Malini Saba talks about balancing her roles of being a businesswoman and philanthropist, her passion for writing and love for cooking.
A self-made businesswoman and an ardent philanthropist, Malini Saba is truly a multitasker.
She started Saba Industries in the 90’s when the industry was dominated by men. “It was a man’s world when I began my career and I would never have been given the opportunity to lead a company. Thus, I put my savings together and started it. It evolved over time and now we have over 2,000 employees in eight countries. This journey has not been easy and through it all we have had failures and down turns. But it has been a great journey,” shares Saba, who comes from a middle-class family and whose father was ailing when she was in high school. Holding herself strong, she studied Psychology and did her PhD in the field. “It was not an easy road but it made me stronger and made me understand the value of education and money.”
In 2002, she launched The Saba Family Foundation to serve as the umbrella organisation for all her philanthropic works. The foundation’s three areas of focus are healthcare, education and human rights. Saba believes that with money and power comes responsibility. “It is not there for us to abuse. I strongly feel that when God entrusts us with large amounts of money, through our hard work we must give back and make a difference to this world. I chose to do that. I want to be able to make a difference and improve the lives and public policy for women and children. Women’s issues have always been in the forefront for me. Despite modernisation of societies, we still hold women to a different standard —their voices and cries are not heard and not taken seriously. This has to change.”
Saba has also penned The Abbreviated Cook — a book of quick and easy recipes. “Writing is a passion for me and cooking is therapeutic. I enjoy feeding my family and I believe we pass love through our food,” shares Saba, who is currently in the middle of writing another book.
After a long day of work, she comes home to her husband, child, cats and dogs. “They are the most important part in my life. When I am not traveling, I make it a point to drop and pick up my child from school, do the grocery shopping for dinner that night and come home and make dinner with a glass of good wine. That is my normal routine. I make sure I always read to my daughter every night and talk to her about life, universe and why we are all here. This I do without fail even when I am traveling, Facetime is awesome for that. I want to give her an understanding of the world and life. I believe it’s important for parents to talk to their kids. It’s not about the amount of time you spend with them. When you do spend time with them, you have to give them 100 per cent of your time —meaning no phone, no computer, no one else talking to you. Just you and the child. That quality time is priceless.”