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Shashi Ruia

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All successful business-people tend to have inspirational stories but never is that truer than in the case of a first-generation entrepreneur.

Take Shashi Ruia. Starting out in 1965 in the modest family business under the guidance of his father, he displayed an extraordinary foresight in investing in infrastructure -­ the foundation of any developing nation.

Over the course of the past 45-odd years, the story of Essar’s growth in many ways runs parallel to that of India¹s. Shashi, along with brother Ravi, led Essar into shipping, steel, power, telecom, oil exploration – businesses conventionally the domain of the public sector.

That takes courage and ambition and Ruia is lacking in neither. He’s also a respected strategist who isn¹t risk averse ­a quality that is credited with giving Essar a headstart over many contemporaries. Today, as chairman of the diversified Essar Group, Ruia is widely-respected not just in Indian industry but as a leading global business figure.

Interestingly, innovation and nimbleness remain hallmarks of Essar, unusual given the scale of their operations. They¹re present in 25 countries, employ over 75,000 people and clock revenues upward of 27 billion dollars. Perhaps one reason for that is the company¹s openness to change and to adopting modern practices ­ their internal and external communications are cutting-edge, and the have a strong social media presence, both of which reflect a company culture of constant innovation.

More recently, Shashi Ruia became one of an elite band of achievers and game-changers from around the world to join The Elders, a network of high-profile individuals who have come together to help tackle the world’s most urgent challenges. Additionally, Mr Ruia sits on a host of prestigious national and industry associations, including FICCI and the Indo-US Joint Business Council.

Widely regarded as one of the architects of modem India, Shashi Ruia has a passion for education and mentoring young talent

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