He formerly owned Kyiv Post but sold it for £4.1 million
There are thousands of thriving businesses within the UK. But some of the most lucrative companies are headed by accomplished Pakistani billionaires.
Most of these individuals migrated from Pakistan and have put in countless hours of work to build a brand from scratch.
What’s special about these entrepreneurs is that they embody a relentless work ethic.
They have gathered skills over a period of time and this has helped them to have longevity in their specific business sector.
Whether it’s clothing, philanthropy, or retail, these Pakistani billionaires all have inspiring stories.
So, we count down the five richest businessmen who continue to succeed, regardless of their giant wealth.
The most popular and successful Pakistani billionaire is Anwar Pervez with a net worth of £3.1 billion.
Born in Rawalpindi, Pervez moved to the UK when he was 21 years old. He became a bus conductor in Bradford, working seven days a week and earning up to £18.
This eventually led to Pervez opening up his first convenience store, Kashmir, for the Muslim community in London.
By the 70s, he renamed the store to Bestway and opened up a further nine convenience stores around West London serving specialised Asian food like spices, lentils and meat.
In 1976, the entrepreneur founded Bestway’s first wholesale warehouse.
The company quickly grew and by 1987, Bestway had seven warehouses across London and opened up another one in Bristol – the first outside the capital city.
In turn, Bestway became the Bestway Group overseeing pharmaceutical, real estate, and banking businesses.
The company achieved its first billion-pound turnover in 2002 and as of 2014, is the second-largest independent wholesaler in the UK.
Pervez has been awarded many prizes for his efforts in business and has been especially recongised by Pakistan.
In 1999, Queen Elizabeth knighted Pervez and in 2000, he was awarded Hilal-i-Pakistan by the Pakistani Government for his services.
Zameer Choudrey is a businessman and is actually the chief executive of Bestway and Pervez’s nephew.
The 2020 Sunday Times Rich List has outlined that Choudrey has a net worth of £1.5 billion which makes him the second-richest Pakistani in the UK.
Bestway is one of the best-run family businesses. Having joined in 1984 as a financial controller, Choudrey was one of the main driving forces behind the company’s expansion.
Choudrey did this after acquiring numerous wholesale businesses like Bashin Cash & Carry, Crown Crest Limited, and Link Cash & Carry.
However, his business prowess didn’t stop there. Under his leadership, Choudrey helped Bestway obtain Co-op’s pharmacy business.
This was one of the biggest transactions in the its history, costing £620 million.
But, given that Co-op pharmacy is the UK’s third-largest independent pharmacy business and the largest in Wales, the reward was inevitable.
The exchange worked wonders as it was expected to increase the annual turnover to £3 billion and the workforce to 33,600 people.
Choudrey is also known for his philanthropy work and has donated thousands to charities like Great Ormond Street Hospital.
He has also been a part of Bestway’s initiative to help build Pakistan’s deprived communities, donating millions to health and education.
With a net worth of £1.1 billion, Mahmud Kamani is the co-founder and executive chairman of Boohoo.
Boohoo is a British online retailer that specialises in over 36,000 products. It’s quickly become one of the most popular fashion shops and as of 2020, has a revenue of £1.2 billion.
In 2017, the company reported its sales had increased by 51% to £300 million and as of 2021 is worth £3.5 billion.
Part of this figure is due to Boohoo’s cheap prices and deals which make their clothing affordable, especially against competition like ASOS.
Likewise, due to Boohoo’s success, they’ve managed to buy out brands like Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton who were in administration.
They also own 66% of the giant company, PrettyLittleThing, an online fashion brand aimed at 16-24-year-olds.
Due to Boohoo’s unrelenting nature in the market and ability to increase profits, Kamani has managed to accumulate a mass amount of wealth.
Kamani won ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2013 at the English Asian Business Awards and in 2015, he was acknowledged at the Legends of Industry Awards.
Although he is currently based in Ukraine, British Pakistani Mohammad Zahoor is the founder of ISTIL Group.
The business is a trading company, originally a producer and distributor of steel which Zahoor sold in 2009 between £700 million and £1 billion.
He formerly owned Kyiv Post but sold it for £4.1 million and is a co-founder of the Ukrainian Music Awards.
However, he became known as one of the thriving Pakistani billionaires after mobilising funds to aid and evacuate Ukrainian refugees to the UK during Russia’s invasion.
There were also reports of Zahoor buying two fighter jets for the Ukrainian military as he continued to meet with influential figures to help ensure the safety of Ukraine.
His close tie to the country stems from his PhD studies which he carried out at Donetsk National Technical University.
Due to Zahoor’s continuous business ventures and profitable companies, his net worth sits at around £1 billion.
As far as Punjabi billionaires go, Younus Sheikh is on his way to quickly joining this elite group with his £609 million wealth.
As Chairman of Bestway Wholesale, Younus is the third individual from this company to be featured on this list which shows just how lucrative the business is.
This is highlighted further after Younus was able to increase his capital from £189 million to £609 million in 2019 after a succession of deals with Bestway and other organisations.
With over 50 years of experience, the businessman is one of the most dedicated, innovative and focused individuals in the wholesale sector.
He’s previously held roles such as Trading Director and Managing Director before solidifying himself as a valued member of Bestway.
As well as Chairman, he is a trustee of Bestway Foundation UK and Bestway Foundation Pakistan.
In honour of his invaluable achievements, he was awarded the ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ by the Federation of Wholesale Distributors in 2015.
Therefore, there’s no doubt that Younus will quickly receive the title of “billionaire”.
These Pakistani billionaires show just how successful a business idea or concept can potentially be if one stays dedicated to the process.
Whilst Bestway is of course the outstanding company here, the other figureheads are certainly making strides in their specific areas.
Likewise, they serve as motivation to emerging entrepreneurs and businesspeople of the future.