Showing the sign of development of the third world countries, Carlos Slim Helu became the wealthiest person in the world. With a net worth of $53.5 billion, and substantial influence over Latin American telecommunication industry, Carlos Slim is an inspiration to all people in developing nations. It is also an indication that more and more non American individuals are rising up in the income scale surpassing the well placed names from several decades.
The 70 year old telecom tycoon, Slim was born in Mexico city, Mexico. He was the youngest of the six children of a couple of Lebanese-Mexican origin. He studied engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He married another Mexican-Lebanese Soumaya Domit in 1967 and has six children.
He is most famous for his rigorous support for privatization of Mexican national telephone company in 1990s. He led a group of investors in buying Telmex and Telenor from the Mexican government. Today almost ninety percent of Mexican telcom industy including almost eighty percent of its mobile operations and most of the other Latin American telecom industry is controlled by Telmex. He now also owns Telcel and American Movil.
Carlos Slim’s vision is not just limited to telecommunication field. Though, it happens to be his primary source of income. His construction conglomerate, Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo, builds roads and energy infrastructure. He also owns about 6 percent stake in “The New York Times”. He also owns stake in financial and manufacturing companies. He was ranked on third place last year but a sudden rally in telecom sector increased his net worth by $18.5 billion in just a year. On March 10, 2010 he surpassed the “oracle of Omaha”- Warren Buffet and Bill Gates to become the richest person on the planet.
But what exactly drives Slim in his extraordinary feat? It is his vision and zeal to achieve greats not just for personal benefit but for the benefit of the community as a whole. He says that Latin America will soon break the underdevelopment barrier and that will happen just in a matter of ten years. He is a philanthropist, active in the field of genomic medicine and other developmental activities. He is an inspiration to all the people in underdeveloped nations to achieve the impossible. Coming from an immigrant family, raised in an unstable state and educated in far less superior facilities as compared to those in other countries, his vision, his relentless work for development for the community and above all humility makes him the wealthiest person in all walks of life.
The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.