Meet Mr Pakistan
Mian Mansha owns one of the best banks in Asia but his ambitions reach much further. His empire incorporates insurance, cement, textiles, infrastructure and power generation. In his first-ever interview with the foreign media, he tells Elliot Wilson of his plans to list his holding company on the London Stock Exchange within the next two years, and expand across Asia into the Middle East, emerging Europe and beyond.
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. The chairman of Pakistan’s largest company, Nishat Group, Mansha is also Pakistan’s richest man, with a personal fortune of about $5 billion.
But that’s not enough for the native of Chiniot, an ancient Pakistan city famous for churning out many of the subcontinent’s richest and most ambitious traders and entrepreneurs. Mansha, who took over the family group aged 22 after the death of his father, and who has never before been interviewed by the international media, has grand plans for his sprawling group, which boasts 30 company divisions stretched across sectors as diverse as tourism, cement, insurance and textiles. He’s engaged in rolling most of his assets into a single holding company, with a view to raising billions of dollars by listing them on the London Stock Exchange.
Mansha plans to sink billions more dollars, raised on the international debt and equity markets, into much-needed infrastructure and power plants at home – assuming that is, given recent market turbulence, that the international markets are still sufficiently healthy to help out in a year’s time.