Lord Swraj Paul
Lord Swraj Paul, the founder of multi-national company Caparo – the UK based steel and engineering firm, is known for his contributions in the industrial domain. From running a small foundry to becoming one of the top steel tycoons, this India-born steel magnate has created waves in the UK business world with his humongous business ventures. Despite being one of the most affluent NRIs staying in Britain, Paul strongly adheres to ‘simple living and high thinking’. He has contributed a great deal towards the welfare of the society through his charitable trusts that have not only helped to boost his standing as a philanthropist but have also won him great recognition worldwide. Because of his charitable works, he was knighted by British Queen and was honoured with the title of ‘Lord of Marylebone’. Apart from this, Lord Swraj Paul has been awarded with the prestigious Padma Bhushan by the Government of India for his unsurpassable feats and deeds.
Lord Swraj Paul’s roots go back to the small town of Jalandhar in Punjab where, in 1910, his father started making steel buckets, tubs, trunks and agricultural implements and had a small foundry at the back of his family home. From this modest undertaking, the Apeejay Surrendra Group has grown into one of India’s largest family owned industrial groups in a wide range of industries – steel, engineering, pharmaceuticals, hotels, shipping and tea.
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. Operating from more than 80 locations across the world, Caparo’s growing Indian businesses alone are now worth over 1.5 million pounds.
Lord Paul has received various awards and honours including 15 honorary degrees from universities in the UK, USA, India, Russia and Switzerland. In 1983, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan by Indira Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India and the Bharat Gaurav award by the Indian Merchants’ Chamber. He was also bestowed with many prestigious honors including the Pro-Chancellorship of the Thames University (1998) and its Governorship (1992-97), Chancellorship of Wolver Hampton University and University of Westminster. He has also been felicitated by other awards such as the Asian Business Award, Lifetime Achievement Award (2008), Donald C. Burnham Manufacturing Management Award, First Asian of the Year Award, Asian Who’s Who award in 1987, Asian Woman Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award (2008),etc. He is also the recipient of Corporate Leadership Award given by Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the year 1989.
He was awarded “International Indian of Decade” award for his outstanding achievements in the fields of industry, education and philanthropy at the 20th anniversary of the publication of India Link International, a monthly magazine on 15 November, 2013. Apart from being a business tycoon, he is also a compassionate leader. He has a foundation set up in the memory of his daughter by the name of Ambika Paul Foundation. Money from this foundation goes into several charitable activities.
In 2014, Lord Paul received a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his work in promoting India-UK educational ties from the Global Skill Tree Consortium, an India-based think-tank.