This is the story of a person who is known as an undisputed king of steel. He owns the largest steel making company called ArcelorMittal. This person is none other than Lakshmi Niwas Mittal. Lakshmi Mittal stands 3rd on the list of Forbes 100 Richest People of India with a net worth of $18.3 Billion. This story is the inspirational story of Lakshmi Mittal who transformed an ordinary steel mill into a power-packed profit center.
Lakshmi Mittal was born on 15th June 1950 in Sadulpur, Rajasthan. He did his schooling from Shri. Daulatram Nopany Vidyalaya, Calcutta. After he completed his schooling in 1964, he graduated from St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta with a B.Com degree. He completed his degree in first class from the University of Calcutta. He comes from a traditional Marwari family and soon after his birth, his family moved to Calcutta. Lakshmi’s father, Mohanlal Mittal ran a steel business, Nippon Denro Ispat.
Foundation of ArcelorMittal
Lakshmi first used to handle his traditional family business. But later he established his own steel factory, PT Ispat Indo in East Java, Indonesia. He established his steel factory in Indonesia due to the shortage of steel production in India. This steel factory used to produce 26,000 tons of steel and generate an annual profit of $1 million. Lakshmi soon realized that to become a major player in the steel business, his steel industry would have to go global just like car manufacturers, shipbuilders, and coal producers. Determined to make his company a global player, he started acquiring companies in Canada and Germany.
After not getting a big break, he turned to Kazakhstan. This is because, Kazakhstan shares a border with China, where the demand for steel was about to boost up. Mittal acquired Karmet Steel Works in Temirtau for a price of $400 million. This single acquisition turned out to be a very wise and strategic investment as this brought Mittal to the league of international steelmakers. With this, Mittal became the global steel producer with operations in 14 countries. During this time, Kazakhstan was suffering from the financial mess and was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Lakshmi Mittal soon appointed Indian managers and doubled the production. He began selling to booming markets in the East and rescued Kazakhstan from the financial mess.
The success of Mittal Steel
In 2004, Lakshmi Mittal created Mittal Steel by taking over his own private company. Soon after this, Mittal Steel became the world’s largest steelmaker with shipments of 42.1 Million tons and profits over $22 Billion. In 2006, Lakshmi took the world by storm by beating all Europian establishments to acquire Arcelor Steel. This company was created through a merger of firms Spain, France, Luxemburg, and Belgium. After acquiring Arcelor, Lakshmi created ArcelorMittal which is the biggest steel company on earth.
Today, ArcelorMittal’s worth is over £100 Billion and is the first company to produce 100 million tons of steel every year. ArcelorMittal has around 300,000 employees in 60 countries. The new company led by Lakshmi Mittal witnessed steel prices skyrocket from $230 a ton in 2002 to $1000 today. Lakshmi Mittal is a proud Indian but he considers himself as a ‘Global Citizen’. Despite immense wealth and 44% stake in ArcelorMittal, you won’t see him seeking the limelight.
Just as every successful entrepreneur faces criticism, Lakshmi too faced criticism. He denied all the allegations wisely with the proper synopsis. Mittal is married to Usha Mittal and the couple has a son and a daughter. Lakshmi Mittal has received various awards and recognitions. He is an active philanthropist and is a member of various trusts. Lakshmi is the wealthiest person in Britain and owns a house which is the most expensive house ever purchased.
The story of Lakshmi Mittal has proved that what a human mind and conceive and believe. If youths get aspired from this person, the world will be a great place to live.