London: Lakshmi Mittal, the NRI steel tycoon with a fortune estimated at 15.5 billion pounds, is the most powerful Asian in Britain, according to a new list of eminent Asians in the country.
Mittal, 61, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading integrated steel and mining company, heads the Power list of 101 in the category of Industry published by Eastern Eye, a weekly newspaper here.
“Today, Mittal has all the trappings of wealth, power and influence – properties in Kensinghton Palace Gardens, a private jet, a 266 million pound yacht, and an eco-friendly house set on a 340-acre estate in Surrey,” according to the GG2 (Garavi Gujarat) Power 101, Britain’s Most Influential Asians 2011.
The list was released by Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the GG2 Leadership Awards here last night.
Leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul ranked 17th in the list in the category of Industry.
According to the report, Lord Paul was influential enough to get the Lancaster House, which is generally reserved for government functions, as a venue for a wedding reception for his youngest son Angad in 2005.
“One of the painful things has been to reduce the guest list – in the end we could invite only 1,600 people,” Lord Paul said at the time.
“There are people from the Lords, MPs, opposition, business, and there will be a substantial number from the government. I have not invited anybody on the basis of their profession. I have invited friends.”
According to the report, Lord Paul does have many friends, among them Sarah and Gordon, a reference to Sarah and Gordon Brown, the then Prime Minister. A point in Lord Paul’s favour is that he is not a fair-weather friend.
“He (Paul) does not drop his political allies when they fall from power. He always did have a special relationship with Mrs Indira Gandhi but Paul stuck by her when the Indian prime minister lost the general election in 1977 and all the pundits in the world predicted (wrongly) she was finished for good,” the report said.
“He is a much respected business figure, guiding Caparo through a choppy waters and creating a great British steel company,” the report said.
He is quite justified in claiming: “I’ve made manufacturing fashionable in Britain,” the report said.
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, who hails from the Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, Minister without portfolio in the Conservative Party, is listed at no 2 in the Power list in the category Politics.
Leading NRI Labour MP Keith Vaz has been ranked 3rd in the list in the category of Politics.
“He became the first Asian MP in modern times since Dadabhai Naoroji first entered parliament in 1892,” the study said.
S P Hinduja and G P Hinduja, Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively of the Hinduja Group, are No 4 in the list and they are listed in the category of “Business”.
“Of all the influential Indian business families in the world, the Hindujas are unlike any other. The closeness of the four brothers, Srichand, Gopi, Prakash and Ashok and now their children, explains why they have been able to weather many a storm and yet prosper and emerge stronger as a group,” the study said.India’s best-known sculptor Anish Kapoor is 6th in the list.
Lord Navnit Dholakia, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords is listed 12th and listed in the category Politics.
“When I look back I am proud to see the progress the Asian community has made – in every field,” Dholakia said.
Dr Kartar Lalvani, founder of Vitabiotics, Britain’s leading nutraceutical company, is listed 49th and in the Pharmacy category.
Lord Karan Bilimoria, founder of Cobra Beer, is 61 in the list.