Prashant Ruia is CEO of the Essar group, a family-run conglomerate headquartered in Mumbai, which has operations in 25 countries and employs 75,000 people in the steel, energy, power, communications, ports and logistics sectors. It has annual revenues of $17 billion.
Ruia was managing director of Essar Steel from 2003 to 2006, and later played a crucial role in structuring a partnership between Essar and the UK's Vodafone to create India's second largest cellular service company. The deal, which created a mobile subscriber base of 90m, brought significant capital to the group and, according to Ruia, helped give it a “global footprint.”
The company has also seen recent successes in the acquisition of Algoma Steel in Canada and a 14% stake in Indus Towers, the world's largest telecom tower company.
A business graduate of Mumbai University, Ruia has chalked up an impressive line of board memberships, including the International Iron and Steel Institute, and the chairman of the National Committee on Hydrocarbon and Petroleum.
Essar plans to raise about $750m by floating its infrastructure assets on the London stock exchange next year.