Anil Agarwal is the chairman of Vedanta Resources Plc, a company he founded in 1976. The company started as a cable manufacturer and went on to be listed in the London Stock Exchange in 2003. Agarwal, however, took the company private on October, 2019.
Agarwal controls Vedanta through Volcan Investments, a holding vehicle with a 100 per cent stake in the business.
Agarwal's journey from a scrap dealer to a tycoon
Born in 1954 in Patna, Agarwal rose from running a tiny scrap metal business four decades back to becoming one of the India's wealthiest tycoons with a business empire spanning across mining and petroleum.
Agarwal began trading in scrap metal in mid-1970s. He acquired Shamsher Sterling Corporation in 1976. Ten years later, he set up Sterlite Industries, which became the first private sector company in India to set up a copper smelter and refinery in 1993. He ventured into mining a few years later and acquired 51 per cent stake in Bharat Aluminium Company (BALCO) and a majority share (nearly 65 per cent) in state-run HZL (Hindustan Zinc Limited).
In 2003, Agarwal incorporated Vedanta Resources in London to access international capital. The firm is a globally diversified natural resources conglomerate, with interests in zinc, lead, silver, copper, iron ore, aluminium, power generation, and oil and gas.
Retirement and succession plan
Agarwal in 2012 indicated that he would in 3-4 years time step back from leadership and take a mentoring role as non-executive chairman. But in January 2019, he said he has no immediate plans to retire or take a non-executive role at Vedanta Group.
He also ruled out someone from his family succeeding him.
In 1992, Agarwal created the Vedanta Foundation to carry out philanthropic programs and activities. He has pledged to donate 75 per cent of his family’s wealth to charity, saying he was inspired by Bill Gates.