Regarded as the “King of Steel,” Lakshmi Mittal is a self-made billionaire who revolutionized the steel industry with his formidable business acumen.

Early Life:

Born on June 15, 1950, in Rajgarh, Rajasthan, India, Mittal grew up in a modest environment. Hailing from a business-oriented Marwari family, he gained insights into the steel world from his father’s small steelmaking business. As a young man, he decided to attend St. Xavier’s College in Kolkata, majoring in commerce, which laid the foundation for his business pursuits.

The Steel Rise:

In the 1970s, Mittal began his foray into the steel industry by working in the family’s business. Recognizing the potential in acquiring and turning around underperforming steel assets globally, he set up operations in Indonesia. From there, Mittal began an international expansion spree, taking over failing mills and transforming them into profitable ventures. His breakthrough was the acquisition and successful overhaul of the ailing state-owned steelmaker in Kazakhstan in the 90s.

Major Achievements:

  • Founder and CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaking company.
  • Successfully transformed numerous underperforming steel mills worldwide.
  • Played a pivotal role in the consolidation of the fragmented global steel industry.
  • Philanthropist, notably contributing to healthcare, education, and sports in India.


Mittal faced criticism for his lavish lifestyle, including the extravagant wedding of his daughter in France. Additionally, the merger of Mittal Steel with Arcelor in 2006 faced resistance and was marred with nationalistic and protectionist sentiments. Through negotiation, perseverance, and showcasing the benefits of the merger, Mittal successfully steered the deal.

Legacy/Current Status:

Mittal has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the steel industry. His ability to recognize potential in underperforming assets and turn them around set a precedent in the business world. Currently, he continues to steer ArcelorMittal while being actively involved in various philanthropic activities.

Quick Facts:

  • Net Worth: Over $15 billion (as of 2022).
  • Key Companies: ArcelorMittal.
  • Notable Quote: “Always think outside the box and embrace opportunities that appear, wherever they might be.”
  • Did You Know?: Mittal’s residence in Kensington, known as the “Taj Mittal,” is one of the most expensive homes in the world.


Lakshmi Mittal’s journey, from a small town in Rajasthan to the helm of the world’s largest steel company, embodies the spirit of persistence, vision, and tenacity. As we marvel at the skyscrapers and bridges built from the steel he’s produced, one can’t help but wonder: What materials make a self-made billionaire?

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