Another the nation’s stock market has shrugged off its pandemic funk to scale new peaks; the benchmark Sensex is up 75 percent from a year ago. The complete amount of Indian billionaires rose to 140 from 102 final years; their joint wealth has almost doubled to $596 billion.
Prosperity rules in the very top: The three wealthiest Indians alone have added just over $100 billion between them. Mukesh Ambani, who has diversified his oil and gas empire to fast-rising sectors like retail and telecom, reclaimed his place as Asia’s richest person, with a net worth of $84.5 billion.
Infrastructure tycoon Gautam Adani got a staggering $42 billion richer as stocks of his companies, including Adani Enterprises and Adani Green Energy, rocketed. With his luck up five-fold since 2020, Adani is currently the second-richest Indian, a spot previously occupied by retailing king Radhakishan Damani, whose fortune was divided this season. His brother Gopikishan Damani is recorded separately for the first time based on new information regarding his holdings. Adani, who shares Gujarati roots and a deal-making instinct with Ambani, expanded aggressively into airports, unfazed by the travel slowdown. He also secured France’s Total, his partner in the gas industry, to invest in his renewable energy company.
Two of the ten wealthiest Indians get their wealth from healthcare, a sector that’s enjoying a pandemic increase around the world. Vaccine billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla’s Serum Institute of India, run by his 40-year-old son Adar, joined the Covid-19 vaccines race by forging multiple partnerships and investing $800 million in building a new factory. Jabs of Poonawalla’s Covishield, the made-in-India version of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the Oxford University-AstraZeneca combine, are now being given throughout the country and exported as well.
Nineteen Indian newcomers joined the list, while the other 19 returned to the listing after falling off previously. One of the new faces is octogenarian Prathap Reddy, founder, and chairman of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise, whose series of Apollo Hospitals is treating Covid-19 patients. Arvind Lal, who founded and runs diagnostics series Dr.Lal PathLabs, which got government approval to run Covid-19 tests, also makes his debut.
Here are India’s 10 richest people; net worths are as of April 5, 2021:
#1 | Mukesh Ambani
NET WORTH: $84.5 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: DIVERSIFIED
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Ambani achieved a fund-raising feat, garnering $35 billion through a series of deals to reach his goal of reducing his flagship Reliance Industries’ net debt to zero by 2021. He also sold a third of telecom unit Jio to marquee investors like Facebook and Google and offloaded 10 percent of Reliance Retail to private equity firms like KKR and General Atlantic, also concluded a $7.3 billion rights issue of Reliance stocks.
#2 | Gautam Adani
NET WORTH: $50.5 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: INFRASTRUCTURE
Adani acquired a 74% stake in Mumbai International Airport, the nation’s second-busiest, last September. He also sold 20 percent in his recorded renewables company, Adani Green Energy, to French energy giant Total for $2.5 billion.
#3 | Shiv Nadar
NET WORTH: $23.5 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: SOFTWARE SERVICES
The tech titan resigned as chairman of $9.9 billion (revenues) HCL Technologies last July, handing over the position to his only daughter, Roshni Nadar Malhotra.
#4 | Radhakishan Damani
NET WORTH: $16.5 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: RETAIL, INVESTMENTS
The low-profile retailing king’s recorded supermarket chain Avenue Supermarts operates 221 DMart shops throughout the country. His brother Gopikishan is also a billionaire.
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#5 | Uday Kotak
NET WORTH: $15.9 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: BANKING
India’s wealthiest banker founded and conducts Kotak Mahindra Bank, which is one of the nation’s top four in the private sector. Last June, Kotak sold stocks worth $950 million to reduce his stake in the bank to 26 percent as mandated by the Reserve Bank of India.
#6 | Lakshmi Mittal
In February, Mittal resigned as CEO of ArcelorMittal, the $53.3 billion (revenue) steel behemoth, ceding the place to his son, Aditya. Mittal remains executive chairman of the company.
#7 | Kumar Birla
NET WORTH: $12.8 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: COMMODITIES
Fourth generation heir of a sprawling commodities empire, Birla’s expansion into telecom has cost him dearly. His Vodafone Idea, rebranded as Vi, a joint venture between his Idea Cellular and U.K.’s Vodafone Group, has been racking up losses fighting Ambani’s Jio.
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#8 | Cyrus Poonawalla
NET WORTH: $12.7 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: VACCINES
Poonawalla’s Serum Institute of India, the world’s biggest producer of vaccines by many of doses, is on the frontlines of India’s struggle against Covid-19, with numerous vaccine partnerships orchestrated by his son Adar, Serum’s CEO. Adar also struck a deal this year for a 60% stake in recorded finance company Magma Fincorp for $475 million.
#9 | Dilip Shanghvi
NET WORTH: $10.9 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: PHARMACEUTICALS
Shanghvi, who founded and runs recorded generics drugmaker Sun Pharmaceuticals, returns to the top ten, due to a 68% jump in the corporation’s shares.
#10 | Sunil Mittal & family
NET WORTH: $10.5 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: TELECOM
His Bharti Airtel, a joint venture with Singapore’s Singtel, is India’s second-largest telecom operator following Ambani’s Jio. In January, Mittal’s son Kavin declared on Twitter his SoftBank-backed startup Hike, once regarded as a climbing unicorn and India’s response to WhatsApp, had closed down its messaging service.