A Truly Extraordinary Person: Malini Saba

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go from having nothing to becoming one of the most successful business people in the world? Malini Saba is a living example of that very story line. She went from having almost nothing to being the Chairwoman of Saban, a large, multinational investment firm. She also used her profits from business to fund charities and organizations that give back to her global community. When to comes to “rags-to-riches” stories, Malini Saba’s beats them all.


Malini came to the United States from Sri Lanka when she was 19 years old. With only $200 to her name, she had to attend free classes where her husband was currently attending school. While sitting in on a business class, she became extremely interested in investing. She pursued this career and tried to join several different venture capital firms, being turned down by all of them for not being the right candidate or not having the capital requirements to be an associate. She did not let this get her down, however. She created her own company, Saban.


Saban is now a large, multinational investment firm that has investments in various industries and commodities all over the world. Malini has always been interested in breaking the rules of investing and going after the more risky propositions. She was ridiculed in her early investing days for being reckless and childish with her money. She soon showed her naysayers that she meant business, and grew Saban to the point of having so much excess capital that she used it to fuel her philanthropic endeavors. That is when she turned her life to charity while remaining the Chairwoman of Saban.


In 2001, Malini created Stree, a global nonprofit organization that aims to change how women see their roles in society. Malini is no stranger to a glass ceiling. Growing up in Asia, she saw firsthand how women are kept down, and how they do not fight to make something of themselves in the business world. Stree aims to give women empowerment and provide a way for grassroots movements to take hold. The organization also gives women all over Asia, the Middle East, and Africa the means to start their own business ventures and create their own success stories.


Malini’s giving does not end there. Besides Stree giving all kinds of money to other organizations and causes, Malini herself has given millions of her own money to further the human cause. She truly is an extraordinary woman and an impressive businessperson.