NRI steel baron Lakshmi Mittal today said he was able to prove his Principal wrong when he topped Saint Xavier's College in Calcutta even though he was earlier denied admission for not being fluent in English.
Mittal, 62, the UK-based NRI billionaire who was conferred the Global Xavierian Award today in an alumni meet here, is the Charmian and Chief Executive Officer of Luxembourg headquartered world's largest steelmaker and mining company ArcelorMittal.
Recollecting memories of his days as a student, Mittal said he was initially denied admission in the college as he could not speak English.
"I came from a Hindi medium school... the Principal felt that I would not fit into an English medium college. Though I was top in my class in school and I got admission in other colleges, but I really wanted to study in St. Xavier's. So I kept on knocking his door every day and finally he gave up and I promised him that I will be a good student and which I did," he said in an interview to NDTV.
Mittal said it was a challenge for him to prove the Principal wrong and it gave him a lot of learning and helped him become a successful businessman.
"...I really dedicated myself that I have to accept this challenge and continue to work hard and focus on the studies.
And this is a learning in the business life that first of all you need to have commitment, dedication and passion for what you are doing", he said.
Mittal also ranks among the world's top-100 wealthiest people on the Forbes' list, featuring at 41st position with a net worth of USD 16.5 billion.
He founded Mittal Steel Company (formerly the LNM Group) in 1976. In 2006, Mittal Steel was merged with Arcelor to form ArcelorMittal.
He is a recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honour, and a Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award.