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Habib Group | Innovation is our Priority

History of the Family

Habib Esmail

      Habib Esmail 

Ever since the early 18th century, Bombay was India’s largest trading city and one of the largest ports of the eastern world. From there, cotton,spices, silk and raw materials of Indian subcontinent went out to the world. Naturally, it attracted energetic, hardworking persons having entrepreneurial skills.Here in 1841, a trading company by the name of Khoja Mithabhai Nathoo was established. It was a family business trading in metals and other commodities which had clients both in India and abroad. In 1891, a teenage boy joined the family business by the name of Habib Esmail who was to transform the company.

The young Habib wasso successful that by the age of 18, he not only became a partner in the business but was also the President of  the Metals Market. His commercial skills, personal reputation and ever growing contacts moulded the company into a major trading firm.The business prospered and the family and the firm rapidly acquired a reputation for its fair dealing, honesty and trustworthiness. Upcountrytraders returning home, began to deposit their surplus cash with the company for safe keeping. From here to merchant banking was a natural progression as the company began to provide trading finance to its customers.

      Dawood Habib

He started the firm Habib & Sons in 1921 and changed the family name to Habib when his four sons namely Ahmed Habib, Dawood Habib, Mohammed Ali Habib and Ghulam Ali Habib joined the business.

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Branch of Habib Bank in Bombay


The firm expanded rapidly – banking remaining a core business. This in turn led to the formation in 1941 of Habib Bank Ltd. Bombay, as a public limited company. The bank was to become the flagship of the family’s industrial and commercial ventures. Prior to the creation of Pakistan the bank moved its head office to Karachi and played a vital role in providing the basic banking and financial needs of this new country.

The original Habib Bank began modestly in Bombay in 1941 when it commenced operations with a fixed capital of 25,000 rupees. Impressed by its initial performance, Mohammed Ali Jinnah asked the Habib Bank to move its operations to Karachi after the independence of Pakistan. Habib Bank Limited established itself in the Karachi in 1943 and became a symbol of pride and progress for the people of Pakistan. The Habib family would own and manage the bank until the Pakistan government nationalized it on 1 January 1974.

Under the privatization policy of Government of Pakistan, the Dawood Habib Group was granted permission to set up a commercial bank. Bank AL Habib was incorporated as a Public Limited Company in October 1991 and started banking operations in 1992

By the Grace of God, today the group banking network spreads all across Pakistan, Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Industry and Trade

Recognizing the demand for natural commodities, the group set up sugar and textile mills in the 1960s. During the years, the sugar division expanded into allied manufacturing setting up a distillery plant to produce Industrial Alcohol which further led to the conversion into Ethanol Fuel. CO2 was another division created to manage our resources efficiently and today by God’s Grace, we are a major supplier to beverage and food processing companies.

Today, the Dawood Habib group is involved in the manufacturing of  Sugar, CO2, Ethanol, Textiles and auto motives.