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Despite Covid, India adds 38 billionaires in 2021, Ambani & Adani retain top 2 spots

The Print logo The Print 08-04-2021 Tenzin Zompa
Gautam Adani, Mukesh Ambani are posing for a picture © Provided by The Print

New Delhi: The number of Indian billionaires rose to 140 this year from 102 in 2020, despite the Covid-19 pandemic hit and increasing unemployment in India, according to Forbes World’s Billionaires list 2021.

India reported the third highest number of billionaires across the world, with a combined wealth of $596 billion — nearly double from last year when it shrunk 23 per cent to $313 billion.

The three richest Indians in the Forbes list, who added over $100 billion between them, are Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd, Gautam Adani, chairman of Adani Group, and Shiv Nadar, former chairman of HCL Technologies.

The number of the world’s wealthiest too increased on an unprecedented scale as Forbes added 660 new billionaires in its list for this year taking the tally to 2,755. The US reported the most number of billionaires at 724 followed by China (including Hong Kong and Macau) at 698.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was the richest person in the world for the fourth consecutive year with a net worth of $177 billion followed by Elon Musk with a $151 billion fortune. Musk was ranked 31st last year with a net worth of $24.6 million. The third position was reclaimed by Bernard Arnault, chief executive of Louis Vuitton SE, the world’s largest luxury-goods company, with net worth of $150 billion.

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Indians on the list

Ambani secured the tenth spot in the global list and retained his position as Asia’s richest man with $84.5 billion in net worth as against $36.8 billion in 2020.

Gautam Adani, the infrastructure tycoon who acquired a 74 per cent stake in the Mumbai international airport in September 2020, was ranked 24th globally with a net worth of $50.5 billion, as against $8.9 billion last year.

HCL Technologies founder Shiv Nadar reclaimed his spot as India’s third richest man with a net worth of $23.5 billion and is ranked 71st internationally.

Radhakishan Damani is the fourth richest Indian with net worth of $16.5 billion, followed by Uday Kotak, India’s richest banker and managing director of Kotak Mahindra Bank, who has a net worth of $15.9 billion.

Lakshmi Mittal, the executive chairman of the steel company ArcelorMittal worth $53.3 billion was India’s sixth billionaire with a net worth of $14.9 billion despite stepping down as the CEO in February.

Cyrus Poonawalla, the chairman of Serum Institute of India, with a net worth of $12.7 billion is India’s eighth richest person followed by Dilip Shanghvi, founder of the Sun Pharmaceuticals, and Bharti Airtel’s Sunil Mittal with net worth of $10.9 billion and $10.5 billion, respectively.

Several others in the pharma sector made it to the list: Murali Divi and family, the founder of Divi’s Laboratories, one of the world’s top suppliers of active pharmaceutical ingredients, “low-profile” Hasmukh Chudgar, the founder of generics maker Intas Pharmaceuticals, and Ipca Labs chairman Premchand Godha, among others.

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New Indian faces in the billionaires list

A bunch of Indian businessmen with net worth $1 billion made it to the list this year as new faces. It included Rafique Malik, the chairman of Metro Brands, a popular multi-brand footwear retailer, Ashok Kajaria, chairman and managing director of Kajaria Ceramics, and Kalyan Jewellers’ T.S. Kalyanaraman.

Mukand Lal Dua and his younger brother Ramesh Kumar Dua have also earned the billionaires tag with their majority stake in Relaxo Footwears.

Indian women billionaires in the list

Savitri Jindal, the chairman of Jindal Group, is the top ranking Indian woman billionaire at the 166th spot globally. Her net worth is $12.8 billion.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Biocon chair and managing director, with a net worth of $4.2 billion, is the second Indian woman on the list (681 global rank). Godrej clan’s Smita Crishna-Godrej, who owned one-fifth stake in the company, was India’s third richest woman with a net worth of $2.4 billion.

The latest to join the list is Kavita Singhania, who has a stake in JK Cement and is the granddaughter of Express media group founder Ramnath Goenka.

Uday Kotak and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw are among the distinguished founder-investors of ThePrint. Please click here for details on investors.

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