As per the Forbes list of India’s ten richest billionaires 2021, Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, has reclaimed his throne as the richest man in Asia. He is ranking tenth on the global billionaires’ list. The Indian tycoon has expanded his empire in the oil, gas telecom and retail sector. Amidst the pandemic, Ambani has accomplished a fundraising exercise and accumulated investments of $35 billion to reduce the net debt to zero for his flagship Reliance Industries. The investment was garnered by inducing global brands such as Google and Facebook to buy stakes in Jio.
Hailing from Gujarat, Gautam Adani, chairman and founder of Adani Group, is the second richest man in India with a total wealth of $50.5 billion. The Indian industrialist tycoon currently ranks twenty-fourth on the global billionaires’ list. The shares of Adani Green and Adani Enterprises skyrocketed, thereby contributing to a staggering surge of $42 billion in the company’s wealth.
The group is the largest infrastructure player in energy and transport utilities in India. In September 2020, Adani bagged a 74% stake in the Mumbai International Airport, the second busiest in the country. He sold a 20% stake of his listed renewables business, Adani Green Energy Ltd, to a French energy major for $2.5 billion.
The Ambani-Adani duo, having roots in Gujarat, has added over $100 billion amongst themselves, along with the third richest Indian, Shiv Nadar of HCL Technologies.
With a fortune worth $24.7 billion, Shiv Nadar has bagged the third position in the list. Incepted in 1976 for the production of calculators and microprocessors, HCL Technologies is ranked third in the list of India’s largest software service providers by market cap. Last year in July, Shiv Nadar entrusted the chairmanship of HCL Technologies to his only daughter, Roshni Nadar Malhotra.
Radhakishan Damani is at the fourth position with a net worth of $16.5 billion. He is an Indian billionaire investor and the founder of mega-retail chain store Dmart. Damani abruptly exited the stock market business after reaching great heights. He then ventured into the retail industry with the launch of Dmart supermarket and currently has 221 stores across the country. In the year 2017, he launched the IPOs of Dmart and the hyper-supermarket-chain is now ranked as the eighteenth most valuable company in India.
The fifth richest Indian on the Forbes list is Uday Kotak, Managing Director and executive vice-chairperson of Kotak Mahindra Bank. The bank is among the top four in the private sector in India and Kotak Mahindra Finance Ltd. was the first company to receive a banking license from the Reserve Bank of India in the year 2003.
Lakshmi Mittal is at the sixth position in the list with a net worth of $14.9 billion. He stepped down from the chief executive officer’s post for ArcelorMittal in February this year. Mittal is still the executive chairman of the company.
Then we have Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of one of the largest Indian conglomerates – Aditya Birla Group, ranking at the seventh position. In a competing rivalry against Ambani’s Jio, Birla’s Vi (recently rebranded with the joint venture of Vodafone and Idea) has been struggling to keep up.
Two of the billionaires from the top ten richest Indians list have secured their positions by investing in the booming healthcare sector amidst the pandemic. These two include Cyrus Poonawalla of Serum Institute of India (SII) and Dilip Shanghavi of Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries.
Serum Institute of India is the world’s largest maker of COVID-19 vaccines. The institute is a prominent supplier of the United Nation’s (UN) Covax program and is also the developer of the Covishield vaccine.
On the eighth and ninth position are Cyrus Poonawalla at $12.7 billion and Dilip Shanghavi at $10.9 billion. Serum Institute of India led by Cyrus Poonawalla has been a front runner in India’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic and the 68% jump in the shares of Sun pharmaceuticals have led to both the company’s owners to back their respective positions.
Lastly, we have Sunil Mittal & Family at the tenth position, with a net worth of $10.5 billion. Following the lead of Ambani’s Jio, they are the second-largest telecom operator in India.
The benchmark Sensex in India couldn’t be pulled down even by the hard-hitting second wave of Covid. Instead, the Stock exchange in India has capped new peaks with a 75% hike as compared to last year. With a combined wealth of $596 billion, the total number of billionaires in India rose to 104 from 102 in FY20, with a combined wealth of $596 billion.