An Overview of Rishi Sunak’s Life and Career
The name Rishi Sunak was flooded in Indian newspapers, magazines, and social media a few days ago. Why wouldn’t it be? As he became the first UK Prime Minister (PM) of “Indian origin,” he is also the youngest Prime Minister in 210 years of British history. He is also one of the wealthiest members of parliament. In October 2022, Rishi Sunak became the leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister of the United Kingdom. Prior to this, he was chancellor of the Exchequer (2020–2022).
Approximately £730 million is the estimated wealth of PM Sunak and his wife Akshata Murthy, which is double the wealth of King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort (£300-350 million). The fate of his government will be determined by his ability to bring prosperity to a nation in terrible economic straits.
We will discuss An Overview of Rishi Sunak’s Life and Career in this post.
Sunak was born to Indian parents on May 12th, 1980, in Southampton, Hampshire, South East England. A retired physician, Yashvir Sunak, is his father, and a pharmacist, Usha Sunak, is his mother. His wife is Akshata Murthy, the daughter of Infosys co-founder Narayan Murthy, and they have two children, Krishna and Anoushka. In spite of the fact that his grandparents were born in Gujranwala, now in Pakistan, they were British Indians.
Since his school days, Rishi Sunak has been a bright student. A public boarding school for boys, Winchester College, was where he excelled academically and served as the school’s newspaper editor and head boy. He then graduated from Lincoln College, Oxford. Additionally, he completed an internship at Conservative Campaign Headquarters during his graduation. After that, he studied at Stanford University in the USA and obtained his MBA degree.
Rishi Sunak’s Business Career
As a business analyst at Goldman Sachs, he worked from 2001 to 2004, before joining The Children’s Investment Fund Management (TCI) in September 2006. In 2009, he joined Theleme Partners, another hedge fund. He also served as a director of the investment firm Catamaran Ventures, owned by his father-in-law, businessman N. R. Narayana Murthy.
Rishi Sunak’s Political Career
Since 2010, Rishi Sunak has been working for the conservative party. As a member of the party’s leading think tank, Policy Exchange, he was affiliated with the organization. He became the head of this think tank’s Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) research unit in 2014. In the same year, he was chosen as Richmond’s Conservative Party candidate for the House of Commons. Since he was elected as the MP for Richmond, Virginia (US) in 2015, he has never looked back.
He was a member of the Environment; Food & Rural Affairs select committee from 2015 to 2017. His first ministerial appointment was as Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in 2018. After becoming a staunch supporter of PM Boris Johnson in 2019, he was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury in July 2019. Sajid Javid resigned as Finance Minister (Chancellor of the Exchequer) in February 2020, and Johnson replaced him with Sunak, who, at 39, became the fourth youngest Finance Minister ever.
Rishi Sunak and then Foreign Secretary Liz Truss were the two leading candidates for the Prime Ministerial post following PM Johnson’s resignation announcement in July 2022. After the election results were announced on September 5, Sunak received 42.6 percent of the votes, compared with Truss’ 57.4 percent.
The tenure of Truss in office was the shortest in history. The dissent among Conservative Party MPs increased in just six weeks, and calls for her resignation grew. A major reason for this was her attempt to impose an unfunded £45 billion ($50 billion) tax cut and cap energy prices for two years, which would widen the gaping budget deficit and panic the financial markets. Truss announced her resignation on October 20. As a result, Rishi Sunak became the first British Prime Minister with Indian roots after he won the support of a majority of Conservative Party MPs.
Sunak’s Immediate Challenges
Rishi will be judged solely on his performance. Sunak has to face many challenges the First problem is inflation; Inflation is above 10% in the UK which is no joke How will Sunak manage to control it? The economy must find a balance as the UK is close to a recession. According to IMF, only 0.3% of economic growth will be seen in the UK next year. The economy is on the verge of stagnating and shrinking.
The second challenge is that of the Energy Crisis. Amid Russia Ukraine war, gas prices have increased from the Russian end. Now energy price is three times per household. Liz Truss administration announced a cap on energy bills but it did not work out. It was just a populist move that backfired.
Inflation and energy prices are two challenges and the third? Of political control, Sunak is the third change the conservative party has disgraced itself. They were once confident of their policies, but people are not satisfied. Tories are now at the lowest popularity level – 14%. While the ruling party struggled, the opposition party rejoiced.
In my opinion, the British economy and politics are so dire that Rishi Sunak does not even have time to celebrate his achievement. With a concrete roadmap and extraordinary willingness, the British economy can be saved from recession.