Earlier this summer, as the India cricket team made a difficult start to its four-match series against England, Lakshmi Mittal said it was good to see the "[world] champions challenged".
It is doubtful, however, that Mr Mittal views with the same equanimity the tough knocks his steel company has suffered as it struggles to re-establish its previously dominant industry position.
When the Indian billionaire created ArcelorMittal in 2006 from a €26.9bn takeover of Luxembourg-based Arcelor, he encouraged hopes that the deal would change the fortunes of the worldwide steel industry by sparking a new series of consolidation efforts.
But the onset of the financial crisis in 2008 - followed by only a slow recovery in Europe and the US where the company has most of its plants - sent Mr Mittal's vision crashing to the ground.
Since its 2008 peak, and mirroring a similarly large drop in the market valuations of many other big steel companies, ArcelorMittal's stock price has plummeted 79 per cent, from a high of $101 to $21.
Mr Mittal's company has also lost market share in global steelmaking - largely because of the growth in Chinese production - with its output of 85m tonnes in 2010 accounting for 6 per cent of steel production, down from 8.1 per cent in 2007.
Even after a 21 per cent year-on-year rise in underlying profits in the second quarter, in a result helped by rising steel prices, the company's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation this year are thought likely to come in at only about $11.2bn, up from $8.5bn in 2010 but a far cry from the $23.6bn recorded in 2008.
The company's hopes of playing a full part in the expanding steel industry in India has been stymied by problems in winning planning authorisations for two large new steel plants.
Also ArcelorMittal's chairman, chief executive and main owner has failed to make the headway he would have liked in China - by the far the world's biggest producer and consumer of steel - due to Beijing's refusal to allow foreign steelmakers to take majority stakes in large Chinese businesses.
Mr Mittal - whose 42 per cent share in ArcelorMittal is now worth about $15bn, compared to $70bn in 2008 - is trying to put a brave face on the difficulties.
"I think we've done an excellent job in managing our way through the recession. When a real recovery takes place [in world steel demand] we will be in a good position to take advantage of it."
He points also to the company's success in pushing up production of raw materials such as coal and iron ore - now part of a separate mining division - and the "good progress" ArcelorMittal has made in Brazil.
Also Mr Mittal says it is possible to overstate the difficulties ArcelorMittal has run into in China - which last year was responsible for 44 per cent of world steel output and where his company's role is limited to just two fairly small joint ventures with Chinese groups.
"We are doing well in China, given the constraints that we face there," Mr Mittal says. No other non-Chinese steel company has succeeded in winning even this limited foothold in China, ArcelorMittal points out.
Some onlookers, however, would like to see more positive measures to strengthen ArcelorMittal's position - especially in sophisticated areas of the industry such as high-tech automotive steels.
Hermann Reith, an analyst at BHF Bank in Frankfurt, says: "The company is now in a somewhat defensive position in [the more advanced areas of steelmaking] and might want to address this weakness by pushing up research and development efforts."
A banker familiar with the company says: "I am not convinced that the company's size has translated into an ability to strengthen margins and so maintain earnings at a higher level than those in other businesses that are smaller but may have higher-value products in niche areas [of the steel industry]."
Others are however more sanguine. Tim Huff of Royal Bank of Canada says that with further cost controls "it is not impossible to believe the company can hit a [ebitda] figure above $20bn in around 2014/15".
In the cricket series, India lost by 4-0, so surrendering in humiliating fashion its crown as the top team in the world to England. Mr Mittal must be hoping that a similar fate does not creep up on his company in the next few years.
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