Leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul has been honoured with the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by a UK-based business association for his outstanding contribution to the industry, education and philanthropy.
Lord Paul’s daughter Anjli received the award at the Black Country Asian Business Association’s annual awards dinner on Friday night at Wednesbury in West Midlands as he was on a business trip to the U.S.
In his acceptance speech read out by Anjli, Lord Paul, founder Chairman of the Caparo Group, recalled his ties to the Black Country when Caparo first began operations in the West Midlands under the banner of a small company called L.K. Industrial.
“We changed the name to Caparo Industries and began to acquire more West Midlands manufacturing sites. Caparo now produces a range of steel based industrial and engineering products on 23 sites in the area.”
He noted that since 1999 he has had the honour of being Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton which last year celebrated 21 years of University status.
“The University began life 190 years ago as the Wolverhampton Mechanics’ Institute and laid the foundations of the University’s mission and values today -- which is to provide the opportunity for quality education to all who want to study with us.”
Philanthropist and Labour politician, Lord Paul is also the chancellor of the University of Westminster.
He was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 1983.
“I believe we can truly say that the University of Wolverhampton is the University of Opportunity. With over 22,000 students from 150 countries, the University is one of the largest higher education providers in Britain and makes a significant contribution to the academic and economic life of the Black Country and surrounding regions,” Lord Paul said.
He noted that he has always been keen to link industry to learning and The Caparo Innovation Centre makes that connection. It was established at the beginning of 2003 in collaboration with the University of Wolverhampton.
Based in the creative environment of the university’s science park, the Centre is staffed by a team of product and business development professional covering the critical range of engineering marketing, design and business skills.
“It is an imaginative approach to turn product ideas into business realities,” he added.