Rags To Riches – Lakshmi Niwas Mittal

Mittal

Lakshmi Niwas Mittal was born on June 15, 1950 in Sadalpur town in Rajasthan to a traditional Marwari business family. He is the chairman and CEO of Arcelor Mittal, the world’s largest steelmaking company. Called the Steel Baron of India or sometimes Carnegie of Calcutta, he is an Indian born who is settled in United Kingdom. In 2017 Mittal has been ranked as world’s 56th richest man and 2nd richest Indian.

Early Life

Lakshmi Mittal studied at Shri Daulatram Nopany Vidyalaya, Kolkata from 1957 to 1964 and later graduated from the St. Xavier’s College, University of Calcutta with a degree in accounting and business. In his college days he used to help his family in running a small steel business, Nippon Denro Ispat. In 1976, realizing the limiting policies and potential in India, the 26-year-old Mittal moved to Indonesia and opened his first steel factory Ispat Indo there.

Career

Right from the beginning of his business, Lakshmi Mittal had a vision to be a global player. The highlight of his success remained his ability to buy the loss making companies and then turn them around into profitable ventures. He started acquiring companies in Canada and Germany, but his biggest breakthrough and very strategic investment came when he acquired Karmet Steel Works in Kazakhstan, part of former Soviet republic at that time sharing its border with China which witnessed a huge surge of steel demand in those days.

In 2004 he formed Mittal Steel through the merger of Ispat International and LNM holdings. In 2006 he took over European Steel giant Arcelor at a cost of approximately $33 billion and merged it with Mittal Steel and formed Arcelor Mittal. It is only company in world to cross 100 million tons of steel production. His steel empire employs more than 3,00,000 employees and is present in 60 countries worldwide. But due to falling prices and reduced demand, company’s operating income and profits had been falling consistently. Only in February 2017 company announced its first annual profits in five years.

Personal Life

Lakshmi Mittal is an Indian citizen based at London, United kingdom. He is married to Usha Mittal and is blessed with two children, son Aditya and daughter Vanisha. Mittal is known for his lavish lifestyle and his buying palatial houses and daughter’s marriage remained some of the most talked about events in their time.

In 1996 he received the ‘Steel Maker of the Year’ award from New Steel. In 2005, Forbes ranked Mittal as the third richest person in the world. In 2006 The Sunday Times  named him “Business Person of 2006”, the Financial Times named him “Person of the Year”, and Time magazine named him “International News maker of the Year 2006”. In 2007, he was considered to be the richest Asian person in Europe. Indian government awarded him with Padma Vibhushan in 2007. He received ‘Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award’ in 2008 from Forbes magazine. In 2017, Forbes ranked him as the 56th richest person in the world with a net worth of US$16.4 billion. He is also the “57th-most powerful person” of the 72 individuals named in Forbes’ “Most Powerful People” list for 2015.

Related article: Rags To Riches – Phil Knight

 

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