Tag Archive for 'Caparo'

How to survive a recession

The survivor of three other recessions, Caparo’s founder, Lord Swraj Paul, says his adopted home is the best place to be for this one. From the Guardian:

“]Martin Argles]

Lord Paul. [Photo: Martin Argles

Lord Paul is well placed to comment on the recession, and how companies can get through it. He started in business with a £5,000 bank loan in the 1960s, “slogged” through three recessions, and increased the size of his company Caparo from revenues of £14,000 to £625m today. In the process, he has become the richest British Asian, with his wealth having doubled in the last year to £1.5bn, according to Eastern Eye magazine’s rich list.

“In the last two years, we have acquired 22 companies, and we have built 32 plants in India since 1994,” he says, as we walk the corridors in the House of Lords looking for a place to sit. “Undoubtedly, India is providing us a big market, which is part of the reason why we have grown so rapidly.”

Despite his impressive CV, when you meet him you can’t help thinking he is not the most likely of achievers. He shuffles around the palace of Westminster, knocking on doors and checking – mostly unsuccessfully – if any room is free. “The thing is, my PA told me about five minutes past three o’clock that I was meeting you at three!” he confides. Finally, we find a room that will be available in 15 minutes, so Paul decides we can make do with the narrow corridor until then.