Anil Agarwal, one of India’s richest people, is sitting down for a fireside chat about his entrepreneurial endeavours.

Join the Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering for a unique opportunity to chat with Anil Agarwal, Executive Chairman of Vedanta Resources.

Mr. Agarwal is a self-made man, an entrepreneur, a benefactor and one of India’s richest people. Find out how he built his empire at this fireside chat event.

  1. Profile 

 Anil Agarwal is the Founding Chairman of Vedanta Resources, one of the largest and diversified natural resources groups globally. He founded the Vedanta Group in 1976 and has over 40 years of entrepreneurial & business experience. Under his stewardship, Vedanta has grown from an Indian domestic mining company into a global natural resources corporation and invested over $35 billion for development of the sector in the country.

Over the years, Vedanta Group has grown organically and through value-generating mergers and acquisitions, creating a world-class portfolio of large, diversified assets in oil and gas, zinc, silver, aluminium, copper, iron ore, steel and power. Mr Agarwal, who participated in the government’s disinvestment programme, has been passionate about turning around companies to create value for all stakeholders and create large-scale employment.

Mr. Agarwal is deeply concerned about climate change. Under his guidance, Vedanta has put in place a comprehensive framework to be the ESG leader in the natural resources sector. The company is committed to reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2050 or even sooner and has pledged $5 billion over the next 10 years to accelerate the transition to net zero operations.

He is committed to eradication of poverty through development initiatives within the communities in which Vedanta operates. He is passionate about safety and sustainable development and nurturing talent within the organisation. He plays the role of chief mentor to a talent pool of over 100,000 direct and indirect employees.

As a responsible natural resources company, Vedanta is committed to nation building. Over the past 10 years, the company has contributed Rs 2.74 lakh crore to the national exchequer. It contributes to 25% of country’s Crude Oil production and is India’s market leader for Zinc (78%), Silver (95%), Aluminium (40%) and Copper (35%), Iron Ore, along with large Power portfolio of ~ 9000 MW including the Renewable Power for Captive and Commercial purpose. Vedanta accounts for around 1 per cent of India’s GDP.

Mr Anil Agarwal has been a strong advocate for the growth of the MSME sector. Partnering with the government, Vedanta’s Saathi programme has been created to provide a bouquet of services to MSMEs so that they can truly become employment generators for the economy. He has been playing an important part in the development of Start-ups too. Through the global start-up accelerator program, ‘Spark’, Vedanta is Vedanta is also aligning with the government’s Start-Up mission by partnering with young entrepreneurs to build technology capabilities.

Mr Anil Agarwal is committed to the philosophy of Giving Back and he has already pledged 75 per cent of his wealth for social good. He believes that businesses must give back to the society and help them prosper.

 Earlier this year, the Anil Agarwal Foundation (AAF) has pledged Rs 5,000 crore towards socio-economic development in India over the next five years. The Foundation, of which Mr. Agarwal is a trustee, is committed to empowering communities. The Foundation is also working in the space of animal welfare with a mission is to establish a world class sustainable and scalable ecosystem for the wellbeing of animals.

Nand Ghar, the flagship project for women and children development, has become a national movement. The project, the first of its kind of public-private partnership in the Anganwadi space, aims to transform the lives of 70 million children and 20 million women by providing them holistic development opportunities.

Vedanta has been at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19. The company has contributed more than Rs 250 crore towards the cause. Vedanta set up 10 state-of-the-art field hospitals with 1,000 critical care beds across the country, apart from supplying more than 20 Lakh Litres of oxygen to hospitals. The company rolled out the largest vaccination drive, more than 1.3 lakh employees, business partners and their partners have been vaccinated.

Mr. Anil Agarwal has been among the top philanthropists in the country. The India Philanthropy List 2021 of EdelGive Hurun has ranked him among the foremost donors. He was also conferred with the prestigious Mumbai Ratna Award for his outstanding services towards the holistic development of Mumbai.

  1. Significant Contribution 

Mr Anil Agarwal has been working with a mission to make India self-reliant in natural resources. India has one of the best geologies, and he strongly believes that natural resources can contribute enormously to India’s economic transformation. The natural resources sector, he strongly believes, will support the India growth story by meeting the growing demand and reducing dependence on imports. -Self-reliance, according to Mr Agarwal is critical, as 70% of the country’s revenues goes towards paying for imports.

He has been instrumental in bringing $35 billion of investments from overseas. With a focus to increase production of essential commodities in a sustainable and environment friendly way, Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta has been creating large-scale employment for the youth. The company currently offers direct and indirect employment to over one lakh people and is focused on diversity and inclusion.

Mr Agarwal is a strong votary of wealth creation. Over the years, Vedanta has been synonymous with wealth creation and rewarded its stakeholders. The steep growth that Hindustan Zinc and Balco have seen, post disinvestment, has also benefitted the government which holds minority stakes in these companies.

Mr Agarwal has always wanted Vedanta to contribute towards nation building. The company contributed Rs 2.74 lakh crore to the national exchequer over the past decade and accounts for around 1 per cent of the country’s GDP.

  1. Contribution to Business & Industry

The Vedanta group has been one of most successful in partnering with the government to grow national assets in a diverse and complex commodities space comprising metals, mining and oil & gas and in creation of new jobs. Building on its initial presence in copper, Vedanta acquired state-owned BALCO when it came up for disinvestment in 2000-01 and its output and productivity grew manifold under the group’s leadership through major expansion and technology improvements making it one of the largest private sector aluminium and power companies today. The acquisition of Hindustan Zinc by Vedanta is a shining example of the success of disinvestment. In the last ten years the latter has emerged as a leader in the zinc-lead-silver market globally and in India, both in volume and value.

The acquisition of Cairn India by the group led to infusion of cutting-edge technology to develop its portfolio of tight oil fields in Barmer, Rajasthan. The company is now the largest private producer and contributing 25% to India’s oil & gas needs.

The phenomenal growth in BALCO and HZL’s market capitalization has rewarded both minority shareholders and the Government of India which holds significant residual stake in both the companies.

As the chairman of Vedanta, Mr Anil Agarwal has led the group from the front and empowered a strong team of professionals to lead each business unit.

  1. Contribution to the society  

An ardent believer in the ancient Indian concept of being a Trustee of society’s wealth, Mr. Anil Agarwal has pledged to give away 75% of his family wealth for the greater good of nation and its people. This year, he signed the Giving Pledge, a movement of global philanthropists who commit giving majority of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes.

The Anil Agarwal Foundation is committed towards empowering communities, transforming lives and facilitating nation building through sustainable and inclusive growth. It has pledged Rs 5,000 crore over the next 5 years on social impact programmes focused on nutrition, women & child development, healthcare, animal welfare and grass root level sports.

His dream project Nand Ghar, which is modernizing anganwadis in partnership with the Government of India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD), aims to transform the anganwadi network in India with state-of-the-art infrastructure and bouquet of integrated services including e-learning for children, primary healthcare services, economic empowerment of women. Each Nand Ghar is equipped with television for e-learning, solar panels for reliable power, safe drinking water through purifiers and clean toilets.  With more than 2700 Nand Ghars across 12 States, Nand Ghar is catalyzing change at the grassroots level and making it a national movement to transform the lives of 70 million children and 20 million women across 13.7 lakh angwanwadis in the country.

Committing to the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s national vision of eradicating child malnutrition, providing education, healthcare and empowering women with skill development, Nand Ghars are playing instrumental role in fulfilling PM’s commitment towards Poshan Abhiyan, Swachh Bharat, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and Startup India. Also, partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for achieving improved health and nutritional outcomes in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

  1. Awards & Recognitions  

Mr. Agarwal has been conferred the Business Leader award by The Economic Times and was a recipient of the Mining Journal Lifetime Achievement Award. He has received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was featured as a turnaround artist by Fortune magazine. He has been honoured with Annual Asian Achievers’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mr. Anil Agarwal has been among the top philanthropists in the country. He has been included among the foremost donors in the EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List for 2020 and 2021. He was also conferred with the prestigious Mumbai Ratna Award for his outstanding services towards the holistic development of Mumbai.