Lakshmi Narayan Mittal also known as Lakshmi Niwas Mittal is a billionaire industrialist, born in Sadulpur, Churu district of Rajasthan, India in 1950 , in a poor family. The extended family of 20 lived on bare concrete floors, slept on rope beds and cooked on an open fire in the brickyard in a house built by his grandfather. Laxmi Mittal belongs to Marwari Aggarwal caste and his grandfather worked for the Tarachand Ghanshyam Das firm, one of the leading Marwari industrial firms of pre-independence India.
The London-based, Rajasthan born steel baron is the Chairman and CEO of Mittal Steel Company and the world’s 3rd richest man.
Lakshmi graduated from St. Xavier’s College in Calcutta where he received a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He later married Usha Mittal, and had a son and daughter.
Mittal began his career working in the family’s steelmaking business in India, and has over 30 years of experience working in steel and related industries. Mittal founded the company Mittal Steel (formerly the LNM Group) in 1976 and has been responsible for the development of its businesses ever since. Today, Mittal Steel is the only truly global steel producer in the world with operations on 14 countries, spanning 4 continents.
Mittal pioneered the development of integrated mini-mills and the use of Direct Reduced Iron or “DRI” as a scrap substitute for steelmaking and led the consolidation process of the global steel industry. Mittal Steel is the largest steelmaker in the world, with shipments of 42.1 million tons of steel and profits of over $22 billion in 2004.
Mittal was awarded Fortune magazines “European Businessman of the Year 2004” and also “Steelmaker of the Year” in 1996 by New Steel, and the “Willy Korf Steel Vision Award” in 1998, for outstanding vision, entrepreneurship, leadership and success in global steel development from American Metal Market and PaineWeber’s World Steel Dynamics. In 2002 he was involved in a political scandal with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, when a donation he made to the Labour party led to Blair’s intervention in a business deal flavoring Mittal, it was announced later he donated £2 million to the Labour Party.
Mittal is an active philanthropist and a member of a few trusts. Mittal is a member of the Foreign Investment Council in Kazakhstan, the International Investment Council in South Africa, the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council and the International Iron and Steel Institute’s Executive Committee. He is a Director of ICICI Bank Limited and is on the Advisory Board of the Kellogg School of Management in the U.S. In March 2005, Forbes Magazine named him the 3rd richest man in the world and the richest non-American, with an estimated wealth of US$25 billion.
Lakshmi Mittal is also known for his opulence. In 2003, he acquired the Kensington mansion, said to be the world’s most expensive home, from Formula One racing’s Bernie Ecclestone for £70 million ($128 million). His daughter Vanisha’s $50 million wedding bash is touted as the most expensive wedding of the 20th century.