We Want to Make Liberty Ostrava One
of the Leading Steelmakers in the World
Sanjeev Gupta is an international businessman and entrepreneur, heading a global enterprise with activities
encompassing steel and aluminium manufacture, engineering, power generation, mining, banking,
property and commodities trading. As Executive Chairman of the GFG Alliance, he leads a fast-growing
$20 billion global industrial group, headquartered in London, and a presence in over 30 countries. Born
into a family of industrialists in Punjab, he graduated with an MA in Economics and Management from the
University of Cambridge. He founded Liberty House in 1992, while still an undergraduate. Sanjeev Gupta
lives in South Wales in the UK with his wife Nicola and their three young children.
Mr Gupta, your investment in the Ostrava steelworks
is among the largest investments in the region. Why
did you decide to go to Ostrava?
First let me say, that I am really happy that we managed
to get the deal completed and we are starting the real
work. We are very pleased to welcome Ostrava into
the GFG Alliance and Liberty Steel family because it is
a very high-quality operation which ArcelorMittal only
sold because it was forced to do so.
Liberty Ostrava is very well positioned due to its
strategic location in Central Europe, which is growing
at a faster rate than western Europe. It has a strong
presence in its chosen markets, both long and flat steel,
with a competitive cost structure. To me though, the
most important thing is that the Ostrava workers are
among the most experienced experts in steelmaking in
the world. This, together with experienced management
gives us a good starting point and now it is up to us to
analyse all the strengths and weaknesses of the plant,
and to develop a sustainable strategy for the benefit
of the Ostrava region and for the good future of the
employees and our community. As I have already said,
our goal is to make Liberty Ostrava one of the leading
steelmakers in the world.
You are a company registered in the British Isles.
What will Brexit mean for you?
This is a serious issue for the UK and I am very
concerned for three thousand employees and their
families in Britain. In my view at this juncture a clear
and quick outcome is more important than which
side the outcome finally lands on, more delay and
procrastination will hurt UK even more. British people
are resilient and will prosper no matter the journey
ahead, they just need clarity now.
However, Brexit will have little or no impact on our
Are you ready for the new challenges of manufacturing
automation and digitization? What investments are
you preparing [at Ostrava]?
Ostrava steelworks is an innovation centre in the
region. Its 1,000 engineers and over a hundred
automation specialists continuously work on the
modernization of the manufacturing processes. Tens
of automation and digitization projects have been
implemented and I am impressed that most of our
improvement ideas come from employees working
on the shopfloor.
In the longer term, the completion of the acquisition
triggered the start of a 100 day review, a comprehensive
analysis of the business, which explores investment
opportunities and develops detailed plans to boost
competitiveness, extend product range and support
is an innovation centre
in the region.
Social responsibility is not only in fashion but also
a necessity. What are your plans?
The GFG Alliance is strongly committed to building
long term sustainable businesses. We intend to extend
the GFG Foundation´s existing programmes to Ostrava:
promoting employee learning, career and skills
development in engineering, metals and renewable
energy; as well as attracting young people into the
industry by providing direct experience and education
to better inform their future education and career
decisions. At the same time, we expect to continue with
existing programmes as well, including those relating to
However, recommendations on future extent of CSR
programmes will be one of the detailed outputs from
the 100 day review.
You had the opportunity to look around in the city and
the region. Did you find anything interesting?
I am impressed by the Dolni Vitkovic area, especially
its Science and Technology Centre, the Gong and the
Bolt Tower, which, I have learned, was made of Liberty
Ostrava steel. I had a great chance to experience this
area during this year´s Colours of Ostrava, which filled
the city with an incredibly positive energy. And I am
really proud that Liberty Ostrava is a partner to both the
festival and the vibrant industrial area, which is a tribute
to steel. I am yet to discover more that the city and
the region has to offer, which I am sincerely looking
Thank you for the interview.
- editorial -
Liberty Ostrava a.s.
POSITIV 3/2019 ǀ 11