Malini Saba embodies the concept of using business to serve humanity. She is a self-made businesswoman as well as an ardent philanthropist, who has helped millions of underserved women and children in South and Southeast Asia, South America, Africa and the U.S. gain access to life-saving medical and educational services and achieve economic stability.
Ms. Saba was born in Southeast Asia to a family of modest means, which instilled in her a very strong work ethic that helped her to succeed in business. Ms. Saba’s parents also emphasized compassion for those less fortunate, and as a child, she would bring clothes and books to shelters and spend time with the people who lived there.
In 2002, Ms. Saba launched Saba Family Foundations to serve as the umbrella organization for all of her philanthropic works. The foundation’s three areas of focus are healthcare, education and human rights. The foundation has undertaken numerous projects, including: partnering with Stanford Medical Center to train physicians from developing countries; distributing preventative health information on HIV/AIDS, immunizations, gastric and reproductive health; providing vocational education for women in Togo, West Africa; and supporting human rights issues around the world.
In 2017, Ms. Saba founded UpCara, a nonprofit within Saba Family Foundations that provides access to preventative healthcare and human rights for at-risk women throughout their lives, with a special focus on older women’s health issues. In Sanskrit, “UpCara” means access and serve.
Funding for Ms. Saba’s philanthropic works comes from Saba Industries, a group of commodities companies that she founded in Asia. The commodities are rice, iron ore mining and gold. Saba Industries exports 500,000 tons of rice worldwide. The company’s iron ore is used to make steel and its gold is used for jewelry and technology products. In 2017, Saba Industries had revenues of more than $500 million and employs 2,000 local workers. The company also follows environmental guidelines for rice farming and mining.
“My goal is to help one billion people around the world gain access to basic healthcare, provide education and opportunities that allow people to break the cycle of poverty, and educate people on human right issues,” Ms. Saba says. “These basic life necessities that many of us take for granted will empower underserved people to greatly improve their lives and their children’s lives.”
In her free time, Ms. Saba wrote “The Abbreviated Cook,” a book of quick and easy recipes that offer a twist on traditional South and Southeast Asian dishes.