Syed Babar Ali

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Syed Babar Ali

4th President of World Wide Fund for Nature
In office
Preceded byPrince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Succeeded byRuud Lubbers
Federal Minister for Finance (caretaker)
In office
23 July 1993 – 19 October 1993
PresidentWasim Sajjad
Prime MinisterBenazir Bhutto
Preceded bySartaj Aziz
Succeeded byBenazir Bhutto
Personal details
Born (1926-06-15) 15 June 1926 (age 94)
Lahore, British Raj
RelationsSyed Wajid Ali (brother)[1]
Syed Amjad Ali (brother)[1]

Syed Babar Ali, Order of British Empire (Urdu: سید بابر علی‎; born 15 June 1926)[2][3] is a Pakistani businessman, philanthropist and former caretaker Finance Minister of Pakistan.[2]

He is the founder of Packages Limited, Milkpak Limited–now Nestlé Pakistan and Lahore University of Management Sciences.[4][2][5][6] Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering is named after him.

Early Life and family[edit]

Syed Babar Ali was born in 1926 to businessman Syed Maratib Ali in Lahore, Pakistan. His father owned shops in the Walled City of Lahore and was a top contractor of the British Indian Army supplying them with services like logistics and all sorts of items used in regiments. The money was used to invest in land.[2][6] His mother belonged to the prominent landlord family of Lahore.[2] On his maternal side, his grandmother was the member of the Afghan royal family. He was the brother of Syed Amjad Ali and Syed Wajid Ali.[2]

He received his education from Aitchison College, Lahore.[2][7] For further studies he went to the University of Michigan till 1947, when he moved to newly-created state of Pakistan.[5] He completed his graduation from University of the Punjab, Lahore.[5][2] He also briefly studied at Harvard School of Business which helped him later founding business school.[6]


In 1970s, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's nationalization affected his five out of six companies, leaving only Packages Limited.[7][6] He served as the Chairman of National Fertilizer Company (NFC) helping to set up the country's first ever fertilizer company.[8]

Syed Babar Ali 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.[2]

In 1992, he founded 'Ali Institute of Education' for training of primary and secondary school teachers. He served as the Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs & Planning in the caretaker setup in 1993.[9]

Ali promoted the cause of the World Wide Fund for Nature where he served in various positions, both in Pakistan and internationally, from 1972 to 1996. He was the International President of WWF from 1996 to 1999 succeeding Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.[2][4]


Syed Babar Ali received honours and awards from the Government of Sweden, the Government of Netherlands, an Order of the British Empire from Britain (1997), and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Laws from McGill University, Montreal, Canada (1997).[10]


  1. ^ a b Saxon, Wolfgang (17 March 1997). "Syed Amjad Ali, 89, of Pakistan, Envoy to Washington and U.N." The New York Times. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Agha Akbar (13 May 2018). "What makes Syed Babar Ali tick: The life story of a man of substance". Pakistan Today (newspaper). Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  3. ^ Reza, S. Mohammad (7 September 1990). "Persons who Shape Our Destiny: A Compendium of Bio-datas of Those Persons who are Rendering Important Services in Various Fields of National Activity". Dar Publications – via Google Books.
  4. ^ a b Past Presidents of World Wide Fund for Nature (scroll down to read Syed Babar Ali profile) World Wide Fund for Nature website, Retrieved 31 July 2020
  5. ^ a b c "One Pakistani Institution Places His Faith in Another". The New York Times. 19 December 2009. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d Raza, Ahsan (22 February 2016). "A man who loves to 'learn from others'". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  7. ^ a b Ammar Sheikh (21 February 2016). "Peace the only way forward – Industrialist Syed Babar Ali shares his success story". The Express Tribune (newspaper). Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  8. ^ Hayat, Usman (25 December 2017). "Why Pakistanis do not love finance ministers". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  9. ^ "Syed Babar Ali receives award from Prince Philip". Daily Times (newspaper). 2 June 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  10. ^ "Syed Babar Ali profile".

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Sartaj Aziz
Finance Minister of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Benazir Bhutto She never held post of Finance Minister