Sabiha Rumani Malik, BSc, MASabiha Rumani Malik, BSc, MA is founder and president of Sanghata Global, a nonprofit company incorporated in the United Kingdom and registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. She is also the founder of Sanghata Institute for Social Entrepreneurship and Investment, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit company based in the United States.
Sabiha grew up with the conviction that poor communities contain some of the greatest solutions to poverty. Determined to find a way of enabling poor people to create prosperity for themselves, she founded Sanghata in 2009. In the same year she approached Dr. Yuwei Shi, the Dean of Monterey Institute for International Studies with the radically innovative idea that business professionals engage with and provide management skills to small entrepreneurs in poor communities. She knew there was no such poverty-reduction model in the world. Dr. Shi reacted with enthusiasm and Sabiha’s visionary concept inspired the “Frontier Market Scouts Program”. The program was jointly founded, developed, and launched by Sanghata and the Monterey Institute of International Studies, joined later by Village Capital. Sabiha personally funded the program with proceeds from an Indian sculpture she sold at Bonhams, the fine arts auctioneers in London.
Sanghata’s Frontier Market Scouts program offers an intensive two-week training in impact investing and social enterprise development, and sends participants on six-month placements to facilitate the development of high-impact, high-potential business ventures. To achieve their goal the “Scouts” seek out enterprising people, help shape business ideas, and generate potential opportunities for social and commercial investors. Sanghata Global is already working in 21 countries, has 45 in-country program partners, is actively expanding its global network, and welcomes like-minded individuals and organizations that work together to accelerate prosperity for all.
Previously, whilst designing jewelry collections for De Beers-LVMH, Sabiha founded Diamonds for Humanity. The initiative was supported in 2005 by Ibrahim Gambari, the United Nations Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs, Olara Otunnu, the advocate at the United Nations for Children’s Rights, the International League for Human Rights, the Africa-America Institute, Survival International, and many prominent NGOs.
Between 1991 and 1995, Sabiha was a director of the London architecture firm, Foster and Partners. Her design work includes the award-winning design concept for the reconstruction of the Reichstag, in Berlin; at a strategic level her interventions contributed to the advancement of Foster and Partners to the dominant global position it now occupies.
Sabiha began architecture and art studies at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris but unable to continue for financial reasons, switched to art and design at Punjab University. Later, in England, she completed a degree in clinical psychology, and an MA in transpersonal psychotherapy — an approach that brings the world’s great spiritual traditions together with the key ideas of modern psychology.
Sabiha continues a family tradition of creative activism. She was born in Pakistan to a family related to Abul Kalam Azad, a journalist, poet, and scholar who was elected president of the All India Khilafat movement that took the lead in resisting British rule and drew millions of people to the streets in peaceful protests. He followed Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals of nonviolence, worked for religious harmony, supported a united Indian identity, served as President of the Indian National Congress, and after Indian independence became India’s first Minister of Education. Sabiha’s father was one of a small group of young scholars working in the late 1940s with the future founder of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah to secure the foundations of a secular state upheld by an elected parliament, qualified executive, independent judiciary, and a free press. This was not to be as Mohammad Ali Jinnah died in 1948, soon after the creation of Pakistan.
As a young girl Sabiha was a protégé of the celebrated Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s wife — the writer and social activist Alys Faiz — and her poems were published in The Pakistan Times. She continues to write poetry.
Read her LinkedIn profile.