Success Story - Lakshmi Mittal

A Rich Life

Sometimes, believe it or not, nice guysdon'tfinish last.  Lakshmi Narayan Mittal is a case in point, as he has broken the mold of the overambitious entrepreneur and replaced it with an inspiring combination of business savvy, philanthropy and individualism.  The end result, at least in financial terms, is a personal net worth of $20.7 billion.  More importantly, however, is the fact that he did it without sacrificing his integrity or victimizing others.  From his formative years in India to his current prosperity in London, Lakshmi Mittal has exemplified the spirit of the modern entrepreneur.

 

Lakshmi Narayan Mittal was born in the Churu district of Rajasthan, India, on June 15, 1950, and soon moved with his family to Calcutta. That was where he first learned about business from his father, Mohan Lal Mittal, who was busy building a steel business while young Mittal excelled at business and accountancy at St. Xavier's College in Calcutta.  After graduation, Mittal worked for the family firm for a while, and then struck out on his own in 1976 when he founded a steel plant in Indonesia.  Calling his steel company Arcelor Mittal, he ran this business successfully throughout the 1980s, and in 1995 Mittal made a full separation of his own steel business from the family's corporate holdings in India.  Soon afterward, Mittal settled in London, where he still resides to this day.

 

Throughout this saga of independence, Mittal has made his mark on the world steel industry.  Now known simply as Mittal Steel, his company currently has operations in 14 countries around the world.  At one point in 2007, Mittal was the fifth richest person in the world, and at the time of this writing, he is the sixth richest person.  Some have even compared Mittal to Andrew Carnegie.  This is an apt comparison; after all, Carnegie was a steel magnate who created his own wealth.  Carnegie and Mittal were both accountants with global visions and practically endless determination to succeed.  Furthermore, both men overcame obstacles and prevailed in consolidating the extensively divided steel industry.  At 61 years of age, Mittal could certainly be considered the Andrew Carnegie of the new millennium.

 

The comparison with Carnegie, need not end there, however.  While Andrew Carnegie was well known as a philanthropist, Mittal has also held his own in this regard.  Consider, for example, how Mittal reacted after India, his birthplace, fared poorly at the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Summer Olympic Games.  Rather than stand at the sidelines and grumble, Mittal characteristically took action.  In reaction to the poor Olympic showing, Mittal set up what became known as the Mittal Champions Trust.  In this trust Mittal placed $9 million of his own personal assets with the objective of financially supporting ten Indian athletes, each of whom displayed winning potential.  Mittal's hope, which is equally India's hope, is that these athletes will excel in the 2012 Olympic Games, which are slated to be held in London, where Mittal himself resides.  Sports including boxing, swimming, archery, squash, and badminton will be supported through the Mittal Champions Trust.  Currently, this trust supports 40 athletes and has plans to develop training facilities in India.

 

The Mittal Champions Trust has not been Mittal's only charitable cause.  In 2002, Mittal contributed to the LNM Institute of Information Technology, a nonprofit institute of higher learning located in Jaipur, India.  Furthermore, in 2007, on the BBC television programThe Apprentice, Mittal donated £1 million to the charitable organization Comic Relief.

While Mittal has excelled as a philanthropist, he has also established a number of milestones as a world-renowned entrepreneur.  Consider, for example, the fact that Mittal Steel is three times the size of its nearest competitor.  His personal wealth outweighs that of anyone else in England, andForbeshas declared him the 55th most powerful person.  The wedding of his daughter, Vanisha, was the second most expensive wedding in recorded history.  In addition, Mittal owns 34 percent of the London-based Queens Park Rangers Football Club football team.  This team has performed quite well, winning the 2010-2011 Football League Championship.

 

Mittal has embodied the life of a winner, even in his personal life.  His estate in Kensington Palace Gardens, which was purchased in 2004 for the sum of £57 million (approximately US $128 million), was the world's most expensive home at that time.  Mittal owns, in total, three properties worth £500 million in the posh region of London known as the "Billionaire's Row" at Kensington Palace Gardens.  The Mittal family lives luxuriously, all due to this one individual's dream of expanding his steel business from a contender into an empire.

 

We can all be inspired by what Mittal has accomplished in his lifetime.  The man was not born with a dominating steel empire, but he forged one from the raw materials of persistence and ingenuity.  As a result, Mittal has earned a great number of prestigious awards.  Among these awards are the 2008 Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award fromForbesmagazine; the 2007 Grand Cross of Civil Merit from the government of Spain; 2004 Entrepreneur of the Year from theWall Street Journal; the 2007 Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Leadership Award from the Business Council for International Understanding; and the 2008 Padma Vibushan, which is the second highest civilian award given in the Republic of India.

 

Even with all of this, the story of Lakshmi Narayan Mittal is not yet finished.  If Mittal's past accomplishments are any indication of what the future holds, then clearly we can expect more great things from this man.  In every sense of the word, Lakshmi Mittal continues to show us what it means to live arichlife.

 

 

Company : 1902 Media