Born in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1944, Saigol is a scion of a family of pioneering industrialists who migrated to Pakistan when the partition of India took place.
He was educated at St Mary's, a missionary-run boys ' school in Rawalpindi and subsequently at Government College, Lahore where he defiantly took up Fine Arts and acquitted himself with distinction. He read History at The Queen's College, Oxford and returned to marry and to manage a family-owned textile mill in Rawalpindi.
He unveiled his work for the first time in 1991 at a solo exhibition at Lahore Art Gallery, a most reluctant debutant, yet at age 47 a senior artist, and according to some critics, the best-kept secret of the art world.
His life, according to him, was " fragmented" until he suffered a heart attack at age 42, which had a profound impact on his life. Significantly, he perceives it as a re-birth, since the intimations of mortality helped him to break away from all those conditions and compromises which hindered his creative growth and impulses. He successfully combined the design and manufacture of fine jewels with his wife Rehana and painting as much as he wants to.
Graduating from being a "Sunday painter" in his early life to a prolific art practice he paints with commitment and passion in his studio "from waking hours to sunset" every day. Never having had a formal education in art, this self-taught artist is obsessively trying to put all his creative urges on canvas, painfully aware of the time lost, in his younger days.
Shakil Saigol's work is represented in numerous art collections in Pakistan and abroad. He lives and works in Karachi.