Hashoo Group is a staple name in Pakistan’s hotel industry and has been operating in the country since 1960. Despite the fact that Hashoo Group has a diverse portfolio including hospitality, energy and property development among others, the company is known primarily today for owning globally popular brands such as Marriott Hotels.
People who grew up in the major cities of Pakistan during the early 1980s certainly hold a special place in their hearts for Marriot Hotels, because they were the only rendezvous spots where people could hang out and relax in a comfortable environment.
Nevertheless, not many people know the man behind the success of the chains of Marriot and Pearl Continental hotels, Sadruddin Hashwani. To my utter surprise, Mr. Hashwani is a down to earth and kind person. Born in 1940 in Pakistan before the partition, Mr. Hashwani’s story has become a source of inspiration for many people in Pakistan, including myself. The billionaire is a college dropout and all the struggles he faced during his early life in a way helped him achieve his goals. He was driven solely by a purpose to succeed. His ambitious nature has often put him at odds with those who don’t share his vision or doubt his abilities.
For instance, after Prime Minister Zulfikar Bhutto decided to nationalize the industries during 1970s, Mr. Hashwani started pouring his investment in those businesses that were not yet nationalized, such as minerals, textile and real estate. “People thought I was mad [at that time] but I knew what I was doing,” he said in his plush office in the twin Emirates Tower in Dubai. Many of us believe that the key to his success is his confidence on the decisions he made.
He faced many hurdles during his journey to become one of the richest businessmen in Pakistan, but his dedication and ambition cleared all the obstacles in his way. In his mid-twenties, he earned the title of Cotton King and in a short span of time became the largest exporter of rice, grains and cotton in Pakistan. All of these achievements have been made by a person who at 18 was working as a salesperson for steel products.
In case you’re wondering, this was just the beginning of his journey. From there, he moved onto creating hotels by buying land from the government to build what over the decades has become an empire in the country. Today, Mr. Hashwani is the 6th richest businessmen of Pakistan with a total net worth of $1.1 billion.
We believe that there are two main factors that contribute to Mr. Hashwani’s success:
- a) His ability to foresee a good business opportunity when no one else in business ecosystem sees it;
- b) His determination to face any sort of adversity.
As mentioned above, Mr. Hashwani is a down to earth person and gives all the credit of his success to faith. “I get my strength from God,” he said.
Undoubtedly, many of us still remember the catastrophic event that occurred in 2008 when a group of terrorist attacked Marriot Hotel in Islamabad and destroyed the whole building. In 2009, a similar attack occurred on Pearl Continental (PC) Hotel in Peshawar followed by an attack on his home in Islamabad. After his home was attacked, he had no choice but to leave the country with his family, but even this didn’t stop him from pursuing his goals.
“I promised to rebuild the Marriott in 90 days and I did it,” he said with a great deal of pride, albeit traces of pain and hurt were visible on him.
Mr. Hashwani’s success story is considered a source of inspiration for many entrepreneurs and youth of our country. The main takeaway here is, by investing in our own success and our future, we can achieve any goal that we set in our mind.