While India’s richest made massive wealth gains last year, the tables have now turned with the billionaires, so far, not having a great 2023.
What Happened: The past month saw a massive shake-up in the world’s top billionaires rankings after a sell-off in the companies of Gautam Adani — India's richest man — spilled over into the country's highly volatile stock market following the New York-based short seller report.
The Adani-led listed companies have combinedly lost more than $100 billion in market capitalization since Hindenburg Research accused the billionaire of a “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme” to inflate its stocks.
The group's flagship company, Adani Enterprises, has lost over 59% in market value as of Feb. 2.
The rout surrounding the Adani companies has hit overall market sentiment in the South Asian market, with India’s benchmark index, Sensex, down nearly 2% so far this year.
This sell-off reflected well in the global rich list where Adani, who was the world's fourth richest person a week ago, has now slipped from the elite club of the world’s top 10 richest people. Meanwhile, his U.S. counterparts, such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, whom he left behind last year in wealth gains, have piled billions during the same period.
Here is the ranking of the 10 richest persons in India in 2023 as per Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index at the start of February:
1. Mukesh Ambani
First in the line of India's richest is the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited — India’s most valuable company. Ambani is twelfth on the list of world billionaires and has $81 billion in net worth.
Ambani has lost about $491 million in wealth so far this year, most of it since the Adani-Hindenburg saga began.
2. Gautam Adani
India and Asia's richest person, Gautam Adani, has a net worth of $72.1 billion. Adani's conglomerate has widespread interest across sectors like power generation and transmission, real estate, commodities and infrastructure.
Several of Adani Group companies are publicly-listed including Adani Enterprises, Adani Green Energy, Adani Power, Adani Wilmar, Adani Transmission, Adani Ports & SEZ, Ambuja Cements and ACC. Several of these stocks have turned multibaggers — that is, they have fetched returns in multiples for the investors.
Adani’s wealth is on a major downtrend this year, as he has suffered a loss of $48.5 billion. A majority of this wealth has been eroded in the aftermath of prominent U.S. short seller Hindenburg Research publishing a report that alleged Adani Group engages in widespread fraud and financial malpractices.
It hinted at the existence of multiple offshore shell companies, raised doubts over debt and several relatives of Gautam Adani — that purportedly have regulatory probes going on against them — occupying top positions within the conglomerate.
3. Shapoor Mistry
The Indian businessman and the founder of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group is the third richest person in the Asian nation. Scoring forty-fifh place among the richest persons in the world, Mistry has $28.8 billion in net worth.
4. Shiv Nadar
The cofounder of HCL Technologies, Shiv Nadar, ranks fourth among India's richest billionaires. Nadar's wealth is estimated at $26.4 billion. HCL is among India's largest providers of software services, with a $102 billion revenue.
5. Azim Premji
Former chairman of Wipro Limited and a well-known philanthropist, Azim Premji is the fifth richest Indian billionaire, with $24.5 billion in net wealth. In 2019, Premji dropped from the 2nd position in the Forbes India Rich list to the 17th position after he gave away a huge amount to charity.
6. Lakshmi Mittal
The sixth rank in the list of India's richest people is scored by the chairman of ArcelorMittal, Lakshmi Mittal, who has a net worth of $19.2 billion. His company is the largest steel and mining company in the world in terms of output, generating $53.3 billion in revenue.
7. Radhakishan Damani
Avenue Supermarts Limited's founder Radhakishan Damani's $16.8 billion net worth places him in seventh place among India's richest persons. Damani became the retail king of India after his supermarket chain completed INR 1,870 crore ($229 million) IPO in March 2017.
8. Cyrus Poonawalla
Cyrus Poonawalla founded the Serum Institute of India in 1966 – the company is today the largest vaccine maker in the world in terms of doses. With a $16.5 billion net worth, Poonawalla ranks eighth in India's rich list.
9. Dilip Shanghvi
Dilip Shanghvi's net worth stands at $16.2 billion, making him the ninth richest person in India. Shanghvi's Sun Pharmaceutical Industries is among the nation's leaders in pharmaceutical supplies, with an annual revenue of $4.5 billion.
10. Uday Kotak
Uday Kotak is an Indian billionaire banker and the executive vice chairman and managing director of Kotak Mahindra Bank. With a $13.2 billion net worth, he ranks 137th in the global billionaire rankings.
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