Vedanta bats for young Indian entrepreneurs, sets up $1bn fund

MUMBAI: Metals billionaire Anil Agarwal intends to launch a $1-billion venture capital fund to help young Indian entrepreneurs build their businesses from ground up.

Anil Agarwal who made a surprise $2-billion investment in blue-chip miner Anglo American Plc earlier this year and become the talk of the town.

Earlier, Agarwal said he invest $1-billion in Jharkhand includes setting up a 1 million tonne steel plant.

Dubbing Jharkhand as “a diamond in the crown of the world”, Vedanta Resources Group Chairman Anil Agarwal said the state is “full of potential” and Vedanta has big plans for it.

“There is a lot of potential…This (Jharkhand) is a real Australia in India with its huge natural resources. We have a big plan but we will start with the medium size or small size project. We intend to set up a one million tonne of steel plant,” Agarwal told PTI in an interview.

Vedanta has lined up about a “billion dollar” investment for Jharkhand initially that includes setting up a one million tonnes steel plant, the head of the mining conglomerate said.

“Once we start and find that things are comfortable, we can always enhance. We have identified the place. We have some iron ore deposits there which I would like to explore and develop. It is just a first step,” Agarwal said, adding that the timeline set for the plant is two years.

Vedanta initially plans to invest about Rs 2,000 crore in setting up one million pig iron and ductile pipe plant at Manoharpur in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand.

The iron ore will be supplied to the plant through its Dhobil mines adjacent to Manoharpur, which it plans to develop at a cost of Rs 500 crore.

Describing the proposed steel plant as just a first step, Agarwal said, “We want to have a foothold there and let’s see. A lot can be produced in Jharkhand. For natural resource and goods, you need a lot of employment. At the same time you save your foreign exchange and hard earned money. This is a very win-win situation for Jharkhand.