing Director of Nawa-i-Waqt Group of Publications and was also elected as the Senior Vice President of All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS).
Saif Group is a Pakistani conglomerate company largely focused on textile industry. Based in Islamabad, it is involved in power, health care, textiles, real estate and telecommunications. The group manages and owns 11 companies.
Its textile division owns and manages three companies: Saif Textile Mills with installed capacity of 88,476 spindles is located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kohat Textile Mills with installed capacity of 44,400 spindles is located in Kohat, and Mediterranean Textile Company is located in Egypt; it has an installed capacity of 63,312 spindles for the production of 100% cotton yarn. Saif Power Ltd (SPL) is a 225 MW Combined Cycle Thermal Power Project in the Sahiwal District of Punjab, Pakistan.
Saif Energy Limited (SEL) holds interests in 4 blocks with a total oil and gas exploration acreage of 3109.66 km2 in consortium with other E&P companies, including Oil and Gas Development Company OGDCL (Pakistan), Mari Petroleum Company Limited MPCL (Pakistan), and Tullow Oil (Ireland). They brought the first GSM phone service to Pakistan in 1994 in a venture with Motorola, named as Mobilink but it sold its stakes in 2007. The chairman is Javed Saifullah Khan.
The Crescent Group
Crescent Steel and Allied Products Limited is a conglomerate corporation listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange as ‘CSAP’. Starting operations with a pipe manufacturing facility in March 1987, Crescent Steel now has diversified businesses in four defined sectors – engineering, textiles, capital markets and power – spread over six campuses.
The Company’s Steel segment manufactures large diameter spiral submerged arc welded steel line pipes and a pipe coating facility capable of applying multi and single layer, high density polyethylene internal and external coatings. Both units are located at Nooriabad. The Steel segment also operates an engineering unit, capable of fabricating and erecting reliable machinery at par with international standards. The unit is located in Faisalabad and caters primarily to the sugar, cement, paper and dairy industries.
The Cotton segment comprises of one spinning unit with nearly 20,000 spindles. The Cotton segment operates as “Crescent Cotton Products, a division of Crescent Steel and Allied Products Limited” and has a daily production capacity of 500 bags of high quality cotton carded yarn, in counts ranging from 6s to 30s.
The company operates three fully owned subsidiaries in the engineering, capital markets and power sectors: Crescent Hadeed (Private) Limited, CS Capital (Private) Limited and Shakarganj Energy (Private) Limited, respectively.
The Lakson Group is a business group, headquartered in Karachi, Pakistan that was founded in 1954. The conglomerate is run by the Lakhani brothers, and is currently chaired by Iqbal Ali Lakhani. His siblings are Amin Lakhani, Sultan Lakhani and Zulfiqar Lakhani. The Group’s portfolio consists of detergents and soaps, toothpaste, food products, fast food restaurants, insurance, internet services, software, paper and board, printing, powdered beverages and tea, packaging, publications, surgical instruments and textiles.