Mukesh Ambani dethrones Jack Ma to become Asia’s richest man

Mukesh Ambani, who is also Asia’s richest person, diversified his oil and gas empire and dived into sectors such as telecom and retail, which resulted in him retaining the top position.

Avatar Written by April 7, 2021 14:19
Mukesh Ambani dethrones Jack Ma to become Asia's richest man

Mukesh Ambani dethrones Jack Ma to become Asia's richest man

New Delhi: Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani reclaimed the top spot in the Forbes list of India’s 10 richest billionaires with a net worth of 84.5 billion dollars.

Ambani was followed by Adani Group chief Gautam Adani and HCL founder Shiv Nadar.

Put together, the three richest Indians added just over 100 billion dollars, as per Forbes. Forbes also said that the total number of Indian billionaires rose to 140 this year from 102 last year and their combined wealth nearly doubled to 596 billion dollars.

Mukesh Ambani, who is also Asia’s richest person, diversified his oil and gas empire and dived into sectors such as telecom and retail, which resulted in him retaining the top position.

Mukesh Ambani adds $17 billion in 2019, net worth crosses $60 billion

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Ambani accomplished a fund-raising feat, garnering 35 billion dollars through a string of deals to achieve his target of reducing his flagship Reliance Industries’ net debt to zero by 2021.

Gautam Adani, an infrastructure tycoon, got 42 billion dollars richer as shares of his companies Adani Enterprises and Adani Green Energy soared. Adani unseated Radhakishan Dhamani who was previously the second-richest Indian. Forbes said that Adani’s wealth increased five-fold since 2020.

Adani acquired a 74 per cent stake in Mumbai International Airport, the country’s second-busiest, last September. He also sold 20 per cent in his listed renewables firm, Adani Green Energy, to French energy giant Total for 2.5 billion dollars.

In the top ten richest Indians list, two Indians featured who earned their spot owing to investments in the healthcare sector which has witnessed a boost owing to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

These two are Cyrus Poonawalla of the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries’ Dilip Shanghavi.

India’s 10 Richest Billionaires 2021

#1 | Mukesh Ambani

NET WORTH: $84.5 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: DIVERSIFIED

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Ambani accomplished a fund-raising feat, garnering $35 billion through a string of deals to achieve his target of reducing his flagship Reliance Industries’ net debt to zero by 2021. He also sold a third of telecom unit Jio to marquee investors such as Facebook and Google and offloaded 10% of Reliance Retail to private equity firms such as KKR and General Atlantic, plus concluded a $7.3 billion rights issue of Reliance shares.

#2 | Gautam Adani

NET WORTH: $50.5 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: INFRASTRUCTURE

Adani acquired a 74% stake in Mumbai International Airport, the country’s second-busiest, last September. He also sold 20% in his listed renewables firm, 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 stepped down 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 listed supermarket chain Avenue Supermarts operates 221 DMart stores across the country. His brother Gopikishan is also a billionaire.

#5 | Uday Kotak

NET WORTH: $15.9 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: BANKING

India’s richest banker founded and runs Kotak Mahindra Bank, which is among the country’s top four in the private sector. Last June, Kotak sold shares worth $950 million to reduce his stake in the bank to 26% as mandated by the Reserve Bank of India.

#6 | Lakshmi Mittal

NET WORTH: $14.9 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: STEEL

In February, Mittal stepped down as CEO of ArcelorMittal, the $53.3 billion (revenue) steel behemoth, ceding the spot 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 battling Ambani’s Jio.

#8 | Cyrus Poonawalla

NET WORTH: $12.7 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: VACCINES

Poonawalla’s Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest producer of vaccines by number of doses, is on the frontlines of India’s fight against Covid-19, with multiple vaccine partnerships orchestrated by his son Adar, Serum’s CEO. Adar also struck a deal this year to acquire a 60% stake in listed finance firm Magma Fincorp for $475 million.

#9 | Dilip Shanghvi

NET WORTH: $10.9 BILLION
SOURCE OF WEALTH: PHARMACEUTICALS

Shanghvi, who founded and runs listed generics drug maker Sun Pharmaceuticals, returns to the top ten, thanks to a 68% jump in the company’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 after Ambani’s Jio. In January, Mittal’s son Kavin announced on Twitter that his SoftBank-backed start-up Hike, once considered as a rising unicorn and India’s answer to WhatsApp, had shut down its messaging service.

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