When a 19-year-old man with a high fever turned up after 10pm at a private club in Penang and asked for a meeting with one of its members, he was unsure what kind of reception he would receive.
Exhausted from travelling from Calcutta and having contracted typhoid en route, his pitch – to the head of a Malaysian tin producer – might have fallen on deaf ears.
But persistence paid off, and the young man returned to India with a major deal under his belt.
This would be the first of many successes for Raj Bagri, later to become Lord Bagri CBE and the longest-serving chairman of the London Metal Exchange, a role he humbly says he remains “always grateful for”.
Lord Bagri CBE
Yet it is a career that might not have been. Bagri started work as a filing clerk for a metals firm in Calcutta only because his mother...