1. The Nishat Group Mian Muhammad Mansha Yaha is the captain of this splendid ship 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. Mansha is on the board of nearly 50 companies. Chinioti by clan, Mansha is married to Yousaf Saigol’s daughter. He is deemed to have made investments in many bourses, currency and metal exchanges both within and outside Pakistan. He has had his share of luck on many occasions in life and has recently 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 programme to a very good effect. There is no stopping Mansha and he is still on the move!
2. The Jang Group This huge media empire was founded by late Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman some six decades ago. Today, around 10 top newspapers and the multi-billion rupee GEO TV project are being run by Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman, Mir Khalil’s brainy son, who has a lot of projects pertaining to real estate under his belt too. Though he can be very modest, Shakeel is known to have taken country’s Prime Ministers head-on. His tussle with Nawaz Sharif in 1999 spoke volumes of his unmatched influence in all domestic and international quarters which matter Shakeel is one of Asia’s most well known media barons, whose newspapers have served to be the breeding nurseries for country’s top journalists. He invests massively in stocks business regularly. His elder brother Mir Javed ur Rehman and tender son Mir Ibrahim also assist him in business. Such magnificent has been his influence that at times, a few governments have opted to take a few of his employees as ministers. The Group, as most politicians agree, has been instrumental in both toppling and building governments in Pakistan for decades now. Limelight is the product that he sells but doesn’t like tasting the fruits of his own garden.
3. The Hashoo Group Led by the vintage Saddaruddin Haswani, the Hashoo Group is more known for its dominance in Pakistan’s hotel industry, though the people who know a bit more about the Hashwanis are of their strength in real estate business too. Hashwanis are involved in trading of cotton grain and steel and till the nationalization of cotton export in 1974, they were widely being dubbed as the Cotton Kings of Pakistan. Today, this group has excelled in export of rice, wheat, cotton and barley. It owns textile units, besides having invested billions in mines, minerals. hotels, insurance, batteries, tobacco, residential properties, construction, engineering and information technology. In 1984, Hashwani defeated the Lakhanis in the bid for Premier Tobacco but was arrested along with his brother Akbar in 1986 for allegedly evading customs duty on cigarettes. Sadarduddin’s brother Akbar and the children of another late brother Hassan Ali Hashwani together manage around 45 companies. Akbar runs the second Hashwani Group. He is one of the most well-known magnates in Pakistan who is a regular invitee at the Diplomatic Enclave. The list of local and international bigwigs known personally to Hashwani is unending.
4. The Packages Group The seed of this huge empire was sown by Syed Maratib All, a renowned supplier for British Army and the Indian Railways before partition. The group launched a joint venture with Lever Brothers soon after 1947, but massive production of Pakistan Tobacco Company later reportedly made Syed Maratib All and sons install a packaging Unit by the names of Packages. Two of Maratib’s sons-Syed Amjad All and Syed Babar Au have remained Pakistan’s finance Ministers and two of his well-known grand-children-Syeda Abida Hussain and Syed Fakhar Imam-are political stalwarts who need no recognition. Late Syed Amjad Ali was Pakistan’s first Ambassador to the United Nations, while Syed Babar Ali is the force behind the establishment of the LUMS. The group owns Nestle Pakistan too which is being run by Syed Yawar Ali. Syed Babar Ali has also served as Chairman National Fertilizer Corporation during the Bhutto regime too and has been the Chairman of Hoeist Pakistan, Lever Brothers and Siemen. The group also acquired a good number of Coca Cola plants in Pakistan. Its famous brands include Nestle Milk Pak, Treet, Mitchells and Tri Pack Films. It has stakes in the textile, dairy, agriculture and rice Sectors too. The groups Contributions towards the cause of an independent Pakistan are unprecedented.
5. The House of Habib Legend has it that the Goddess of Wealth has been in love with the seasoned Habibs more than anybody else in Pakistan. Most pundits believe that Habibs own at least 100 companies throughout the world, but these content mega-tycoons never boast off, something which has made it uphill for most to predict about their financial standing. This industrial group was founded by Seth Habib Mitha, born in 1878 to Esmail Ali-a factory owner in Bombay. The financial strength of the Habibs can be gauged from the fact that Muhammad Ali Habib was gave a cheque of Rs 80 million to Quaid-e-Azam in 1948 at a time when Pakistan government was penniless owing to delay in transfer of Pakistan’s share of Rs. 750 million by the Reserve Bank of India. They had offices in Europe in 1912. They incorporated the Habib Bank in 1941. They own the Habib Bank A.G Zurich, Bank Al-Habib, Indus Motors assembling Corolla cars and many dozens of units in sectors such as jute, paper sack, minerals, steel, tiles, synthetics sugar, glass, construction, concrete, farm autos, banking, oil, computers, music, paper, packages, leasing and capital management. Habibs today are headed by Rafiq Habib and Rashid Habib in two distinct groups. What makes them extremely influential players of all times is the fact that for dozens of top businessmen today, Habib were a myth once.
6. The Saigols Saigols originally hail from Jehlum. The pioneer of the Saigol dynasty in 1890 was Amin Saigol who established a shoe shop that eventually transformed into Kohinoor Rubber Works. And then times saw them shining literally like the Kohinoor until their progress was by Nationalization in which they lost two-thirds of their wealth. Saigols got trifurcated in 1976 and 15 descendents of Amin Saigols tour sons got a share. The name of the Saigols has been used in this part of the world as similes describing quantum of wealth. Yousaf Saigol, along with his brothers Sayeed Saigol, Bashir Saigol and Gul Saigol then nourished an excellent crop. In 1948, Saigols established the Kohinoor Textile Mills with a cost of Rs 8 million and this group happens to be the first to open an LC with the State Bank of Pakistan. They bought the United Bank in 1959 and then witnessed five of their units getting nationalized. They lived in Saudi Arabia during the Bhutto regime. Today, cousins Tariq and Nasim are holding the family’s fort together and have risen to unprecedented heights in individual capacities. NAB did haunt Nasim but Tariq spent more lime either accepting or refusing prized slots everywhere. Tariq is the one of the finest business brains around.