New York: Better known for his sprawling
steel empire and mounds of wealth, Lakshmi Mittal has now been
named as a visionary by Fortune magazine for extending support
to help Indian athletes win Olympic medals.
The league of eight individuals also features two other
Indians--Rikin Gandhi, the chief of New Delhi-based NGO
Digital Green, and Indrani Medhi, an executive at Microsoft
Elaborating on the `The Fortune Global Forum Visionaries`
list, the magazine said it set out to find "eight trailblazers
whose innovative contributions to emerging markets and
developing nations are as significant as they are universal."
The NRI billionaire has found a place in the list as
the founder of Mittal Champions Trust, that supports Indian
athletes in as many as six sports. The publication said the
England-based chief of the world`s largest steel company
ArcelorMittal plays a pivotal role in India`s ongoing quest
for the Olympic metals.
"According to Mittal, the goal of the Mittal Champions
Trust is to identify, support and enhance the performance of
talented up-and-coming Indian athletes in six sports: track
and field, shooting, wrestling, archery, boxing, and squash,"
the magazine noted.
The trust, started in 2005 with an initial funding of USD
9 million, supports over 60 Indian athletes, including the
Olympic gold medalist and shooter Abhinav Bindra.
"The next goal? Bring home at least five medals from the
2012 Olympics in London," the report said.
The Rikin Gandhi-headed Digital Green teaches farmers in
small villages the latest agricultural techniques with the
help of multimedia presentations and personal demonstrations.
Quoting Gandhi, the magazine said, his effort is "ten
times more effective per dollar spent in converting farmers to
better farming practices than more traditional approaches".
Writing about Indrani Medhi, the publication said her
research work is to "make assistance-free and useful
interaction possible for any first-time, non-literate user of
a PC or mobile phone". Medhi is an associate researcher
(Technology for Emerging Markets Group) at Microsoft India.
The Nobel prize winner and founder of Bangladesh`s
Grameen Bank Muhammad Yunus, International AIDS Vaccine
Initiative`s epidemiologist Seth Berkley and the Hong
Kong-based sourcing firm Li & Fung Group`s Victor and William
Fung also feature in the list.
The Fortune has also named French business school HEC
Paris` associate dean Valerie Gauthier and China South
Locomotive and Rolling Stock Corporation chief Zhao Xiaogang
among the eight visionaries.