London: Soaring worldwide growth of Lord Swraj Paul’s steel and engineering empire, the Caparo Group, has elevated the family’s worth to the two billion pound mark to make him the second richest person in British Midlands and one of the wealthiest in the country.
The family-owned company posted profits “in excess” of 50 million pounds on sales of 921 million pounds, according to the Birmingham Post which has placed him at the second position in its annual list of the 50 richest people in the Midlands region.
Operating from more than 80 locations across the world, Caparo’s growing Indian businesses alone are now worth well over 1.5 million pounds, the newspaper said.
In 2012, the group played a part in the hunt for the “god particle”. It supplied components and engineering expertise to CERN for the Large Hadron Collider which finally identified the Higgs boson particle.
The Caparo Group is reaping the benefits of trading with the world’s fastest growing economies. A return to growth in some of its major markets particularly India have repaired the group’s post-recession fortunes, the newspaper said.
The company saw spectacular growth until 2007 as a result of its strategy of building up a major presence on the sub- continent. The company’s stated aim was to be the biggest automotive company in India.
But Caparo was hit hard by the recession and had a poor 2008 and 2009, reporting losses, racking up debt and causing its lenders some concerns. Now it has been restructured, with its US and Indian businesses operating on a stand-alone basis.
Revenues from all of the companies have seen impressive growth, according to the Post.
The group remains ambitious and as economies across the world particularly India demonstrate enviable growth Caparo is taking advantage.
The company has three entities in India — Caparo Maruti, Caparo Engineering India and Caparo India Private. Caparo’s first venture in India was back in 1994 when the company set up a joint venture with Maruti, then India’s largest car company.
Caparo’s success and Lord Paul’s wealth came through the meteoric rise of the Indian and Chinese economies and their insatiable demand for raw materials, it said.
Lord Paul is chancellor of two universities Wolverhampton and Westminster and despite his wealth, he is a strict vegetarian who lives by simple Hindu principles and encourages his employees to show integrity and respect, the Post said.