Mian Muhammad Mansha – a name signifying continuous struggle, hard work and a faith so very firm in his Allah that nothing on the face of this earth ever stopped him from attaining the goodies that life had in store for him and he did attain the giddy heights of glory, for sure.
“I have had many lucky breaks. Lady Luck has always been on my side. New projects just crop up before I stop doing the old ones” (Main Muhammad Mansha)
Mian Muhammad Mansha is a prominent Pakistani industrialist and entrepreneur who is officially the Number 1richest man in the country. According to Forbes listings in 2010, he was the 937th richest person in the world. He is the chairman and CEO of the Nishat Group which holds diverse and major business interests in textiles, banking, insurance, cement, power, and aviation. Government conferred him with most prestigious award “Sitara-e-Imtiaz” in 2004..He is the only Pakistani ever selected for a special Lunch with the UK Financial Times. In an increasingly banal, public relations-heavy world, where chief executives stick rigidly to a message-led mantra, Mian Mohammad Mansha is a throwback to a more open corporate era. Today, there are more than 45 organizations in which he is currently having leadership role and these include some of largest business entities in Pakistan like MCB Bank Limited, DG Khan Cement, Adamjee Insurance and Nishat Mills & Powers Limited.
The Mansha family had migrated to Bengal from Punjab in the 1930s but, following partition, abandoned Calcutta and returned to the Punjab, where Mansha’s father established a cotton ginning business, the core of what would later become the Nishat textile empire. Mian Muhammad Mansha was born on 1st Dec 1947, in Lahore to a wealthy Chinioti family, his privileged upbringing allowed him to enjoy an early business education in University of Punjab. His childhood was spent in Faisalabad from where he also started his career as one of the most prominent industrialist of Pakistan. Mansha took over the family group aged 22 after the death of his father, He formally joined the family business after completing his studies in London.
A father of three sons, Mian Muhammad Mansha stands out the richest man of Pakistan with a fortune worth $ 2.5 billion. He is also the biggest single exporter in Pakistan. He hails from Chiniot, Punjab. ‘Chiniotis’ are one of the leading industrialists of Pakistan.
Mian Mohammad Mansha is the Chairman of “Nishat Group” – the biggest industrial and financial conglomerate of Pakistan. This group was founded in 1948 by Mansha’s father Mian Mohammad and his three brothers. Mansha’s father Mian Mohammad Yahya and his three brothers incorporated a partnership concern, it was called Nishat Corporation after Nishat Haroon, the three year old grandson of Mian Mohammad Yaqub, eldest of the four brothers. The child who gave his name to the group has disappeared in thin air and Mian Mohammad Mansha, Chairman Nishat Group is today on top of Pakistan’s corporate world, boastfully accustomed to buying his casual outfit from Harbe Frog on Bond Street, shoes inevitably from Gucci, cardigans and overcoats from Burberrys’. Mansha is married to Yousaf Saigol’s daughter, Naz Saigol.
Mian Muhammad Mansha is the first Pakistani to make in the Forbes list of world richest people with a net worth of $1 billion in assets and 937th richest person in the world.
Mian Muhammad Mansha Yaha is the captain of this splendid ship having around 45 companies on board. Mansha, who owns the Muslim Commercial Bank as well, is now setting up a billion rupee ($ 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.
Mian Muhammad Mansha has heavily invested in textile, cement, Power, aviation, food, tourism, leasing, insurance, management and banking sector and is on his way to acquire banks in Malaysia and the Middle East. Mian Muhammad Mansha had a privileged background and did not start from the scratch, but with his hard work and mental abilities, he did not let any opportunity go waste. His group is considered the biggest employers in the country after the government. He was awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz civil award in 2004.
Mansha’s wife works in the family business. She oversees Nishat Linens, which supplies bedding to some of the biggest hotel chains in the world and is slowly becoming a flagship brand for the group, with retail outlets both at home and in the Gulf. (A daughter-in-law has responsibility for the group’s St James’s Hotel in London.) His three sons, who are qualified from American universities, are members of the company’s board and are effectively taking place in the coming years.
From 2007 to 2014, Mian Mansha paid nearly Rs. 22 million in income tax. As against this, in the year ending June 30, 2014 his immediate family, i.e. self, spouse and children paid Rs. 324.7 million in personal income tax. Interestingly, this is 55% more than the income tax paid in 2014 by all senators and MNAs put together, who paid a total of Rs. 208.34 million as per the FBR’s “Parliamentarians Tax Directory”.
Mian Muhammad Mansha has his home, an estate outside Lahore he created some years ago by purchasing almost 250 acres from 50 smallholders. There, he and his wife, Naz, have created a lush paradise, with a small lake stocked with fish, and young guava, lychee, peach and pear trees dotting the man-made hills. A yellow sandstone mansion with the dimensions of a boutique resort sits like a fort on the highest hill, its red-tiled roof visible from the road.
Mian Muhammad Mansha is one of Pakistan’s leading industrialists and entrepreneurs, and is the architect behind the success of Nishat Group – a success story not just in Pakistan but recognized globally. Nishat Group had several industrial units in East Pakistan, which they lost in 1970. This group now owns ‘Muslim Commercial Bank’, five cement factories and numerous other industries. Nishat group currently comprises of 21 companies including 13 listed companies with manufacturing assets of nearly 27 billion. Today he stands at #1 position. In a recent interview, he has disclosed his current net worth at $4-5 billion. The country’s most profitable bank – MCB Ltd is just a few of the success stories in a wide portfolio.
Mian Muhammad Mansha has served as Chairman of MCB since its privatization in 1991. In that time, the bank has shown exponential growth, both in terms of network and financial ranking. His leadership qualities and incessant drive for success has converted MCB into one of the country’s most profitable banks. It is now ranked as the largest bank in terms of market capitalization and is also the first Pakistani bank to be listed on the London Stock Exchange. MCB received the prestigious Euromoney Award for Excellence seven times and was adjudged “The Best Bank in Pakistan” by Asia Money.
MCB in 2008 started a partnership with Maybank of Malaysia. Maybank now has a 20% share in MCB. With $700 million in cash from MCB and another $300 million raised from international markets, Mansha has aspirations of acquiring an established bank in Indonesia and possibly even in the Middle East. MCB Bank already has international operations, and the Mansha group also owns an automobile leasing company in Kazakhstan. Further plans include major infrastructure projects in Pakistan, such as the construction of power plants and sea ports.
Mian Muhammad Mansha is also a member of the Board of Shalamar Medical & Dental College and serves as the Director of the Punjab Board of Investment & Trade (PBIT) and the Engineering Management Foundation (FASAT). In addition, he is a Board Member of the Commonwealth Business Council and Atlantic Council and also member of the International Advisory Board at Babson College, Boston, USA.
Mansha’s future plans include starting banking operations in Europe and the Middle East; acquiring the Bank of Kenya; setting up a separate Islamic bank in Pakistan; listing ADRs (American depository receipts) for MCB Bank in New York; establishing Nishat Linen’s retail business outside Pakistan, and adding new textile capacities from spinning to garmenting and home textiles. Besides, he is also planning to set up a cement plant at Hub.
However, his more important projects are in power generation. He is ready to put up a 6,000 mega watt coal-based generation capacity plant at Gadani if and when the government starts work on infrastructure development and announces the tariff. He also has a hydropower project to put up, but is not sure if he wants to do it.
Mohammad Mansha is the face of Corporate Pakistan. When he speaks, everyone listens. Politicians and policymakers seek his advice; foreigners consult him on their decisions to invest in Pakistan and readily give him their money, and fellow Pakistani businessmen take cue from his investment choices as they try to emulate him.
But Mansha’s success didn’t come without a cost. He has been put on the Exit Control List (ECL) three times; his businesses have been subjected to government and court scrutiny, and he was forced to leave Pakistan to live in self-imposed exile in Boston for three years. 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!