Mr. Habib Esmail, founder of the Habib Group, started his career in Bombay at a very young age. In 1891, he started the firm Habib & Sons that traded in cotton, oil seeds, bullion and to act as a merchant bank. This firm eventually became the flagship and the parent company of Habib Bank Limited. Habib Bank Limited was established in 1941 in Bombay as a public limited company with a paid-up capital of Rs. 2.5 million. This Muslim owned bank of the Indian subcontinent shifted its head office to Karachi prior to the creation of Pakistan. Being the only Muslim bank, it became instrumental in meeting the financial and banking needs of Pakistan. Within a short span of time, a vast network of branches was established to facilitate trade, commerce and industrialization in the country.
The Bank continued to record tremendous growth and progress and emerged as the leading commercial bank in Pakistan, when it was nationalized, along with all other banks, in Pakistan.
After Habib Esmail passed away in 1931 aged 53, his sons Dawood and Mohammed Ali took over the management of the business.
After nearly 18 years of nationalization of banks in Pakistan, the Government of Pakistan decided in 1991 to allow the private sector to establish commercial banks in the country. It was under this policy that Habib Group was the first to be granted permission by the Government of Pakistan to setup a commercial bank. Bank AL Habib Ltd started full-fledged operations as a scheduled bank in January 1992. Bank AL Habib Ltd is now a well established name in Banking Industry with it's branches all over Pakistan. The Habib Group banking and finance services are spread over three continents through the operation of the following banks:
Bank AL Habib Limited - Pakistan
Habib Overseas Bank Limited - South Africa
Habib African Bank Limited - Tanzania
Habib Insurance Company Limited was established in 1942 in Bombay, India with a paid-up capital of Rs.2.5 million. After independence, Habib Insurance Company moved to Pakistan and became a prominent name in the insurance industry. In 1972, the Government of Pakistan nationalized the life insurance business of Habib insurance. Today, by the Grace of Almighty Allah, Habib insurance is among the top 10 general insurance companies in Pakistan.
Habib Sugar Mills Limited was incorporated as a Public Limited Company in 1962 with its Head Office at Karachi. The plant is located at Nawabshah, 300 kilo-meters north east of Karachi. The company is engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of refind sugar, molasses, ethanol, liquid carbon dioxide(CO2),household textiles and providing bulk storage facilities.