Pakistan’s mystery billionaire

Habibullah Khan is on a company shopping spree like nobody’s business, yet no one knows who he is.

“He’s the Howard Hughes of Pakistan. Nobody ever sees him. You’re the first ones (among journalists) who are going to witness him in the flesh,” said the person who ushered us into a conference room on the second floor of the recently built 26-storey Mega Corporate Tower near Teen Talwar, Clifton.Habibullah Khan is sitting at the head of a large table. With a few loose pages and a smartphone in front of him, he looks very much like a businessman. He stands up to shake our hands. He’s wearing a well-worn pair of glasses and has a Mediterranean tan.

In short, nothing in his appearance gives away the fact that he could soon be practically the single largest player in the cement industry with plants in each of the four provinces, that he owns a container terminal, runs the largest shipping and logistics businesses in the country, has just sold a real estate property in the biggest deal of its kind to Habib Bank, and will soon be setting up a six-star international hotel on the most prime piece of land in Karachi that he just acquired. He’s also the largest player in dairy after Nestle and Engro Foods.

Most importantly, he’s actively working to acquire a financial institution besides being a huge player in the energy sector, having recently acquired a major stake in Hub Power (Hubco).

 

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Editors Note: Rich, yes, but how rich?

Kazim Alam
Kazim Alam
Is a senior financial and economic correspondent at Pakistan Today

57 COMMENTS

  1. Wow, what an inspiration, finally someone who is doing a brilliant and honest job, and also wants to take the nation forward. Best of luck to you sir.

  2. I am among those lucky one who had worked under him … word worked is not appropriate I learned shipping , I learned Peoples Management and learned how maintain stress levels at peak where lot cant dream of , its not only me all those worked under his guidance, supervision had experienced this , one thing which is not mentioned here is his aggression in blowing competition and yea how to forget the number of e mails he read daily and they are more then 5000 trust me ..yes he is a super man. MHK Sir . Stay blessed

    • All seems to be really nice but excuse me for sounding critic kindly tell him to support those people to whom he laid off .well he has all the right to select the deserving once.

  3. An ideal boss really works hard a pure and smart business plays smartly looks smart sometime we use to say the DON i still remember someone told us mr. Khan sleep less work lot and neither eats lot. I always love his style unfortunately now not a part of his good company? but still always pray for his success may ALLAH PAK gives you more success and your all further dreams come true legend boss hats off.

  4. Me also served under his Shipping umbrella mega and Inn. Had several times interaction with him. Really witness that he is a giant. Unbelievable memory. Command and confidence both parallel to his decisions may Allah bless him ever.

  5. Good Inspirational idea,s and vision…!
    In regards to Power Supply may also consider option of buy back of excess power from consumers.

  6. What a great inspirational read! and very well written by the author. Love reading the profit. Keep up the great work guys!

  7. Habib sb is super duper genius of corporate world , he has provided big employment to Pakistanis, his untiring effort / hard working, Allah has bestowed countless blessings. I have media back ground I meet lot of big Shot of Pakistan who is running country, but I have not seen such a person like him, Super Smart.
    imran rizvi

  8. A highly spirited and visionary man, who is not self centered. To hard to find people of his calibre and genius. A forward looking and caring human being.

  9. I’m blessed and honoured to have started my career working directly for Mr. Habib Ullah Khan. He truly is an amazing and very hardworking person. I would call him an institute from whom I have learnt and have grown with and yes he is a Superman. I feel proud to have worked for him. God bless Mr. Habib.

  10. Dear Abid Pls read the above comments of left employees of Mega Conglomerate,the are pride to serve under the Leader ship Of Habib Sb the business Magnate, I hope your misunderstanding is cleared.

  11. Very interesting. I am a business man n own a freight forwarding n removal business
    Would like to meet this person n discuss on joint venture or outright sale of my business due to my age factor. However would prefer to stay attached with the business. If interested
    Write to me on “hashim.abubaker @gmail.com

  12. If all what is written is true .than may Allah swt grant you success in every idea which benfits mankind and if you need any help i will do it for free

  13. All is ok but laying of employees type of things shouldn’t be on the agenda of such a conglomerate. Cut the salaries of top notches more and from the bottom line less and make a company profitable by taking re design processes. This is leadership.

    • If you are caught between a rock and a hard place what choice you will make? the company was in heavy debt as mentioned above and Out of 2000 employees 300 layoffs meant 1700 were saved. That is what leaders do.

  14. Fantastic read! After a very long time I have read a Pakistani article that is so well written and the story that it covers is absolutely inspirational.
    Glad to see a man who has vision and is thinking outside the prescribed box. Reading about Mr. Khan is no different to reading about a businessmen from here in UK based on the ideas that he is planning to implement i.e. smart metering, solar panels, renewable energy etc.
    I have become a fan Mr. Khan.. May Allah bless you and continue helping you in achieving your well defined goals.

  15. I feel, like wise NS, MANSHA and all alike could also invest and expand only in Pakistan instead of taking away abroad denying progress and prosperity to our own country and country men…… Thats the major difference of approach between others and MHK.

  16. The fawning in how the article is written makes me worried. It’s more like a publicity piece than a real interview. Too good to be true. And then an infomercial for his bond. I am doubtful. And always scared of mystery millionaires who want to fire hundreds of people to make more profit for themselves.

  17. Mega Conglomerate has an outstanding model for the corporate world, people take advice From Habib sb .as for as social activity he made IBA hostel & donation different organization ,which you don’t know

  18. You are one like Bhiromal Amblani and it is better that you are off from the reporter asked the reporter that big tycoons said that you were working at Yaman city at petrol pump as a typist he shouted no I was there to fill petrol in cars and I am proud for it but you remember when elephant walks the dog sued to bark May Allah bless you and give courage to keep your ahead.

  19. About 30 years ago, Habibullah khan hired me as a shipping agent for In-Shipping. I have learned alot during my short tenure with the company. He is the man with the vision. Great work, pakistan needs a visionary like him.

  20. i agree with his ideas of buying the institutions in financial crises. because no institution is bad but the governing management. Everything can be put on right track by good management. This is the magic of thinking BIG. No one tried to buy a unit like Galadari, but Khan. It reflects his self belief that everything is possible.

  21. Habibullah khan is not only name this is brand of business ( he is university of business ) if anyone wants to lern business he most follow him

  22. Feel pleasure to read this article. what i have the knowledge about MHK, he is the man of commitment. regarding shipping, he is one of the legends of shipping industry. stay blessed.

  23. It is a great and rare quality to remain in cognito.The good thing is his tangible contribution to capital formation in the country.While I wish him still greater successes in his ventures I hope and pray that he is not tempted by politics and resultant political activity.That will be a waste of talent and resources.But this is a free country.A viewpoint may or may not be listened to.

  24. A very interesting read. However, purchasing four acres of Metropole Hotel land in the hub of Karachi is very complex. Mr. Khan need to think about traffic, water, and electricity issues before starting his project. I will also like to remind him that parking is an issue in the area that needs to be solve for apartment residents, hotel guest, and employees.

    In Karachi, we see too often ie HBL and MCB buildings with not enough parking, which causes more issues for the residents of Karachi.

    If you can give cheap clean water and electricity to Karachi, you can give security- than you can build your empire.

    You are as strong as the weakest Karachi resident. Make us all strong, and we will give you the very best that Karachi has to offer.

  25. People don’t know khan. Look at his court cases. He has done many Mis deeds in shipping from where he became millions and billions.

  26. Undoubtedly the great personality is HABIB to ALLAH and a real KHAN to PAKISTAN. May Allah bless him more and more.

  27. I am so amazed at people so lavishly praising him that as if he was like Abdus Sattar Edhi. What has Habibullah Khan done for the country, for the community where his shipping business operates and for the environment affected by his business operations? All he has done is claiming tax amnesty from the Government of Pakistan so that he can no longer be answerable about his wealth, whether ill-gotten or not. Behind every great fortune there is a crime! He is another piece of chain in the generational wealthy families, thanks to his father closeness to the power corridors to benefit from exclusive licencing which had benefited some of the influential families in the 50s and 60s of Pakistan. Has he endowed a chair in any university, let alone creating a university itself? Any hospital? Or anything for a good cause? It is not a savvy remark that there are plenty of things which are not shown off.

  28. Habibullah’s background:
    He has no qualms in admitting that he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. But his father was a professional, not businessman. Asadullah Khan was Pakistan’s first gas engineer who helped create what today is Sui Gas. “My father was instrumental in setting up the oil and gas industry in Pakistan. During Ayub Khan’s days, he used to represent Pakistan in all the global oil and gas conferences,” he says.
    His education:
    Khan studied at Karachi Grammar School but moved to boarding school in England when his father left the country in 1972. After completing school, he went to Imperial College in London and was part of the first batch of computer engineers that graduated in 1979.

    His next stop was the University of California in San Diego where he worked on the Columbia satellite as a computer engineer. Then he went to Berkeley to study management science and industrial engineering.
    Achievements:Khan started off in software and then moved into first textile and then shipping in 1985. “By 2000, we were the largest [in shipping]. We bought Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT), where the DP World is our partner today. We used to control 42 percent of anything that came in and out of this country in containers. Over time, I felt that we needed to diversify so that is when we entered into other businesses,” he says
    He used to have 20 container carriers out of which five of the world’s largest global carriers were his partners. Then he expanded into downstream, which means he built his own trucking company and inland container depots.
    His aspiration: He looks at Ratan Tata and Dhirubhai Ambani of India for inspiration. “I want to be a Tata, so my legacy continues for generations to come,” he says.
    His desire: “I want to give back to my nation, by them investing in me I want to create trust, security and long-term stability in people’s lives.”
    On top of it he is one of the largest tax payers of the country.
    My dear friends he deserves appreciation. If any one says its lavish appreciation I do accept it. He has his own class and Abdus Sattar Edhi belongs to a different class, one of its kind. And recently its Imran Khan who is creating a new history. I take my hat off for such personalities.

  29. hi there. my name is falak naz khan and i am from peshawar. i have 2 best business ideas right now because i am working there as a manager. one is import auto parts and second is PCU slippers factory. anyone who want to invest something 5 crore rupees which is 4 hundred thousand US dollars. its an urgent after few day its will be not available. my cell 03138080236 please make it fast. thanks

  30. this guy is a total con artist..his father was just an ordinary gas engineer from a lower middle class family and was corrupt to the core..he made commission in everything and then left for uk for good in 1972 as a precautionary measure that he might someday get caught..Have you heard of a small gas engineer putting his son in boarding school in london and then paying for his college in the us..it can only happen from the poor people tax money which belongs to the poor people of pakistan….where do you think he got the money to set up a textile plant in pakistan in the 1980s.. have you ever hear of a gas engineer saving up enough money to set up a large textile plant as well ..once again his father was a gas engineer with a very nominal salary and corrupt to the core..as they say like father like son..

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