‘Man of Steel’ dies in a chopper crash
Date: Saturday , April 30, 2005
Om Prakash Jindal, Power Minister of Haryana and the owner of $1.2 billion Jindal Empire, died in a helicopter crash on March 31, 2005 at the age of 74.
The Times Group of publications dubbed him as ‘’a man of steel’’, as Jindal who was just a matriculate, but neverthless rose to new heights in his steel manufacturing business; it expanded beyond Nalwa, a small village in Haryana, India.
Jindal, ranked number 548 in Forbes Magazine’s World Billionaire list, solely created the steel empire. Jindal also the chairman of the Group came from a family of small-time manufacturers of iron buckets. A clear focus on steel—though the group later diversified into power—transformed the man from Hissar into the head of one of the country’s largest steel manufacturers.
Jindal’s quest began in 1947, when he redrew the blueprint of his small steel pipe business in Nalwa, a village in Haryana, and set out to Kolkata. In 1952, and just 22 years old, he was experienced enough to set up the group’s first factory at Liluah, near Kolkata, for the manufacturing of steel pipes, bends and sockets. Soon, a similar manufacturing unit was set up at Hissar in Haryana.
In 1970, he established Jindal Strips and a mini steel plant set up at Hissar to manufacture coils and plates. The Jindal group is now the fourth in India after Reliance, Tata and Aditya Birla group in assets and sales turnover in the private sector.
A three-time legislator, Jindal was elected to the State Legislature twice in 1991 and in 2000. He was elected from his home constituency Hissar in the recently held Assembly polls and was made Minister for Power by the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government. In 1996, he successfully contested Lok Sabha elections from Kurukshetra.
A globetrotter, Jindal’s favorite pastime was reading about the latest information in the field of industry and farming. He leaves behind his wife Savitri Devi Jindal, four sons and five daughters.