The economic landscape in India witnessed a significant shift in the billionaire race as the country’s wealthiest individuals recovered after their wealth declined in the first quarter of this year. Although their fortune still struggled compared to last year when the country's richest topped the global rankings.
The Indian Billionaires
With over 2,000 points jump in the Indian stock market index, Sensex, in April, the country’s richest individuals saw their wealth recovering. However, despite all the positives, India's wealthiest remained out of the ranking of the top 10 world's richest individuals.
As the Asia richest man Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries’ shares gained 4% in April after a 19% increase in the net profit in the last quarter, Ambani’s net worth on Bloomberg rich list also jumped by $3.4 billion in the same period.
Ambani's fellow billionaire Gautam Adani is still bearing the brunt of the Hindenburg Research report. Although his wealth is significantly down compared to last year, his wealth was up by $5.6 billion in April.
Cyrus Poonawalla, the MD of the Serum Institute of India, was on the list of elites who gained the most compared to India's top 10 richest people. Poonawalla, so far this year, has garnered $4.14 billion – more than any of his counterparts.
Meanwhile, the world’s richest person Elon Musk and second richest man Jeff Bezos, whom the Indian billionaires had left behind last year in wealth gains, are faring better this year so far.
With its fast-growing economy, the South Asian nation has become a hub for business and entrepreneurship. In recent years, the country has seen a surge in the number of self-made billionaires and millionaires, with many individuals making fortunes.
Here is the ranking of the 10 richest persons in India in 2023 as per Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index:
1. Mukesh Ambani
Who is the richest person in India? It’s none other than the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited — Mukesh Ambani!
RIL’s head, Ambani, holds the thirteenth spot on the global billionaire list with a net worth of $83.9 billion. He has played a significant role in RIL’s growth, making it one of India’s top firms with a global presence. Ambani was awarded India’s second-highest civilian honor, Padma Vibhushan, in 2016.
The tycoon’s conglomerate operates a diverse portfolio covering petrochemicals, refining, oil and gas exploration, and telecommunications. Ambani has taken his company to great heights ever since he took over in 2004 after his father Dhirubhai Ambani's sudden demise. He led RIL through major transformations, such as the launch of Reliance Jio — a telecom venture that has revolutionized the Indian telecom industry with its affordable data plans and high-speed internet services.
Besides his business acumen, Ambani is also known for his charitable efforts, and his Reliance Foundation works to improve healthcare, education, and rural development in India.
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2. Gautam Adani
Adani, who was once in the elite club of the world's top 10 richest people, has now slipped to 21 on the global list. However, he continues to remain the second richest man in India.
Adani has a net worth of $61.8 billion after losing a massive $58.7 billion this year so far. Adani's conglomerate has widespread interest across sectors like power generation and transmission, real estate, commodities and infrastructure.
Several 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 is seeing a comeback after a majority of this wealth was 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.
The entrepreneur was the richest man in India when 2022 ended. At its peak, Adani was the second-largest Indian conglomerate after Reliance Industries.
3. Shapoor Mistry
Ranked as the third wealthiest person in India, the Indian businessman and the founder of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group has $28.7 billion in net worth. Mistry's Shapoorji Pallonji Group has widespread interests in construction, engineering, real estate, textiles, and other sectors. Mistry sits in forty-sixth place among the richest persons in the world and is also known for his philanthropic efforts apart from his business ventures.
4. Shiv Nadar
The co-founder of HCL Technologies, Shiv Nadar, ranks fourth among India's richest billionaires. Nadar's wealth is estimated at $25.1 billion. HCL is among India's largest providers of software services, with a $102 billion revenue. Under Nadar’s leadership, HCL has become one of India’s largest IT services companies, with a presence in over 45 countries. He ranks 56th on world's billionaires list. Nadar has received several awards and recognitions for his contributions to the IT industry and philanthropy.
5. Azim Premji
Former chairman of Wipro Limited and a well-known philanthropist, Azim Premji is the fifth richest Indian billionaire, with $23.2 billion in net wealth, as of April 2023. 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. Under his leadership, Wipro expanded from the cooking oil industry to the IT industry, and today it is a leading software services company with a presence in over 50 countries.
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 $19.1 billion. His company is the largest steel and mining company in the world in terms of output, generating $53.3 billion in revenue. Under Mittal’s leadership, ArcelorMittal has become a global leader in the steel industry, with operations in more than 60 countries.
7. Radhakishan Damani
Avenue Supermarts Limited's founder Radhakishan Damani's $17.1 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. Damani is also an investor and has stakes in several companies, including VST Industries, India Cements, and TV Today Network.
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 $18.4 billion net worth, Poonawalla ranks eighth in India's rich list. Poonawalla is also known for his philanthropic efforts. The Cyrus Poonawalla Group has established various charitable trusts and foundations that work towards education, healthcare, and animal welfare.
9. Dilip Shanghvi
Dilip Shanghvi is an Indian billionaire businessman and the founder of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, one of India’s largest pharmaceutical companies. Shanghvi's net worth stands at $16.1 billion in May 2023, making him the ninth richest person in the country. Shanghvi's Sun Pharmaceutical Industries is among the nation's leaders in pharmaceutical supplies, with an annual revenue of $4.5 billion.
10. Savitri Jindal
The richest woman in India, Savitri Jindal is the only businesswoman in the elite list of the top 10 richest people in India. The chairperson of the Jindal Group, a leading industrial conglomerate in India, has a net worth of $14.9 billion. Under her leadership, the conglomerate has become one of India’s largest steel producers and diversified into various segments, including power generation, infrastructure, cement, and textiles.
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