Lakshmi Mittal, the Sultan of Steel - Prime Insights - Business Magazine

Lakshmi Mittal, the Sultan of Steel

  • Lakshmi Narayan Mittal, commonly known to us as Lakshmi Mittal is the undisputed king of the steel industry and the Chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal. He was recorded to be the third richest man in the world in 2005. He also manages the post of a non-executive director of Goldman Sachs, EADS and ICICI bank.
  • Born in the Churu district of Rajasthan, in a Marwari family, Mittal spent his initial life in a huge family living on bare floors. He received his primary education in a Hindi medium school and then graduated from St. Xavier’s College in Kolkata with a BCom degree in Business and Accounting in 1969.
  • His career took a leap while working in the family’s steelmaking business in India, in 1976 where he took an attempt to establish an international business division by buying a run-down plant in Indonesia. Hence, his moderate family business turned into a global steel giant spanning across 14 countries and holding more than 1.5 lakh employees.
  • With his vision and a strong strategy, he made developments in integrated mini-mills and the use of Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) as a substitute for steelmaking. This made Mittal Steel in 2004 the largest steelmaker in the world, with 42.1 million tons of steel shipment, securing a profit margin over USD 22 billion.
  • From the core of steel manufacturing, the Mittal Steel has become versatile in several other division of shipping, coal and power and oil enterprises. The most catching thing about his steel company was his own knack of buying rusted steel companies and changing them into gold.
  • Mittal became world’s largest steelmaker after taking over the USA’s largest steel producer, the International Steel Group. He also made a big achievement through his entry into the lucrative European market and secured massive 5million tons of Kazakh steel plant. Between 2001 and 2004, he had already taken over the steel plants in Romania, the Czech Republic and Poland.
  • Mittal beat Arcelor at the 4.8 billion dollar deal more than twice, what others had valued for Ukraine’s largest steel mill Kryvorizhstal. Three months after this incident, his takeover bid of Arcelor was launched that eliminated the possibility of any future messy battles.
  • Today, he stands as the world’s largest steel producer at 70 million tons a year and no doubt, he is titled with “Sultan of Steel”. His success won him the Padma Vibhushan Award by the Indian government in 2008 and also won the title of “Steelmaker of the Year” in 1996 by New Steel.
  • In 2006, he was named as “Person of the Year” by Financial Times. Also, for his outstanding vision, leadership, success and entrepreneurship in global steel development, he was awarded the “Willy Korf Steel Vision Award” in 1998 from American Metal Market and PaineWeber’s World Steel Dynamics.
  • The company of Mittal also takes care of the ArcelorMittal Foundation that supports different community projects around the world in those countries where it operates. Yet, above all these, Mittal still holds an Indian passport, reflecting his core trust in India’s future in the world of industrialization.

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