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Bridging the old and the new: Rewant Ruia

An aerial view of Essar Steel Algoma. As head of North American operations, he manages Essar Steel Algoma, Trinity Coal Co. and the Iron Ore Mines and Pellet Project in Minnesota for Essar Steel Minnesota Llc.  (An aerial view of Essar Steel Algoma. As head of North American operations, he manages Essar Steel Algoma, Trinity Coal Co. and the Iron Ore Mines and Pellet Project in Minnesota for Essar Steel Minnesota Llc. )Premium
An aerial view of Essar Steel Algoma. As head of North American operations, he manages Essar Steel Algoma, Trinity Coal Co. and the Iron Ore Mines and Pellet Project in Minnesota for Essar Steel Minnesota Llc.
(An aerial view of Essar Steel Algoma. As head of North American operations, he manages Essar Steel Algoma, Trinity Coal Co. and the Iron Ore Mines and Pellet Project in Minnesota for Essar Steel Minnesota Llc. )

Rewant Ruia, director Essar Steel, prizes continuous learning

The youngest of the Ruia cousins has been tasked with handling the steel business of the far-flung family empire. Rewant Ruia, 30, is the son of Ravi Ruia, who founded the $27 billion Essar Group along with brother Shashi Ruia. Together, his father and uncle are No. 8 on Forbes 2012 list of the 100 richest Indians. He joined the family business in the summer of 2005, by which time cousins Prashant and Anshuman were already well-established in the business.

An insider rates him highly for bridging the old and the new.

“Rewant is a Marwari at heart and a new-age manager by practice," said this person, who didn’t want to be named. “He is highly IT-driven and inspiring the group companies to be IT-driven. He is mixing Indian culture with his western management styles to get the best out of the business. A very warm and hospitable person in nature." Others say he’s a natural entrepreneur.

The key to success, according to Rewant Ruia, is preparation, hard work and the ability to adapt. He prizes continuous learning (Ruia is currently pursuing an MBA at Stanford) and being able to constantly reinvent. Besides that, “I believe in incentivizing people and in the power of teamwork."

He’s been a non-executive director of Essar Steel Ltd since January 2007 and held a similar post in Essar Power Ltd until June 2011.

He oversees the group’s North American metals and mining operations in the US and Canada besides the retail business in India, which taps the large market of mobile phone users, and steel.

As head of North American operations, he manages Essar Steel Algoma Inc., Trinity Coal Co. and the Iron Ore Mines and Pellet Project in Minnesota for Essar Steel Minnesota Llc. He’s also responsible for expanding the group’s iron ore and coal reserves overseas.

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