Absorbing wisdom from his family base
PROFILE: Serial entrepreneur Hamza Farooqui
The man who has his sights on ownership of a commercial bank, along with a friend of the Guptas, wants to give black entrepreneurs a bank that talks their language
Hamza Farooqui is a family man, with “strong subcontinental roots”. He is also a businessman and part of a bid to buy Habib Overseas Bank with Gupta-family associate, Salim Essa. He lives “under one roof” with his entire family — including parents, siblings and their respective families. “Being close [to my parents] has kept my feet on the ground. That’s how you learn a lot of wisdom,” says Farooqui, who is married with two young sons. Farooqui was born in Swaziland, but both his parents are from the Indian subcontinent. His father, born in East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh), lived in Pakistan before moving to Swaziland. When the family moved to SA after 1994, Farooqui attended Crawford College, Johannesburg, later graduating from Wits with a BCom. A serial entrepreneur who started his first business, a cricket-scoring platform, at age 12, Farooqui’s business interests span retail, property, media and financial services, and are housed in Cii Holdings. Among the group’s business...