Syed Babar Ali

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Syed Babar Ali (Urdu: سید بابر علی‎), born in 1927, is a Pakistani businessman, philanthropist and former Finance Minister of Pakistan.[1] As an entrepreneur and industrialist, Syed Babar Ali envisioned and set up Packages Limited (Pakistan’s largest paper and board mill), Milkpak Limited–now Nestlé Pakistan Limited (the largest food processing company in Pakistan); Tetra Pak Pakistan Limited, IGI Insurance Company Limited, Tri-Pack Films Limited, and IGI Investment Bank. He is the Chairman of Sanofi-Aventis Pakistan Limited, Siemens Pakistan Engineering Company Limited, and Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Limited. He believes in the joint venture philosophy and most of his businesses are joint ventures with major multinationals.

As an educationist, Ali led the establishment of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in 1985 of which he is the first Pro-Chancellor. LUMS is Pakistan’s premier management education institution. In a recent interview for Harvard Business School's Creating Emerging Markets project, he describes his motivations for founding LUMS and highlights the school's outreach efforts to attract both women and individuals from lower social classes.[2] In 1992, he founded Ali Institute of Education for training of primary and secondary school teachers. He is a member of the Board of the following important educational institutions of Lahore: Aitchison College, Kinnaird College, and Lahore School of Economics. He is also a Founding Member of the South Asia Initiative of Harvard University and the Co-Chair of South Asia Centre for Policy Studies currently based in Nepal. He served as Pakistan’s Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs & Planning in 1993.

Ali promoted the cause of the World Wide Fund for Nature (earlier World Wildlife Fund) where he served in various capacities, both in Pakistan and internationally, from 1972 to 1996. He was International President of WWF from 1996 to 1999 succeeding Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. He is now Vice President Emeritus, WWF International, and President Emeritus WWF-Pakistan.

Syed Ali set up the Babar Ali Foundation in 1985.[citation needed] The Foundation gives about a million dollars a year primarily for education and health in Pakistan. He is also a member of Layton Rehmatullah Benevolent Trust Karachi and Shalamar Hospital Lahore.

Ali received honours and awards from the Government of Sweden, the Netherlands, an OBE from Britain (1997), and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Laws from McGill University, Montreal, Canada (1997).[3]


  1. ^ "Dr Syed Babar Ali" (PDF). 
  2. ^ "Interview with Syed Babar Ali". Creating Emerging Markets. Harvard Business School. 
  3. ^ "Dr Syed Babar Ali". 

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Political offices
Preceded by
Sartaj Aziz
Finance Minister of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Benazir Bhutto