(Last Updated on : 31-10-2012)
Swaraj Paul, an India based business magnate and philanthropist, is a Labour politician. He founded the multinational company Caparo, the UK based steel and engineering group in 1978. Paul received his business lessons from his father at a young age. Swaraj Paul's company developed into one of the leading producers of welded steel tube and spiral-welded pipe in the UK. He was knighted by the British Queen in the year 1978. Swaraj was appointed as a life peer in the House of Lords in 1996 and was also bestowed with the title 'Baron Paul of Marylebone' in Westminster. Swaraj became the Deputy Speaker of the Lords in 2008 and was appointed to the Privy Council in 2009.
Early Life of Swaraj Paul
Swaraj Paul was born in 1931 in Jalandhar
. His father used to run a small factory of making steel buckets and farming equipments. Swaraj was educated at Punjab
University and obtained a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US.
Career of Swaraj Paul
Swaraj Paul joined the Apeejay Surrendra Group, founded by his father after his returning to India in 1953. It helped him to build up a diversified industrial group. Swaraj went to England in 1966 to find a cure for his leukaemia-stricken two-year-old daughter, Ambika. However, he could not save her and spent almost a year in her grief. After a year of mourning, Swaraj Paul took over the operations of Apeejay Overseas and relocated permanently to London. He buried himself in work and there began his spectacular business career in Britain.
In 1968, Swaraj Paul started buying and selling steel in a one-man business and acquired a small tube unit, Natural Gas Tubes (NGT). This developed into one of the leading UK producers of welded steel tube and spiral-welded pipe. Gradually with time he acquired more units mainly in the steel products manufacturing industry and founded Caparo Group in 1978. His youngest son, Angad, became the CEO after Swaraj stepped down from the management in 1996. According to Sunday Times Rich List Lord Paul is the 88th richest person in Britain.
Publications of Swaraj Paul
Swaraj Paul reflected on the main events of his life in his memoir, Beyond Boundaries. It contains the details of his business career, including his attempted takeover of the DCM and Escorts group. It also portrays his association with the famous and the mighty, including the Indian political dynasty of Indira Gandhi
and her sons Sanjay Gandhi
and Rajiv Gandhi
. He has also written the biography of Indira Gandhi in the year 1984.
Honours and Achievements of Swaraj Paul
The Bharat Gaurav honour was awarded to him by the Indian Merchant's Chamber. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan
by Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, in 1983. He holds the position Pro-Chancellorship of Thames University in1998 and it's Governorship (1992-97). Swaraj Paul was honoured with the Chancellorship of the University of Wolverhampton and the University of Westminster.
He is a member of the Foreign Policy Centre Advisory Council and MIT's Mechanical Engineering Visiting Committee. He is the chairman of the Olympic Delivery Committee with the key task of initiating measures to acquire land and provide infra-structure for the London Olympics 2012. Swaraj Paul was the first person of Indian origin to be given the post of deputy speaker of the House of Lords. He was affirmed of the Privy Council on 15 October 2009.
In April 2005 Swaraj Paul made headlines when he decided to pull out all stops for the wedding reception of the year for his youngest son Angad at London's Lancaster House. The wedding itself took place in London Zoo. This strict vegetarian donated a lump sum amount to the victims of the October 2005 earthquake in India's Jammu and Kashmir
Swaraj Paul stepped down from the management of the Caparo group in 1996, handing over his empire to his three sons. His sons have ambitious plans in India, moving ahead aggressively in business projects.
Ambika Paul Learning Resource Centre
On May 6, 2011, Swaraj Paul opened the Ambika Paul Learning Resource Centre. It was named after his daughter who died of leukemia at the age of four in 1968 at the RSA Academy. It is a well-known comprehensive school in Tipton, West Midlands, sponsored by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. This centre is an initiative of the Ambika Paul Foundation established by him in 1978. The motto of this center is to encourage and also promote the well-being of children across the world through education, culture and health across the world.