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NRI, UK industrialist, Lord Swraj Paul

NRI industrialist Lord Paul creates history by becoming
deputy speaker of the British House of Lords

London, Dec. 10, 2008
Sirinder Mehta

NRI (Non-Resident Indian) industrialist Lord Paul, 77, has created history by becoming the first Asian deputy speaker of the British House of Lords, according to local media reports.

After the appointment, Lord Paul said:

  • It was an honor "for a person who comes from a freedom fighters' family from India. In fact, my name Swraj was given because this was a slogan of Mahatma Gandhi--We want Swaraj (freedom)
  • He was looking forward to serving the British Parliament, adding the announcement speaks a great deal about the British and the British system of democracy and is also a tribute to India.

NRI, Lord (Swraj) Paul, Chairman of Caparo Group, is a leading businessman and an active member of the House of Lords. Born in Jalandhar, India in 1931, he was educated at Punjab University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA from which he graduated with a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1952.

Lord Paul came to Britain in 1966 for medical treatment for his daughter, Ambika. He remained in England after her tragic death in 1968 and sees all he has created in Caparo Group as a dedication to her memory. In 1994 Lord Paul took the opportunity to commemorate the rebuilding of London's Children's Zoo in her name. He stayed on in this country and gained British citizenship in 1976.

Additionally, Lord Paul is an Ambassador for British Business, Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, and Co-chairman of the India-UK Round Table. He sits on the Boards of the UK Industrial Development Advisory Board, the London Development Agency, and London 2012. He is a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science & Technology and former member of the of House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs.

He and his family own a string of companies across the Midlands and the Caparo Group is now run by his three sons, twins Ambar and Akash and youngest son Angad.

Lord Paul’s roots go back to the little Punjab town of Jalandhar in India, where in 1910 his father started by making steel buckets, tubs, trunks and agricultural implements, and had a small foundry at the back of the family home. From this modest undertaking Apeejay Surrendra Group has grown into one of India’s largest family owned industrial groups in a wide range of industries : steel, engineering, pharmaceuticals, hotels, shipping and tea.

Lord Paul and his brothers grew up surrounded by their father’s small business and succeeded him in its diversification and expansion.