NRI steel baron Lakshmi Mittal, owner of the world's largest steel company ArcelorMittal, is the richest Asian in Britain for the year 2010 with an estimated wealth of 17 billion pound.
According to the Asian Rich List 2010, brought out by Eastern Eye, a publication of the Asian Media & Marketing Group, 59-year-old Mittal is followed by the Hinduja brothers, Srichand and Gopichand, with 8 billion pound, Anil Agarwal of mining group Vedanta Resources with 4 billion pound, Sir Anwar Pervez of Bestways with 715 million pound and NRI industrialist Swraj Paul of Caparo with 510 million pound.
The Rich List was released at the Sofitel Hotel here last night where the Hinduja brothers, S P Hinduja and G P Hinduja, Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Hinduja Group were presented with the 'Lifetime Achievement Award' for their outstanding achievements in various spheres of life.
The list noted that Mittal's rise sometimes obscured the fact that he has been one of the most enterprising figures of "our age", and no episode perhaps better reflected this than his takeover of European steel giant Arcelor.
Mittal is the Chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, while his son Aditya is the chief financial officer. Mittal's daughter Vanisha, who attracted much publicity when her father organised an extravagant wedding costing 10-20 million pound for her in France in 2004, is also on the board, it said.
In 2008, ArcelorMittal had $124.9 billion revenues and crude steel production of 103.3 million tonnes (MT), showing 10 per cent of world steel output. In contrast, in 2009 the company had $65.1 billion revenues and crude steel output of 73.2 MT, representing 8 per cent of global steel output.
Commenting on the fall, Mittal said in a very difficult environment, ArcelorMittal has succeeded in lowering its cost base substantially and significantly strengthening the balance sheet. "We, therefore, start the year in a good position to benefit from the progressive, albeit slow, recovery that is underway".
"Although 2010 will continue to be challenging, we are now increasing capital expenditure to take advantage of selected growth opportunities as demand improves".
Mittal will emerge a stronger man from the present crisis, predicts Philip Beresford, the journalist who was among the first to spot his potential when the Indian businessman relocated his headquarters from Jakarta to London towards the end of 1995.
Paul, who is listed as the fifth richest Asian in the UK, built Caparo, a global steel company that employs over 3,000 people in the UK alone, through sheer "hard work, integrity and a lot of luck.