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Rishi Sunak, CEO of Helion Ventures and son of famous Vickers industrialists CK and Ujjal Sunak, has been in the news lately for reasons beyond his control. With his recent wedding, Rishi has also attracted much attention from the media.
However, what’s more interesting is that Rishi is a man of many hats – an Oxford graduate, a successful venture investor with Helion Ventures (his own firm), an angel investor who has backed more than 50 startups across Europe and India; the list goes on.
In this article, we look into some lesser-known facts about this new-age industrialist-turned-venture capitalist who’s making waves in the business world.
On Tuesday, Rishi Sunak became Britain's third prime minister this year and the first person of colour to lead the former imperial power, vowing to overcome a 'profound economic crisis' that he blamed on the 'mistakes' of Liz Truss's calamitous 49-day tenure.
Sunak addressed the public outside 10 Downing Street shortly after his appointment by King Charles III, ending the latest bizarre twist in British politics following Boris Johnson's demise in July. Because of his former position as finance minister, Sunak is the country's youngest leader in more than two centuries.
At 42, he is the country's youngest leader in more than two centuries. 'With words, I will unite our country,' he said. 'With action, I will make it a reality.' Sunak said that his predecessor, Truss, said goodbye to her position shortly before him and wished him “every success.”
Truss believed that Britain had to be “bold” in addressing its difficulties, but Sunak disagreed. He agreed that the budget that ousted Truss was motivated by a good wish to kick-start growth, but that it still contained “mistakes.” Sunak, who said he was elected Prime Minister as the Labour Party leader “to repair them,” has started his work immediately after winning the leadership.
He wants to make economic stability and confidence a key element of the government's agenda. On Monday, Mordaunt lost to Sunak after failing to get enough votes from MPs in the ruling Conservative Party. After Johnson's dramatic comeback attempt was stopped late Sunday, it turned into a two-way battle.
Johnson offered his 'full and wholehearted' support to Sunak, who had toppled him in July, after Johnson's silence ended. Sunak praised Johnson and promised to build on the election-winning promises that won the Conservatives a big win in 2019, even as they languished behind the Labour Party in recent polling today.
Sunak, however, was also sending a veiled message about the many scandals that drove Johnson out of office, saying his government would guarantee 'integrity, professionalism, and accountability at every level.' US President Joe Biden described Sunak's appointment as the first British-Indian head of state as 'groundbreaking' and 'remarkable.'
While recognising that they have a ‘shared responsibility’ to maintain peace in Northern Ireland, European leaders congratulated Sunak on his success. Labour chief Keir Starmer described Sunak as ‘making history as the first British-Asian PM’. He, however, emphasised that the Tories have ‘crashed the economy, with low wages, high prices, and a cost-of-living crisis.
The people of Britain must be given a fresh start and a say on the country's future.’ There have been calls for a snap general election since Sunak became the latest leader who has not been directly elected by the electorate. On Monday, 62 percent of Brits wanted an election by the end of the year, according to surveyor Ipsos.
To British Conservatives, the appointment of a rich Indian-East African descendant like Sunak was hailed as a huge success. The Sun cited Rishi Sunak's love of "Star Wars" films when it reported, "The force is with you, Rishi," while the left-leaning Guardian emphasised that Sunak warned Conservative MPs that the party must "unite or die."
The shortest-serving prime minister in history, Truss was ousted after her disastrous budget sparked economic and political upheaval. It was revealed last Thursday that Sunak had rallied behind the Conservative MPs who chose him over her in the summer to replace Johnson.
As Britain confronts the highest inflation in decades, surging borrowing costs, and an impending recession, Sunak has now turned into a political force. Sunak believes he can unify his divided party and revive British politics, but he faces an uphill battle.
Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said that MPs now grasp the “existential threat” facing the party, and that they must unite or else “stay out of power for a long time”. After delivering the now-standard new chief executive’s address, Sunak began hiring his highest staff members on Wednesday, prior to his first session of “Prime Minister’s Questions” in parliament.
Finance minister Jeremy Hunt-- who was appointed by Truss just 11 days ago in an attempt to preserve her job-- may continue his job if he stabilises the market. The nation's future fiscal plans will be presented by the Treasury on October 31.