Anil Agarwal | vedanta group ceo Anil Agarwal
Anil Agarwal | vedanta group ceo Anil Agarwal
Anil Agarwal: Personal and Industrial Profile
NRI billionaire Anil Agarwal is a founder of the London-based metal and mining group Vedanta Resources with more than thirty years of industry experience. Agarwal was born in 1954 in Bihar, India. His career journey from a typical businessman to a leading entrepreneur involves many millstones he achieved after establishing ‘Sterlite Industries’ in 1976. Agarwal founded Vedanta Resources in 1986 by involving his variety of family business operations into one business, bringing them under one roof.
In 2003, Agarwal marked his presence among the richest Indian businessmen, achieving the eleventh position with a personal estimate of US$4.5 billion. Later in 2007, Agarwal’s ranking improved along with his fortune that grew up to US$ 12.7 billion. Agarwal shot to fame in 2010 after entering into the Indian energy (Oil & Gas) market with a ‘go-getter’ attitude and declaring several business plans with an objective to lead the Indian energy sector, beating domestic players like Reliance Industries and ONGC.
Vedanta Resources: Amid controversy over Cairn India deal
Agarwal’s Vedanta group made an ambitious move in India by winning the bidding war for Cairn India against the state-owned oil explorer ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India) in the mid of this year. The Cairn-Vedanta deal is worth $9.6 billion leaving Vedanta with 51% stake in Cairn India.
After acquiring a controversial stake in Cairn India, Vedanta geared up its plans and established a mining project in the Niyamgiri hills of Orissa, India. The project; however, got rejected by the Central government accusing Vedanta for violating the environmental rules and hurting sentiments of the local tribes and worker groups. Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary, Rahul Gandhi declared his support in favor of the tribals and local labors, making the matter tougher for Vedanta.
In addition to that, Vedanta’s mining project at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi districts of Orissa was attacked by a mob of around 4,000 contractual laborers, who protested against Vedanta’s operations, ran riots and caused tremendous damage to the premises of the company including the power plant and the administrative office in the beginning of September 2010. Sources claim that the damage caused to the Vedanta property is worth Rs 1 crore injuring about 20 laborers.
Since then, Vedanta’s aggressive business strategy and Anil Agarwal’s entrepreneurial standing came under the controversial spotlight, creating a speed-breaking effect for the company’s future plans to beat the Mukesh Ambani led Indian giant Reliance Industries by mirroring the BHP Billiton’s success in a similar case.
Twisting Matters: Anil Agarwal VS Mukesh Ambani
Agarwal has vowed to challenge Mukesh Ambani’s RIL that is topping the list of domestic energy sector operations at present. Anil Agarwal’s estimated net worth is close to Rs 1, 67,000 crore while that of Mukesh Ambani is Rs 1, 45,275 crore. Besides being the oil sector’s largest private collection in India, Reliance Industries has been the only Indian firm featured in the Forbes’s list and is among the highest ranked players in the field of petrochemicals in present times.
Mukesh Ambani and Anil Agarwal have proved themselves as entrepreneurial entities that can build monstrous businesses and promote them to the next level with aggressive planning. After a few years, the business giants will compete with each other by bidding for their field related stocks and future projects.
Thus, Agarwal is all set to give a tough fight to Ambani and aspires to be known as the richest Indian corporate entrepreneur. Nonetheless, in terms of market capitalization and evaluation of the entire group of all the listed companies, the Tata group has left Reliance and Vedanta group of industries behind.
Will Anil Agarwal be the richest Indian entrepreneur?
The Vedanta-Cairn deal is seen as a risky bet as the oil prices are fluctuating day by day and Vedanta’s overambitious plans are stirring the entire picture even further. The Cairn-Vedanta deal has also faced a brunt on ONGC’s demanding stand for the details of the deal.
Lack of clarity in direction and expertise may affect Vedanta’s big-ticket moves, and thus, it is advisable that Mr. Anil Agarwal exerts caution while taking a big leap as jumping in the risk-prone sector with no prior expertise may prove as a costly mistake for him and his dare-dreaming company.