Anil Agrawal angles for Anglo
Mr Anil Agarwal, the Chairman of Vedant Resources is making another attempt to enter the Anglo American ‘enterprises’. The Jewel in the Anglo American crown which has the South African government also as a stakeholder is De Beers Diamonds, which in itself would be a marquee franchisee.
Diamonds are desirable
Sometime back, Anglo American had rejected merger talks with Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta. Now Mr Agarwal is trying to buy $2.4 Billion worth of shares amounting to approximately 13% of equity. Once Mr Agarwal progresses in this deal, his will be the second largest holding. Only the South African government (South Africa is mineral rich) with 14% has more. It is believed that Mr Agarwal’s stake will increase gradually by taking over part of the SA government’s. This would enable the Indian to control the De Beers and Anglo American businesses.
Koh-i-Noor and Karmic Justice
Indian Industry is going places. Once, Swami Vivekananda encouraged Jamsetji Tata to start iron and steel manufacturing in India to work around the restrictive practices of the British Steel Industry. A few years ago, Tata Steel bought British owned Corus Steel.
For some time now, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan have each been ‘expecting’ the British Government to return the Koh-i-Noor. Mr Agarwal’s entry into Anglo American would in due course help him controll De Beers. Some like Shashi Tharoor who have been protesting against imperial atrocities may even sense a whiff of karmic justice in these developments.
It may feel good to gloat over the economic impact Indian businessmen are making globally. A few weeks ago, India also overtook the UK economy (in terms of GDP) when the latter economy started feeling the impact of Brexit. But Indian businesses and businessmen would do well to remember that we also have a great responsibility/opportunity too.
Global Icons of Governance
Indian businesses should lead governance efforts in Business transparency, enviromental sustainability, local community engagment/development and the like. The ills we have experienced of colonization (commercial or political) We should not foist (the ills we have experienced of colonization) on the countries and communities we engage with.