Born in Sri Lanka, Saba moved to the U.S. at only 19 years old to pursue her education. With only two hundred dollars in her pocket, her and her husband spent four years in a tiny apartment next to the railroad tracks and refused to give up their dreams.
Malini always had an interest in business and finances, and used advice and information from investment bankers and other finance professionals to start saving and investing at a young age. With smart picks in stocks and real estate, Saba slowly but surely built her own empire. In the 90’s she played investment game well, focusing on tech start-ups in Silicon Valley, such as Paypal and Sycamore Networks.
Some of her business ideas may not always seem to be the most logical, however. Malini Saba has said that, rather than go with current market trends, she prefers to look 3-5 years ahead, and invest in where the world will be then. This has proven to be a sound tactic for Malini, and has provided great opportunities for her.
Saba eventually used her prowess to found Saban, a multinational investment firm that has or retains interest in energy, real estate, and technologies. Personal gain didn’t seem to be enough for Malini, however; in 2001, she founded “Stree: Global Investments in Women”, providing healthcare and legal empowerment for women that may not have access to these services otherwise. The charitable organization has been supported by U.S. President Clinton, and Jordan’s Queen Noor.
Malini’s philanthropic ventures aren’t limited to Stree, either. Sri Lanka and India were ravaged by tsunamis in 2004, and Saba was quick to pledge ten million dollars to the affected areas when they most needed it.
Even as wealthy as she is, Malini has said that she doesn’t ‘believe in nannies’. A part of her daily schedule is taking her daughter to school at seven each morning, and picking her up at three each afternoon. Saba says “we walk to school together so we can talk”.
As one of the world’s leading Asian investors, a strong and savvy businesswoman, and well known philanthropist, it’s easy to see why Saba’s life has influenced so many women to strive forward with their own dreams.