Amit Bhatia

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Amit Bhatia
Born London, United Kingdom
Alma mater Cornell University
Occupation Owner Swordfish Investments, Chairman Hope Construction Materials, Vice-Chairman QPR
Awards Asian Business Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Amit Bhatia, (born London, 1979) is a British-Indian businessman. His parents are Arun and Renu Bhatia. Bhatia is fluent in Hindi, English and Spanish. In 2004 Bhatia married Vanisha Mittal, the only daughter and second child of billionaire steel tycoon and Chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, Lakshmi Mittal, in a ceremony said to have cost as much as $78 million.[1]

Early life[edit]

Amit Bhatia was born in London, United Kingdom. Bhatia was educated in Delhi at Columba's School until 1995, followed by Dulwich College in London, United Kingdom, in 1996, and at the British School in Delhi in 1997. Bhatia graduated from Cornell University in 2001, an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, in the United States where he studied Applied Economics & Management. He has since remained involved in alumni matters, now serves on Cornell’s External Advisory Council for Internalization and has been a guest lecturer at the University’s Johnson School for MBA students.

Career[edit]

Bhatia began his career working in mergers and acquisitions at both Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch in New York before moving to Credit Suisse First Boston in London. He then incubated Swordfish Investments, a Mayfair-based private equity/venture fund, and Swordfish Capital Management, an investment management company. Investments included education, media, telecoms and financial services. One of Swordfish’s investments, Supercell was (October 2013) named the fastest growing gaming company in the world with $2.5 million sales per day. The Finnish startup raised $130m at an impressive $770m valuation in spring 2013 before selling a 50% state to Softbank at a $3 billion value. Bhatia has also been recognized as one of the earlier investors in Dropbox.[2] His family are also a co-owner of Air Asia India with Tony Fernandes and Ratan Tata.[3]

Bhatia is the Chairman of Hope Construction Materials [4] the UK’s largest independent supplier of concrete, cement, aggregates and asphalt. The company was launched in January 2013 after the divestment of 200 sites by two of the UK's biggest building materials companies, Tarmac Group and Lafarge. Hope’s assets include the largest cement works in the UK at Hope Valley in Derbyshire, 172 ready-mix plants, 4 rail heads, 5 major quarries, 7 national offices, a fleet of over 400 vehicles and the company employs over 900 people. The company is the UK's first construction firm to join the World Economic Forum's Global Growth Companies (GGC) community and one of just two European construction firms to show it meets membership criteria.[verification needed][5]

Sports[edit]

In 2007 Bhatia bought a stake in Queens Park Rangers FC, London, an English Premier League club and has served as its Vice-Chairman since then with the exception of a brief time in [6] 2011 when Bhatia resigned from QPR's board in frustration after his bid to buy the whole club was unsuccessful,[7] he returned to the board a few months later. He has widely been credited as the driving force behind the Club’s impressive season in 2010 and the subsequent promotion to the premier league in April 2011. The journey was documented in a movie called The Four Year Plan.[8] He remains very popular with the club’s fan base.

In 2007, Bhatia initiated the Mittal Champions Trust, after being disappointed that Indian athletes did not have enough support to help them win gold at various championships, especially the Olympics.[9] The MCT sponsors Indian sportsmen with world-class potential, one of whom, Abhinav Bindra,[10] won a gold medal in air rifle shooting at the Beijing Olympics just one year later in 2008 making him the first individual gold medalist for India ever. Another MCT Athlete, Sushil Kumar, won Bronze at London 2012 Olympic games. The Mittal Champions Trust has paved the way for other such initiatives in India.

Charity[edit]

In 2010, Amit set up a grant-awarding charity, called the Global Relief Initiative. This charity facilitates the making of financial and other contributions to fellow charities, who in turn use such aid to improve the quality of life of people worldwide by relieving poverty, advancing education and promoting health. Bhatia successfully implements strong result-driven programmes and projects that are transformable, scalable and sustainable so as to accommodate as far as possible the needs of many.[11]

In January 2009 Bhatia was appointed to be the Chairman of QPR in the Community Trust. The trust impacts lives of thousands of children and young adults in the Greater London Area. He took part in a triathlon in the summer of 2009 to raise funds for the QPR in the Community Trust charity, raising over £32,000. The trust has won Best Community Project (disability) at the Coca-Cola Community Club of the Year Awards 2011 for Downs Syndrome Tiger Cubs project.

In 2011, Bhatia’s donation to the Cornell University Library System to support its café space in the first floor of The John M. Olin Library led the café to be renamed the "Amit Bhatia Libe Café;" it had formerly been known as just "Libe Café".[12] In October 2013 Bhatia donated a substantial contribution to Pencils of Promise. This children’s education charity has been able to build two schools, one in Ghana, the other in Guatemala as a result of this.[13]

Awards and Recognition[edit]

Bhatia received an award for ‘Community Business in Sport’ at the British Asian Sport Awards in 2011. He was crowned the Young Entrepreneur of the Year for 2013 at the Asian Business Awards recognizing and rewarding excellence in business [14][15] Subsequently he also won the award for the Outstanding Young Executive (Under 35 years) at the Global Business Excellence Awards.[16]

Amit is a member of the William Pitt Group at Chatham House, which is home to the Royal Institute of International Affairs and is a world-leading source of independent analysis, informed debate and influential ideas on how to build a prosperous and secure world for all.

In February 2014, Amit contributed to The Young Enterprise Tenner Relay, a unique competition that develops enterprise and business skills in school pupils across the UK. 15,676 students from 342 schools across the UK took part.[17] Bhatia has become a new entry for Britain’s Most Influential Asian 2014. Ranking at number 60, Bhatia’s commitment and passion towards sport, charity and business has been recognized and documented.

On the 11 June Amit was crowned Young Director of the Year for London and the South East alongside Ross Williams, CEO of Global Personals, at the Institute of Director’s (IoD) Director of the Year awards. The regional awards, held at the IoD’s London headquarters, saw the culmination of hundreds of nominations, with Amit jointly winning the coveted award. He will find out if he has won the overall national award at the final, to be held in London later this year.

In June 2014, Amit has also been appointed as an Independent Non-Execuitve Director of AirAsia Berhad. He was also chosen for the role of an Ambassador of the KP24 Foundation, also known as the Kevin Pietersen Foundation, and subsequently leading to other such foundations.

Bhatia was recently voted as one of Britain’s Most Influential Asians, ranking 47th in November 2014’s GG2 Power List.

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