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Division in 22 Families

Post-Bhutto Stratergy to appear small

It is said that process of wear and tear through division and family split in the big industrial conglomerates usually takes three generations, but in Pakistan it was advanced by several decades because of Bhutto's nationalization. It was, therefore, bit of a truth when Nasim Saigol bemoaned that, but for Bhutto's nationalization Pakistan would have had its share of Birlas and Tatas and joined the ranks of Asian Tigers. The 22 families of Pakistan were like the bird whose wings were clipped before take off on the first flight. But it is a great tribute to some of them like falcons braving high winds, their scions have risen again to great heights.

Almost all the big business groups of the 1970s had started in 1947 as family joint ventures and almost each of them that survived seperation of East Pakistan and nationalization stands divided today, with the exception of Crescent group of Industries.

Saigol group was owned jointly by three of four sons of founder Amin Saigol, namely Yusuf, Bashir and Sayed Saigol while the fourth son Gul Saigol had stayed back in India in 1947. Saigol dynasty split in the 1976 among 16 male off-springs and is currently operating in four distinct groups namely Saigol group headed by Nasim Saigol, Mohib group of Rafiq Saigol, Kohinoor group of Tariq Sayed Saigol and a small Iqbal Saigol group.

Present-day Adamjee dynasty was founded by Sir Adamjee Haji Dawood and his three sons, Abdul Wahid Adamjee, Abdul Hamid Adamjee and G M Adamjee. In the wake of nationalization, the assets of group were divided among six inheritors which have been further sub-divided over the years.

Dawood group was split among Ahmad Dawood and his brothers Suleman Dawood and Sidiq Dawood operating in Dawood, Descen, and BBR group respectively. A relatively unknown Ghani group comprising the in-laws of Ahmad Dawood was also carved out of the main groups.

Bawany's assets were divided among seven sons of Ahmad Bawany and over the years its assets have come to be sub-divided. A splinter from Bawany is known as the Al-noor group.

Gul Ahmad was a joint venture of seven brothers and cousins who are now split in Gul Ahmad group headed by Haji Ali Mohammad Pakolawala and Al-Karam owning at least ten textile mills.

Crescent was a joint venture of four sons of Shams Din, namely Mohammad Amin, Mohammad Bashir, Mohammad Shafi, Fazal Karim and their two cousins. It is only group that has remained united through thick and thin during last 50 years.

The Colony group founded by Mohammad Ismaeel has been divided in three groups headed by Farooq A Shaikh, Naseer A Shaikh and Mughis A Shaikh.

K M Bashir, born n 1910 at Bellary India, had founded the business of Hyesons, after the name of his father Abdul Hayee Khan and was engaged in the import of steel and manufacture of iron and steel pipes for gas and motor supplies, electric lamps and several mining concessions. According to the list of defaulters released by Benazir Bhutto government, Hyesons was fifth biggest defaulter of RS one billion and has become almost extinct in Pakistan.

Valibhai of Bombay was the founder of the dynasty that came to be known as Valika. He had four sons, Fakhruddin Valibhai, Najjamuddin Valibhai, Saifuddin Valibhai and Nooruddin Valibhai. The group is operating two archaic textile mills in Karachi and its main fmaily members are known to have moved abroad.

Habib group was founded by Seth Ismaeel Habib who had died in1931 and the business passed to hands of his four sons, Mohammad Ali Habib, Ahmad Habib, Dawood Habib and Ghulam Ali Habib who shifted to Karachi when Pakistan into existence. After nationalization the members of Habib family also split and are now operating in to two distinct groups headed by Rafiq Habib and children of late Rashid D Habib but Habib Bank A G Zurich is a joint venture of all the Habibians.

Nishat was a joint venture of Mian Mohammad Yahya and his three brothers but after the divisions of assets in 1970 it is owned by Mian Mansha while the three other brothers and their off-springs seem to have disappered in thin air.

The House of Ittefaq of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was a joint venture of seven brothers. But 119 offspring of founding fathers and their spouses are battling in a court in Lahore for division of the assets. The members of House of Ittefaq are now operating in three distinct groups namely Ittefaq group, Sharif group and Habib Waqas group of Industries.

The Fecto best illusterates how the psyche of big business, particularly of Memons and Karachi-based business communities was affected by the nationalization and seperation of East Pakistan.

The Fecto group was founded by Ghulam Mohammad M Adamjee of Jetpur, Kathiawar, India, with the humble beginning as a foot wear merchant at Bombay. In 1951 he established Mohammadi Oil Mills at Chittgong and Eastern Textile, East Pakistan's first art silk mills. He alos signed an agreement with Japanese company for Pakistan's first project to asseble radio and transistors. By 1970 he was managing director Fecto Limited, Fecto-Yamagen Electronics, Dacca Radio Electronics, Fecto Agencies Limited, Fecto Industries Limited adn Chaudri Overseas Fishing Limited. Fecto was distributor of radio, television, electronic appliances, agricultural implements, fertilizers, pig iron, automobiles and their parts.

Fecto was working on a project to manufacture tractors and a nylon factory in 1971 when it shifted its head office from East Pakistan to Karachi and acquired Adamjee Sugar Mills. However, in West Pakistan, the group dropped the name Adamjee and Ghulam Mohammad M Adamjee is now known as Ghulam Mohammad M Fecto.

Nationalization stunted Pakistan's economic growth in many ways but it was destined, by fault rather than by design, to contribute to the meteoric rise of Chanioti business community in Pakistan, particularly in Punjab. Farooq A Shaikh of Colony talked in detail how nationalization opened new opportunities for Punjab-based groups particularly Chiniotis to venture into areas, previously forbidden for them because of the monoply of the Memons. (See rise of Chiniotis)

Privatization---Turning the clock Back

Table of Contents

Impact of Nationalization

Robber Barons of Pakistan