To some, Pakistan is a developing country. It’s a country that although has a rich, cultural heritage, is only just entering the ‘modern world’ in many ways and embracing business aspects in a style that will allow some to thrive considerably and establish themselves as a household names.
The reality, however, is that whilst Pakistan is undoubtedly still developing in some aspects, it’s a country that has already produced a vast number of successful businesses, groups and brands – and the following 10 are genuinely just a small number of examples.
NB – this is not a definitive list, nor one in any specific order.
1. The Nishat Group
Headed up by Mian Muhammad Mansha, Pakistan’s third richest man, Mansha was brought up in a wealthy family and enjoyed a business-education from a young age. Rather than settle for what had been laid out before him, however, Mansha went on to develop The Nishat Group, which now owns around 30 companies and many of which turn over several billion rupees per year.
Including companies within the textile, building and banking industries to name just few, The Nishat Group in Pakistan is very much like Unilever and Procter & Gamble in the US – you may not know their products when encompassed under the group name, but you’re practically guaranteed to be using them regularly both at home and at work.
2. The Hashoo Group
A staple name in Pakistan’s hotel industry, the Hashoo Group has been operating since 1960 and although built its name, reputation and finances across a multitude of different industries, is known primarily today for owning globally popular brands such as Marriott Hotels.
Still ran by the same individual who setup the company over 50 years ago, Sadruddin Hashwani has been key to the group’s long term success, understanding the importance of flexibility and having the old-adage of ‘not keeping your eggs in one basket’ firmly at the front of his mind at all times.
3. The House Of Habib
Dating back over 150 years, The House Of Habib is arguably one of the country’s most revered businesses. Having upwards of 8 individual subsidiary groups, their most notable is generally considered to be banking and finance, where they own some of the country’s most notable banks.
Grown out of a small utensil factory in 1841, the group today have wealth in the hundreds of billions of rupees range, making them not just extremely wealthy in Pakistan, but right around the world.
4. The Yunus Brothers
Dating back to 1962, the Yunus Brothers made their name in the textiles industry and today still hold one of the largest warehousing operations in the country, but have made significant investments in many other Pakistani industries.
Producing and exporting products right around the world, notably to some of the most well-known retailers in the United States, they have expanded outside of Pakistan, with their textile operations, for example, having physical presences in both Europe and the US.
5. The Jang Group
Very similar in style to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, the Jang Group are responsible for many of Pakistan’s leading newspaper publications, and whether you’re aware of it or not, are essentially a name seen in most households in the country.
Started by the late Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman, his son, Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman, now heads up the business and over the years has established himself as one of the continent’s most prominent media personnel, playing a pivotal role in many important processes, including the creation and dissolving of numerous governments.
6. The Haroon Family
A much-revered Pakistani family who own the Dawn Media Group, they are the force behind some of the most-read online and offline publications in the country. From The Star to Dawn.com, the family is said to be the 16th richest in Pakistan.
In partnership with the Saigol family, themselves the sixth richest family in Pakistan, the Dawn Media Group have helped to firmly establish the Haroon family in the modern Pakistan business world, building on the foundations their forefathers laid in commodity trading over a century earlier.
7. Bahria Town Limited
The largest private housing society in the whole of Asia, and one of the largest real estate developers in Pakistan, Bahria Town Limited have not only garnered a positive reputation within their industry, but have respectable revenues to match – they recently reported turning over 642 billion rupees.
Developing some of the safest communities in Pakistan, Bahria Town Limited have a number of establishments throughout the country, providing a much revered housing community that is greatly in demand.
8. The Arif Habib Group
Reputed to be the leading investment group in Pakistan, the Arif Habib Group, like many on this list, have amassed their considerable wealth and fortune by making wise investments in a variety of industries.
Started by the eponymous Arif Habib “as a sole proprietor, with a focus on securities brokerage”, the group has gone on to see immense success, with asset values ranging, but very often starting in the range of the high hundreds of millions of rupees.
9. The JS Group
Founded in 1971, the JS Group is a selection of six companies in Pakistan operating in a range of industries, from finance through to transport, and which employs over 23,000 people.
Set up by Jahangir Siddiqui, success clearly runs in the family’s blood, as Jahangir’s brother is a popular TV director, his nephew a famed businessperson in his own right and the family his son married into is that which owns the Jang Group.
10. The Ittefaq Group
Very much a motivational story of sorts, the Ittefaq Group began life as a foundry in the middle of the 20th century and was set up by Muhammad Sharif and his six male siblings. Developing heavily over the next few decades, during the mid-1980s revenue was regularly recorded as being in the range of US$400 million (25.5 billion rupees).
Still active today, the group is now often known primarily for the fact Muhammad Sharif is the father of Nawaz Sharif, the current Prime Minister of Pakistan.
As we said above, this list isn’t exhaustive, but if you feel there’s a company that deserves a place here, let us know in the comments.