One of the speakers at this year’s Institute of Asian Businesses (IAB) annual dinner is the man whose company contributed to the construction of one of the world’s most expensive and complex experimental facilities to date, the Large Hadron Collider, which created Higgs bosons and other particles for observation and study.
Lord Paul of Marylebone, elevated to the British peerage in 1996, heads up steel and engineering empire, the Caparo Group. He will be joining entrepreneur Hussein Lalani, co-founder of 99p stores on the podium at the IAB dinner on 29 November at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre..
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 the company has sites in Europe, Asia and North America.
The £2 billion pound Caparo Group operates from more than 80 locations across the world and posts 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 Higgs bosons. 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 83-year-old is chairman of the company while his son Angad Paul is chief executive. Lord Paul set up the Ambika Paul Foundation in memory of his daughter who died from leukaemia. The foundation promotes the wellbeing of children and has donated millions to children’s charities including building the Ambika Paul Children’s Zoo at London Zoo.
A strict vegetarian he also set up the Ambika Paul School of Technology in Jalandhar – the town where his father first set up a business making steel buckets in 1910.
In the UK the Caparo Innovation Centre, established with the University of Wolverhampton, received the 2013 award for Business Collaboration of the Year. The company also funds apprenticeships at the RSA Academy in Tipton.
He is Chancellor of two universities – Wolverhampton and Westminster.
Lord Paul said: “It will be a pleasure to speak at the IAB dinner. I am delighted to see how Asian businesses are flourishing in the West Midlands where the exceptionally dynamic community, who are all great citizens of the UK, make a very significant contribution to the economic and cultural life of the region.”
IAB president, Saqib Bhatti said: “It is an honour to host such an esteemed guest speaker such as Lord Paul. He is a true testament of what can be achieved through hard work and perseverance. He is an inspiration to the business community and I look forward to hearing from him at our dinner which has once again shown that the prestigious occasion can draw top business people proving exactly what the IAB is capable of.”