India is full of potential and Indians are “born entrepreneurs”, leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul said on Friday, as he received a lifetime achievement award in New Delhi.
The 87-year-old businessman, who was born in Jalandhar in Punjab, was honoured with the Golden Peacock Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Institute of Directors in the presence of Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.
“We [India] have so much potential. And, an Indian is a born entrepreneur. Let us all work together. And, tonight, I dedicate this award to India,” Paul, also, member of the House of Lords said.
Baijal, before his speech as the chief guest of the felicitation ceremony, said that he was making his remarks in his personal capacity at the function and “not as the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi”.
He said that while there was a “lot of buzz” in skill development sector in the country, he did not see the same level of buzz in the job sector.
“Unskilled youth not getting jobs is an issue, but skilled youth not getting jobs is far more serious,” Baijal said.
Former foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai, in his special address, hailed Paul as the man with an “iron will and steel resolve”, who has never deviated from his path despite challenges that he has faced.
According to the citation of the award, Paul, chairman of the Caparo Group, a leading UK-based manufacturer of steel products, has property and leisure interests and currently employs over 7,000 people across North America, the UK, India and the Middle East.
He has been conferred with the lifetime achievement award for his outstanding contributions in the fields of manufacturing industry, education and philanthropy.
Paul, in his acceptance speech, recalled his higher education in the US at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which he said, taught him to “never settle for the second best”.
Just prior to the function, a thematic session on Empowering micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) for the National Growth was also held at the India International Centre.
Arun Kumar Panda, secretary of MSME, in his address during the session, said that the MSME sector has contributed to the country in some of the biggest projects.
“Some of the parts used in Mars Mission, Tejas Project and the CERN in Europe were manufactured in this sector,” he added.