The soaring worldwide growth of Lord Paul’s steel and engineering empire, the Caparo Group, has been enough to elevate the family’s worth to the £2 billion pound mark.
Operating from more than 80 locations across the world, the company has posted profits in excess of £50 million on sales of £921 million. The company’s growing Indian businesses alone are now worth well over £1.5 million.
In 2012 the group played a part in the hunt for the “god particle”. The Accles and Pollock division of the Oldbury based multinational supplied components and engineering expertise to CERN for the Large Hadron Collider which finally identified the Higgs boson particle.
The Caparo Group is reaping the benefits of trading with the world’s fastest growing economies. A return to growth in some of its major markets – particularly India – have repaired the group’s post-recession fortunes.
The company saw spectacular growth until 2007 as a result of its strategy of building up a major presence on the sub-continent. The company’s stated aim was to be the biggest automotive company in Lord Paul’s native country.
But Caparo was hit hard by the recession and had a poor 2008 and 2009, reporting losses, racking up debt and causing its lenders some concerns.
Now it has been restructured, with its US and Indian businesses operating on a stand-alone basis. Revenues from all of the companies have seen impressive growth.
Lord Paul, aged 82, is chairman of the company while his son Angad Paul is chief executive.
The group remains ambitious and as economies across the world – particularly India – demonstrate enviable growth Caparo is taking advantage.
The company has three entities on the sub-continent: Caparo Maruti, Caparo Engineering India and Caparo India Private. Caparo’s first venture in India was back in 1994 when the company set up a joint venture with Maruti, then India’s largest car company.
Lord Paul set up the Caparo School of Excellence in Manufacturing and Materials Technology in Jalandhar – the town where his father first set up a business making steel buckets back in 1910.
In the UK the Caparo Innovation Centre, established with the University of Wolverhampton, received the 2013 award for the Business Collaboration of the Year. The company also funds apprenticeships at the RSA Academy in Tipton.
Caparo’s success and Lord Paul’s wealth came through the meteoric rise of the Indian and Chinese economies and their insatiable demand for raw materials. Lord Paul of Marylebone’s Black Country-based Caparo Group was founded in 1968, two years after he came to the UK to get treatment for his daughter Ambika’s leukaemia. She died soon after and the Ambika Paul Foundation was set up in her memory to promote the wellbeing of children. It has donated millions to children’s charities.
Steel, automotive, engineering and property group Caparo has its major regional office in Oldbury and a technology division on Wolverhampton Science Park. It has other Midland facilities in West Bromwich, Stourbridge and Warwick. Worldwide it has sites in Europe, Asia and North America.
In addition one of Lord Paul’s sons, Ambar, heads the family’s Caparo Hotels chain which has hotels in Oxford, Abingdon, Torquay and London.
Lord Paul is chancellor of two universities – Wolverhampton and Westminster.
Despite his wealth, Lord Paul is a strict vegetarian who lives by simple Hindu principles and encourages his employees to show integrity and respect.