Turning Cheap Steel Mills Into Gold

Flush with success in emerging markets, Ispat eyes the U.S.

After an early-morning dip in the indoor pool at his home on Hampstead's "millionaire's row," Lakshmi N. Mittal, chairman of steelmaker Ispat International, starts phoning his executives in Kazakhstan and India. By 8 a.m., he and his wife Usha are in a chauffeur-driven Mercedes-Benz, heading for their office overlooking London's Berkeley Square. Lakshmi, 45, scans production figures, while Usha, also 45, minds outside investments and looks after Indonesian operations. "My 15-year-old daughter always complains that whenever we're together, we talk only business," says Mittal with a sigh.

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