5 Richest Self-Made Pakistani Tycoons

There is no easy way to get rich, the stories of these self-made Pakistani tycoons demonstrate the hardship involved.


Shahid Khan's net worth now stands at $12 billion.

There are many Pakistani tycoons but only a handful are self-made.

Through sheer determination and the hard work of these men, they have made a statement for themselves and a mark in several industries.

Some have had hard upbringings, early negative media exposure as well as financial troubles from the offset.

We uncover the stories of these great wealthy entrepreneurs, as well as unveil recent news that has come to light regarding their position and their ventures.

These men have dabbled in real estate, textile industries, hotels and more!

Shahid Khan

5 Richest Self-Made Pakistani Tycoons - shahid

Shahid Khan came from a simple life.

He went to the University of Illinois and got a job washing dishes for $1.20 an hour.

He had a clear vision to grow a billion-dollar industry when he experienced his first night in Champaign, Illinois.

He envisioned his name over the campus and the tennis facility.

Khan learned about convertibles and the stock market during his time at university.

He also ventured into sports which to his surprise was very different from what he knew growing up in Lahore.

He learned about football and basketball from his fraternity brothers.

In 1977, Khan was an engineering manager and hired David Kirkolis who had interesting ideas about cars and their components.

A partnership was soon born. Together they designed bumper parts and manufactured them in small plants.

Khan proceeded to buy Flex-N-Gate from his former employer in 1980. The company currently employs 12,450 people at 54 different facilities.

Khan’s fortune grew and he dispersed his money into a tennis centre, and the whole of the athletic department from the school he attended.

Moreover, he spent tens of millions of dollars on academic buildings.

The Pakistani tycoon has gone on to own the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and the Premier League’s Fulham FC.

From humble beginnings, Shahid Khan’s net worth now stands at $12 billion.

Malik Riaz

5 Richest Self-Made Pakistani Tycoons - malik

Malik Riaz’s father was a successful businessman but unfortunately fell into bankruptcy.

At 19 years old, Riaz helped out in the fields to provide for his family whilst his friends pursued higher education.

His adult life was far from luxurious as he faced a tough few years with his wife.

Furthermore, his daughter became unwell and the couple worked long and hard to acquire the money needed for medical expenses.

In his desperation, he took on whatever jobs he could muster. This included painting, selling kitchen appliances as well as paving roads.

However, Riaz has risen to become an entrepreneur, investor and billionaire.

The Pakistani tycoon started his career as a clerk with a construction company in Rawalpindi. 

In the 1980s Riaz became a contractor, and in 1995 progressed to develop a gated community for the Pakistan Navy.

He managed to secure a contract with the Pakistan Navy in the mid-1990s to develop two housing schemes in Rawalpindi.

Bahria Town, which Riaz founded and is a chairman of, is the largest privately held real estate development company in Asia.

Bahria Town has projects in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Murree and Karachi.

Despite a net worth of $1.5 billion, Riaz has been embroiled in several controversies, including alleged land grabbing and encroachment.

Mian Muhammad Mansha

5 Richest Self-Made Pakistani Tycoons - mansha

Mian Muhammad Mansha is often dubbed the ‘Mukesh Ambani of Pakistan’.

He began in the textile industry and rose to become Pakistan’s first billionaire.

One of his ventures was the Nishant Group, which is one of Pakistan’s largest and most successful business conglomerates.

The business oversees textile mills and is one of the nation’s biggest textile manufacturers.

Mansha has been labelled sharp, enterprising and charitable.

In 2005, he was the wealthiest Pakistani and his net worth currently stands at $2.5 billion.

Mansha has developed the Nishat Group to become Pakistan’s leading exporter of cotton garments.

He has contributed to several projects and charitable causes in Pakistan.

Mansha is also linked to MCB Bank, which is one of the largest commercial banks in Pakistan.

He is a significant shareholder in the bank and has worked alongside a board of directors in the bank.

The Nishat Group also has many projects. One example is in the automotive sector.

In Pakistan, Mansha has plans for assembling and manufacturing vehicles. He aims to include electric cars.

Another project is within the power generation sector to produce electricity from different sources such as coal, natural gas and hydropower.

He has also dabbled in real estate, automotive manufacturing and hospitality. Mansha has various hotels under his name.

Mansha recognises the issues and offers solutions which makes him an innovative businessman.

He previously said: “The general impression is that people in Pakistan don’t pay taxes.

“Pakistan’s problem is simple: the amount of leakage in government organisations is high.”

Asif Ali Zardari

Politician Asif Ali Zardari is currently the president of Pakistan.

Since the December 2007 assassination of his wife and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, he has been the de facto leader of the PPP.

Zardari is the son of a Sindhi landlord, businessman and politician.

He attended Saint Patrick’s School in Karachi and studied business in London.

Although he came from a wealthy family, Zardari also engaged in business activities and investments over the years, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s.

He was involved in various ventures, including agriculture, real estate and sugar mills.

According to The Economic Times, “the total worth of his assets has been stated to be Rs. 676.87 million out of which he has Rs. 316.70 million cash in hand.

“He owns over a dozen properties in Pakistan besides his share in the five properties that he inherited from his spouse Benazir Bhutto.”

However, his financial dealings have been the subject of controversy and legal scrutiny, with allegations of corruption and financial irregularities levelled against him.

During his political career, especially when he served as the husband of Benazir Bhutto, Zardari’s business dealings and wealth accumulation came under intense public and media scrutiny.

He faced accusations of corruption and embezzlement, though he has denied any wrongdoing and argued that the charges were politically motivated.

Sadruddin Hashwani

Sadruddin Hashwani’s ancestors migrated from Iran to Balochistan and he was born in Karachi in 1940.

Hashwani attended college in Pakistan and later pursued further studies abroad.

In 1958, he started a career as a transportation contractor, travelling around Balochistan on the back of a truck.

In 1965, he delved into cotton trading and established a trading company named ‘Hassan Ali and Company’ alongside his elder brother.

Hashwani previously said cotton giants used to mock his business.

Three years in, the business bloomed and became the number one exporter of cotton.

He soon established the Hashoo Group, which includes the iconic Pearl Continental Hotels chain, as well as ventures in real estate, oil and gas, and other industries.

The Pakistani tycoon previously said:

“I used to work 18 hours a day and 362 days a year, I have worked vigorously hard all my life.”

“I was extremely consistent in my routine, work never bored me.

“I have fought petty bureaucrats, and megalomaniacal presidents, suffered near-death experiences, and lived for six years in exile.”

In 2019, Pakistan’s president Arif Alvi awarded the Nishan-e-Imtiaz to Sadruddin Hashwani.

It is Pakistan’s highest civilian award and it recognises their achievements and outstanding services for the country.

Hashwani made history by becoming the first businessman to receive the award, which is a testament to his business acumen.

The landscape of Pakistani entrepreneurship and business acumen is exemplified by the remarkable success stories of its wealthiest self-made tycoons.

These individuals have not only demonstrated exceptional business acumen but have also contributed significantly to the country’s economy and societal development.

From the visionary leadership of Shahid Khan to the entrepreneurial prowess of Malik Riaz, these Pakistani tycoons have shown that determination and strategic vision are the keys to achieving extraordinary success in Pakistan’s business landscape.

Their journeys inspire aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders to dream big, work hard and create a lasting legacy.



Kamilah is an experienced actress, radio presenter and qualified in Drama & Musical Theatre. She loves debating and her passions include arts, music, food poetry and singing.




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