Swraj Paul's late son Angad believed in 'Make in UK'

Friends remember the NRI billionaire, and Lord Swraj Paul’s son, who died on Monday after falling off his Central London penthouse

NRI billionaire Angad Paul died after falling from the eighth floor of his penthouse in Central London’s posh Portland Place late on Sunday. Investigators on Monday did not rule out suicide. Angad is the son of Lord Swraj Paul and was helming the family’s global conglomerate Caparo Industries since 1996.

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(From left to right) A picture from Angad’s wedding reception in 2004 shows Lord Swraj Paul, his wife Aruna, and  Angad with his wife Michelle. pic/PTI
(From left to right) A picture from Angad’s wedding reception in 2004 shows Lord Swraj Paul, his wife Aruna, and  Angad with his wife Michelle. Pic/PTI

Steel magnate and life peer Lord Paul is the 47th richest man in Britain with a fortune estimated at £2.2 billion. He has strong ties to the Labour party and is one of its biggest donors.

“Since his death is not considered suspicious, the case will now be transferred to the coroner for further enquires,” a Scotland Yard spokesperson told mid-day. In the United Kingdom, suicide cases fall under the jurisdiction of the coroner.

Angad’s body was found on Sunday morning by locals. The London Fire Brigade had to be called to assist with the recovery of the body as it had fallen from his eight-floor flat to the roof of another smaller building.

“Police were called at approximately 11.05 hrs. He was pronounced dead at the scene,” the spokesperson added.

Last month, Caparo Industries Ltd, which has 20 business ventures, had recently filed for administration (liquidation) of 16 of its ventures having succumbed to adverse market conditions. It was in heavy debt and had planned to lay off over 1600 employees – 450 of whom had already lost their jobs and others were soon to follow.

According to the administrators PricewaterhouseCooper, “The recent impact that low commodity prices, exchange rates and China’s steel production has had on the UK Steel industry, extended to certain company's within Caparo Industries Plc, impacting results and the funding requirements of the business. This resulted in the directors taking action to appoint administrators to protect the business as much as possible.”

Angad’s investments in production of some high-risk supercars, films and retail are being blamed for this collapse. Angad was the brainchild of Caparo T1, developed by McLaren F1 engineers, which was unveiled in 2006 by the Prince of Monaco, Albert II and boasted of being the world’s fastest supercar at that time. He also produced Guy Ritchie’s films including Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and was partner in the high-end furniture firm, Established & Sons with Stella McCarthy’s husband Alsdhair Willis.

“Angad was a very conscientious individual, very polite and very keen to help everyone,” said Virender Sharma, a Labour MP from Ealing, Southall and a close friend of the family. “As an employer he was very close to his staff and was a role model for them. He worked very hard — for not personal prosperity but the prosperity of his employees.”

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Becky Sunshine, a London-based freelance design and style journalist, who was a childhood friend of Angad said, “He was a sweet, gentle man. I’m so sad for his family.”

Sharma added that it’s extremely difficult for Lord Paul as a father to accept this tragedy. “It’s not easy to take a son’s loss,” he said. For his youngest son’s wedding reception in 2005, Lord Paul hired the prestigious Lancaster House that is only available for special government banquets and not available to the public even with very deep pockets.

"It was the wedding of the year with the A list of the British establishment in attendance. The invitation cards that were sent to over 1,500 guests carried the Paul crest embossed with its motto ‘Trust, Freedom and Compassion,’” a close family friend said adding that it is these values that the Paul family abides by.

“Having tasted success for decades on end, it was a difficult time for the family to see their business collapse. Angad was at the helm, so he took it the worst,” he added.

Angad married Michelle Bonn, a media layer in 2005. His father-in-law Jeffery Bonn said that the family members “are all very much in shock.”

“Angad was a very friendly guy. I shot his portraits for the CEO magazine and he was accommodating. Always smiling and polite,” Ben Lister, a bespoke photographer told mid-day.

Angad was a staunch believer of investing in manufacturing in the UK. In an interview to CEO magazine earlier this year, he had stressed on the importance of manufacturing to UK.

“If you look at the industry in the UK, the British-born leaders of manufacturing-related companies are becoming fewer and more far between, because people are put off. That’s when international players come in and buy up these industries, and the UK loses out.

A key point I’d like to convey is how important making things, and making things well, is for the UK and for its position within Europe,” he had said, not knowing that the loss in manufacturing would lead to his downfall.

Angad's grand wedding

Lord Swraj Paul doted on his youngest son Angad. For his wedding reception in 2005, Lord Paul hired the prestigious Lancaster House that is only available for special government banquets and not available to the public even with very deep pockets.
“It was the wedding of the year with the A list of the British establishment in attendance. The invitation cards that were sent to over 1500 guests carried the Paul crest embossed with its motto ‘Trust, Freedom and Compassion,’” a close family friend said.
“Having tasted success for decades on end, it was a difficult time for the family to see their business collapse. Angad was at the helm, so he took it the worst,” he added.

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