Happy Birthday Lakshmi Mittal: The Indian Origin Steel King

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Born in a village of Rajasthan, India, the journey to transform himself into one of the world’s richest men is incredible. His birthplace lacked some of the basic amenities like water and electricity. Today, he is the world’s #133 billionaire on the Forbes list and #6 richest in India. The India-born, London-residing Lakshmi Nivas Mittal alias Lakshmi Narayan Mittal celebrates his 68th birth anniversary today. He is also known as the chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaking company. To commemorate his birthday occasion here are a few interesting yet less known facts about the steel tycoon.

Date of Birth: 15 June 1950

Net Worth: $14.9 billion as of June 15, 2021

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  1. His father, Mohan Lal Mittal operated Nippon Denro Ispat – mow known as JSW Ispat – in India. As the Indian Government curbed steel production in 1976, he became the first one from the family to establish a steel factory in Indonesia. In East Java, Indonesia, Lakshmi Mittal established PT Ispat Indo in 1976. ArcelorMittal SA (ADR) (NYSE: MT) is the successor of the company established in 1976.
  2. With the merger of Arbed (Luxembourg) with the Mittal Steel operative since 1989 the ArcelorMittal was formed in February 2002. Further, the firm transacted worldwide including Brasil, Canada, and Poland by 2007 making 35 transactions worldwide. Today ArcelorMittal is the world’s leading steel manufacturing company with 168,000 employees spread over 60 countries producing 71.5 million tonnes of crude steel approximately.
  3. After witnessing India’s 2000 Summer Olympic performance when the country had to settle down with only a single bronze medal, he set up Mittal Champion trust to improve the disappointing scenario of non-cricket sports in India. The trust was formed with $9 million, catering to support 10 Indian athletes with great potential.
  4. Lakshmi Mittal retained the position of Second Richest Person in India for a long time as well as one of the wealthiest people in Europe. Although Mittal moved to Britain in 1990s, he gained British citizenship only in 2012. After being the richest man for eight years in Britain, he dropped to fourth place in 2015.
  5. Lakshmi Mittal’s philanthropy is not restricted only to the Olympics; Through the Lakshmi Niwas Mittal and Usha Mittal Foundation along with the Government of Rajasthan, he established an autonomous university LNM Institute of Information Technology as a non-profit organisation.
  6. The steel Moghul is known for his lavish lifestyle. Spending US$22.9 million (15 million pounds) to secure a comfortable seat in the front row in the Ryder Cup 2014 held at Gleneagles signifies his style.
  7. Lakshmi Mittal’s residence, a 12-room mansion bought for US$178.6 million (117 million pounds) in 2008, contains the marble from the same quarry with which the Taj Mahal was constructed. His house is rightly called “Taj Mittal”. However, the mansion is up for sale for US$168 million (110 million pounds). The steel magnate saw the biggest dip in its net worth due to the greatest fall in share value of ArcelorMittal.
  8. In 2008, Lakshmi Mittal had donated a record £15 million to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London – the largest private contribution the hospital had ever received.
  9. In 2017, Lakshmi Mittal and his family made a donation of $25 million to the prestigious Harvard University’s South Asia Institute. Interestingly, this institute is now known as The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University (The Mittal Institute).
  10. Mittal has also received the Padma Vibhushan – India’s second-highest civilian honour – and a Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I realized that life is too short to build a steel company from scratch.”

The above words of Lakshmi Mittal rightly signify his achievements in building the mammoth steel industry starting from nothing to an empire of steel. He is rightly called the doctor of sick steel industries. As he unleashes the potential of the sick industry to reap huge profits, on his birth anniversary, we wish him long years of richness.

The post is a part of a B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from Tech Industry, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayor, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian AssangeSir Richard Branson, Sergey Brin by following this link or subscribe to your daily newsletter.

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