Lakshmi Mittal’s journey from a humble village in Rajasthan, India, to becoming one of the world’s wealthiest individuals is truly remarkable. Despite being raised in a place lacking basic amenities like water and electricity, he has risen to the position of the world’s 93rd billionaire on the Forbes list and the 15th richest in India. The India-born, London-residing Lakshmi Nivas Mittal alias Lakshmi Narayan Mittal celebrates his 73rd birth anniversary today. As the chairman and former CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world’s second-largest steelmaking company, Lakshmi Mittal has made an indelible mark in the industry. To honour this special occasion, let’s explore a few lesser-known yet fascinating facts about this steel tycoon.
Date of Birth: 15 June 1950
Net Worth: $16.8 billion as of June 15, 2023
- Lakshmi Mittal’s entrepreneurial journey in the steel industry traces back to his father, Mohan Lal Mittal, who operated JSW Ispat in India. When steel production was restricted by the Indian Government in 1976, Lakshmi Mittal ventured to Indonesia and established PT Ispat Indo in East Java. This company eventually evolved into ArcelorMittal SA (ADR) (NYSE: MT), continuing the legacy of Mittal’s steel empire that began in 1976.
- With the merger of Arbed (Luxembourg) with the Mittal Steel operative in 1989, ArcelorMittal was formed in February 2002. Further, the firm transacted worldwide, including Brazil, Canada, and Poland, by 2007, making 35 transactions worldwide. Today ArcelorMittal is the world’s leading steel manufacturing company with 154,000 employees spread over 155 countries, producing approximately 59 million tonnes of crude steel.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 the share value of ArcelorMittal.
- In 2008, Lakshmi Mittal donated a record £15 million to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London – the largest private contribution the hospital had ever received.
- 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).
- 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.”
Lakshmi Mittal’s words beautifully encapsulate his remarkable journey in building an empire within the steel industry. Starting from humble beginnings, he has transformed struggling steel enterprises into thriving powerhouses. Fondly known as the “doctor of sick steel industries,” Mittal has successfully unlocked the untapped potential of these enterprises, paving the way for immense profitability.
On the occasion of his birth anniversary, we extend our heartfelt wishes to Lakshmi Mittal, the visionary leader whose relentless pursuit of excellence has brought prosperity to the steel industry. May his years ahead be filled with continued success, abundance, and enduring wealth.
The post is a part of a B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from the 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 Assange, Sir Richard Branson, and Sergey Brin, by following this link or subscribing to your daily newsletter.