According to a recent report by Hurun Research, 'vaccine king' Cyrus Poonawalla's wealth grew the fastest, at $15 billion, among Indian billionaires and fifth fastest in the world during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the strong business potential of his company, Serum Institute of India.
Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. is the world's largest vaccine manufacturer by the number of doses produced and has sold globally (more than 1.5 billion doses) including Polio vaccine to 170 countries. According to the Pune based company's website, an estimated 65 percent of children in the world receive at least one vaccine manufactured by SII.
Founder of SII, Poonawalla, has climbed 57 places to become the 86th richest person in the world as of 31 May 2020, on the back of a 25 percent rise in his net worth during the four months of the pandemic, the report said.
The unlisted company's net worth rose by the potential for vaccine distribution and manufacturing amid a pandemic.
Recently, Serum struck an agreement with AstraZeneca to manufacture 1 billion doses of coronavirus vaccine being developed by Oxford University.
Meanwhile, CEO and MD of Reliance Industries Limited continues to hold the top ranking as the wealthiest Indian. While his wealth eroded in March, due to sharp correction in the stock markets and his company's share value, his fortune made a V-shaped recovery in the next 2 months, increasing by $18 billion after Jio Platforms stuck back to back deals worth over Rs 1.69 lakh crore.
However, despite the late surge, his wealth was down 1 percent as compared to the pre-COVID levels, it said.
Despite the networth being marginally lower, Ambani climbed up one place to be the eighth richest person in the world as of May 2020, Hurun Research report said.
Jeff Bezos continues to be at the top of the list of the world's richest individuals with a 14 percent gain in his fortune to $160 billion, followed by Bill Gates (100 billion), Bernard Arnault ($89 billion), Warren Buffet ($84 billion) and Mark Zuckerberg ($84 billion).
Apart from Ambani, Poonawalla, Gautam Adani and HCL's Shiv Nadar, there are no Indians in the top-100 list.