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Lakshmi Mittal: How a B. Com Graduate Became World’s Largest Steel Maker?

Lakshmi Mittal: How a B. Com Graduate Became World’s Largest Steel Maker?

Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, who now lives in the United Kingdom, is a steel mogul from India. He is the Executive Chairman of ArcelorMittal, the world’s second largest steelmaker, as well as the Chairman of Aperam, a stainless-steel manufacturer. Mittal was named third richest person in the world by Forbes in 2005 and world’s sixth richest person in 2011.

He is also the “57th-most powerful person” among the 72 people featured in Forbes’ 2015 “Most Powerful People” list. The wedding of his daughter Vanisha Mittal was the second-most expensive in recorded history.

Quick Facts:

  • Name: Lakshmi Niwas Mittal
  • Nationality: Indian
  • Net Worth: US$ 17.4 billion (December 2022)
  • Education: Com from St. Xavier’s College, University of Calcutta.
  • Occupation: Industrialist
  • Designations: Executive Chairman of ArcelorMittal
  • Date of Birth: June 15, 1950
  • Age:72
  • Place of Birth: Sadulpur, Rajasthan, India
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Spouse’s Name: Usha Mittal
  • Children: 2; Aditya Mittal, a son, Vanisha Mittal, a daughter
  • Hobbies: Watching & Playing Football and Cricket, Going to Grand Prix Events,

Early Life

Mittal was born on June 15, 1950 in Sadulpur, Rajasthan, to a Rajasthani Marwari family. From 1957 to 1964, he attended the Shri Daulatram Nopany Vidyalaya in Calcutta. He received a B.Com degree in the first class from St. Xavier’s College, associated with the University of Calcutta. Mohanlal Mittal, Lakshmi’s father, owned a steel company called Nippon Denro Ispat.

Career

Mohanlal Mittal, the father of Lakshmi, was the owner of Nippon Denro Ispat, a steel company. Because of the restrictions imposed on the manufacturing of steel by the Indian government, Mittal, who was 26 at the time, founded his first steel factory, PT Ispat Indo, in Sidoarjo, East Java, Indonesia, in 1976. The state-owned steelworks of Trinidad and Tobago, which were making a huge loss, were purchased by Mittal in 1989.

In a year, he turned them into successful businesses. The family’s primary assets in India up to the 1990s were an alloy steels facility close to Pune and a cold-rolling mill for sheet steels in Nagpur. His younger brothers Pramod Mittal and Vinod Mittal currently oversee the family firm, which includes a big integrated steel factory close to Mumbai, but Lakshmi has no involvement in it.

Mittal paid the Irish government a minimal fee of just one Irish pound in 1995 to buy the Irish Steel facility in Cork, Ireland. It was shut down in 2001, six years after it first opened, laying off about 400 people. Since then, the facility has experienced environmental issues that have attracted criticism. The Irish government attempted to get the High Court to rule that Mittal’s company should foot the bill for cleaning up Cork Harbour, but they were unsuccessful. The cleaning was projected to cost €70 million.

Prior to December 2001, Mittal bought properties that he dubbed Ispat Mexicana and his firm in Kazakhstan Ispat Karmet. Sidex Galati, which he had bought in November 2001, was renamed Ispat Sidex in that month. The day after purchasing the PHS Steel Group from the Polish government, which included Huta Sendzimira, Huta Katowice, Huta Florian, and Huta Cedler, the LNM Group was able to complete the $155 million transaction to free the Romanian government’s hold on the steel assets Siderurgica Hunedoara and Petrotub Roman.

In the follow-up, Ispat Tepro became the new name of Petrotub Roman. Mittal was successful in influencing Polish politicians during the 2003 privatisation of PHS steel group, which at the time was Poland’s largest steel producer, by using Marek Dochnal’s consultancy. Dochnal was later detained for bribing Polish officials in a different incident on behalf of Russian spies. In March 2007, the Polish government indicated that it was looking to renegotiate the 2004 sale to ArcelorMittal.

After numerous fatalities in his mines, Mittal’s workers accused him of tolerating “slave labour” conditions. For instance, in December 2004, 23 workers died in explosions at his mines in Kazakhstan as a result of malfunctioning gas detectors.Mittal’s hostile takeover effort of Arcelor in 2006–2007 was successful, and the business was renamed ArcelorMittal. He acquired ownership of a number of steel businesses as a result, including Usinor of France, Arbed of Luxembourg, and Aceralia of Spain.

Personal Life

Usha is Lakshmi Mittal’s wife. They have two children: Aditya Mittal, a son, and Vanisha Mittal, a daughter. Lakshmi Mittal got two brothers, Pramod Mittal and Vinod Mittal, along with a sister, Seema Lohia. She is married to Sri Prakash Lohia, who is an Indonesian businessman.

Mittal purchased No. 9A Palace Greens, Kensington Gardens, previously the Philippines Embassy, for £70 million in 2008 for his daughter Vanisha Mittal, who is married to billionaire and philanthropist Amit Bhatia. Mittal hosted a sumptuous “vegetarian reception” for Vanisha at the Palace of Versailles in France.

Awards and honours

He received the “Steelmaker of the Year” award from New Steel in the US in 1996 and the “Willy Korf Steel Vision Award” from World Steel Dynamics in 1998 for his exceptional foresight, entrepreneurship, leadership, and achievement in the growth of steel worldwide. For his great business accomplishments, he was named the “European Businessman of the Year” by Fortune magazine in 2004, “Business Person of the Year” by the Sunday Times, and in 2006 he was declared “Person of the Year” by the Financial Times.

King’s College London gave Mr. Mittal a Fellowship in January 2007, which is the highest honour bestowed by the institution. Lakshmi Mittal received Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award, in 2008 from the Government of India. In the same year Forbes magazine conferred him a Lifetime Achievement Award.

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