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Prashant Ruia

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The New-Age Entrepreneur

When you’re a young boy born into one of India’s most wealthy business families, you can be forgiven for living it up as a teenager.

Instead, Prashant Ruia showed up at the offices of his family corporation, Essar, at age 15. “In 1985, it was an exciting time for the company — we were just getting going, and I just wanted to get on with it,” he told UK’s The Telegraph. It often seems like he hasn’t stopped since.

Now Chief Executive of the Essar Group, a multinational conglomerate with interests in shipping, power, steel, oil and gas, communications and ports, Prashant is that rarest of combinations: a strategic thinker who’s also good at execution and operations. That explains why Essar today employs over 75,000 people and operates in over 25 countries.Prashant has been instrumental in taking the company beyond its traditional strengths: he helped orchestrate the Essar-Vodafone partnership, to give Essar a key role in India’s mobile telephony revolution; he also helped combine Essar’s oil and gas businesses under the umbrella of Essar Energy to make it India’s second largest private power producer.

Last year, he set his sights on listing Essar Energy, an FTSE 100 company, on the London Stock Exchange — a milestone the group achieved in May 2010.

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