Syed Babar Ali

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Syed Babar Ali
4th President of World Wide Fund for Nature
In office
Preceded by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Succeeded by Ruud Lubbers
Federal Minister for Finance (caretaker)
In office
23 July 1993 – 19 October 1993
President Wasim Sajjad
Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
Preceded by Sartaj Aziz
Succeeded by Benazir Bhutto
Personal details
Born 1927
Nationality Pakistani

Syed Babar Ali, OBE (Urdu: سید بابر علی‎; born 1927) is a Pakistani businessman, philanthropist and former Finance Minister of Pakistan.[1]

He is the founder of Packages Limited, Milkpak Limited–now Nestlé Pakistan Limited and Lahore University of Management Sciences.[2][3]

Early Life[edit]

Syed Babar Ali was born in 1927 to middle-class family in Lahore, Pakistan. His father Syed Muratib Ali owned a small shop in the Walled City of Lahore. Later in his life, his father became 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.[3]

He received his education from Aitchison College, Lahore.[4] For further studies he went to the Michigan University at Ann Arbor till 1947 when he moved to newly-created state Pakistan.[2] He completed his graduation from University of the Punjab, Lahore.[2] He also briefly studied at Harvard School of Business which helped him later founding business school.[3]


In 1970s, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's nationalization effected his five out of six companies, leaving only Packages Limited.[4][3] He later served in Benazir Bhutto's government as finance minister[5] helping Bhutto’s government to set up the country’s first ever fertiliser company.[3]

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.

In 1992, he founded Ali Institute of Education for training of primary and secondary school teachers. He served as Pakistan’s Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs & Planning in 1993.[6]

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 International President of WWF from 1996 to 1999 succeeding Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

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.


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).[7]


External links[edit]

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