Get to Know Lakshmi Mittal: The King of Steel

On this day, June 15 in the year 1950, the CEO of the world’s largest steel company was born in Rajasthan, India. His name is Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, the 9th richest person in India with a net worth of US$9 billion according to forbes.com as of June 15, 2020 down from $18.6 billion in 2019.

Lakshmi Mittal
Lakshmi Mittal (Credit: corporate.arcelormittal.com)

Lakshmi is the son of a businessman who owned a steel mill in India. He has three siblings. In 1969, he graduated from St. Xavier College in Kolkata (known before as Calcutta) with a degree in accounting. After graduation, he joined the family steel business. In 1976, with the support of his father, he purchased a steel mill in Indonesia and modernized it with the help of Indian managers. In 1989, he set up operation in Trinidad and Tobago and then expanded to other countries such as Mexico, Canada, Kazakhstan, Great Britain, Poland, and Russia.

From his base in London where he resided with his family since 1995, Mittal gained control of Romania’s state owned steel company with the help of British officials. In 2004, his holding company merged with the International Steel Group of the US which catapulted him to become the world’s largest producer of steel and Britain’s richest man. Soon after this merger, he entered the China market by purchasing a stake in a Hunan steel plant. But his greatest acquisition so far and the most controversial one is Arcelor, Europe’s largest steel producer. The deal was consummated in 2006 when the two companies were merged to form ArcelorMittal, now the largest steel company in the world.

Mittal is married to Usha. They have a daughter and a son.

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