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Indian-origin Metals Tycoon Sanjeev Gupta Gets Innovator Award In UK

Heavy industry in Britain has been suffering from slow decline for decades but we are showing that it can have a healthy, competitive and sustainable future

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Indian-origin metals tycoon Sanjeev Gupta has been honoured as a "real innovator" by the London Business School for his initiative to reverse the fortunes of the UK steel sector over the past two years.


In the annual Real Innovation Awards announced last night, the founder and executive chairman of the Liberty House Group and GFG Alliance was conferred with the "George Bernard Shaw Unreasonable Person" accolade for his refusal to accept the conventional view that Britain’s metals industry was in a terminal decline.


"If it’s unreasonable to resist the collapse of a whole industry and the loss of thousands of jobs that can be saved by using a different business model, then I am very happy to accept the title of ‘unreasonable person’ and look forward to continuing in the same mode," said Gupta.


"Heavy industry in Britain has been suffering from slow decline for decades but we are showing that it can have a healthy, competitive and sustainable future," he added.


The award citation details that Gupta, who has been behind the purchase and revival of many of Tata Steel’s former units in the UK, had rescued several major metals and engineering plants across Britain and helped save thousands of jobs.


He was also credited with developing the "ground- breaking" 'GreenSteel' business model to make the industry competitive and sustainable through large-scale domestic scrap recycling, powered by renewable energy, and strategic integration of metals with downstream manufacturing.


In the process, the businessman is credited with turning what was largely an international commodities trading business with a few hundred staff into one of Britain’s largest private industrial employers with nearly 5,500 workers.


Professor Julian Birkinshaw, London Business School's academic director of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, said: "Innovation needs stubborn, even slightly unreasonable, people who are prepared to challenge the existing order. It also needs good timing."


"Some great ideas come along before the market is ready for them, while others arrive too late. Sanjeev has chosen his time well and the results have been truly impressive," Birkinshaw said.


UK-based Gupta was also praised for exporting his vision to Australia, where the GFG Alliance recently acquired the country’s largest mining and steel business, taking the size of the group’s global workforce to more than 11,000.


The GFG leader’s accolade by London Business School, one of the UK’s leading business study institutions, was among 12 awards presented to individuals and companies deemed to have broken the mould in various ways in order to achieve business success.

(PTI)

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