The second wave of Covid-19 is sweeping India, with more than 12 million cases reported. The country's stock market, on the other hand, has shaken off its pandemic funk to reach new highs; the benchmark Sensex is up 75% from a year ago. The number of billionaires in India has increased to 140 from 102 last year, with their combined wealth nearly doubling to $596 billion. At the very top, prosperity reigns supreme: The three richest Indians have amassed a combined fortune of just over $100 billion. Mukesh Ambani has reclaimed his position as Asia's richest person, with a net worth of $84.5 billion, after successfully diversifying his oil and gas empire into fast-growing sectors such as telecom and retail, according to Forbes.
The following are India's ten wealthiest people, as of March 5, 2021:
NET WORTH: $84.5 BILLION
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Ambani was able to raise $35 billion through a series of deals, allowing him to meet his goal of reducing Reliance Industries' net debt to zero by 2021. Mukesh Ambani remains the wealthiest Indian for the 14th year in a row. He also owns the Mumbai Indians of the Indian Premier League and is the founder of the Indian Super League, a football league in India, through Reliance. Forbes named him one of the world's wealthiest sports owners in 2012. [26th] He lives in the Antilia Building, which is one of the most expensive private residences in the world, with a price tag of $1 billion.
NET WORTH: $50.5 BILLION
Last September, Adani purchased a 74% stake in Mumbai International Airport, the country's second-busiest. He also sold a 20% stake in Adani Green Energy, a publicly traded renewable energy company, to Total, a French energy conglomerate, for $2.5 billion. As shares of his companies, including Adani Enterprises and Adani Green Energy, skyrocketed, infrastructure tycoon Gautam Adani became a staggering $42 billion richer. With a five-fold increase in wealth since 2020, Adani is now the second-richest Indian, surpassing retailing tycoon Radhakishan Damani, whose fortune was split this year.
NET WORTH: $23.5 BILLION
Last July, the tech titan handed over the chairmanship of HCL Technologies, a $9.9 billion (revenues) company, to his only daughter, Roshni Nadar Malhotra. Microcomp, a company that specialised in selling teledigital calculators in the Indian market, was Nadar and his partners' first venture. HCL was founded in 1976 with an Rs. 187,000 investment.
NET WORTH: $16.5 BILLION
Avenue Supermarts, the low-profile retailing king's listed supermarket chain, operates 221 DMart stores across the country. Gopikishan, his brother, is also a billionaire. Previously, he held second place, whose fortune was divided this year. For the first time, his brother Gopikishan Damani is listed separately, based on new information about his holdings.
NET WORTH: $15.9 BILLION
Kotak Mahindra Bank, one of India's top four private banks, was founded and is run by India's wealthiest banker. Kotak sold $950 million worth of shares in June to reduce his stake in the bank to 26%, as required by the Reserve Bank of India. Kotak founded Kotak Capital Management Finance Ltd after completing his MBA (which later became Kotak Mahindra Finance Ltd). He grew a bill-discounting start-up into a financial services conglomerate with assets of US$19 billion (as of March 2014) and the second-largest scheduled commercial bank by market capitalization in India (private and PSU) with over 1250 branches from a seed capital of less than US$80,000 borrowed from family and friends.
NET WORTH: $14.9 BILLION
Mittal stepped down as CEO of ArcelorMittal, the $53.3 billion steel behemoth, in February, handing over the reins to his son, Aditya. Mittal is still the company's executive chairman. He is also the "57th most powerful person" in Forbes' 2015 "Most Powerful People" list, which includes 72 people. The wedding of his daughter Vanisha Mittal was second-most expensive in history.
NET WORTH: $12.8 BILLION
Birla, the fourth generation heir to a vast commodities empire, has paid a high price for his foray into telecom. In the fight against Ambani's Jio, his Vodafone Idea rebranded as Vi, a joint venture between his Idea Cellular and the Vodafone Group in the United Kingdom, has been losing money. The European Commission approved his Novelis' $2.6 billion acquisition of Aleris, an aluminium producer in Ohio, in October 2019.
NET WORTH: $12.7 BILLION
Poonawalla's Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine producer by doses produced, is at the forefront of India's fight against Covid-19, with multiple vaccine partnerships orchestrated by his son Adar, Serum's CEO. This year, Adar also paid $475 million for a 60% stake in Magma Fincorp, a publicly traded finance company.
NET WORTH: $10.9 BILLION
Shanghvi, the founder and CEO of Sun Pharmaceuticals, has re-entered the top ten thanks to a 68% increase in the company's stock price. Dilip Shanghvi, the son of a pharmaceuticals distributor, borrowed $200 from his father to start Sun Pharma, a psychiatric drug company, in 1983. He grew Sun through a series of acquisitions, the most notable of which was the $4 billion purchase in 2014 of scandal-plagued rival Ranbaxy Laboratories.
Sunil Mittal & family
NET WORTH: $10.5 BILLION
After Ambani's Jio, his Bharti Airtel, a joint venture with Singapore's Singtel, is India's second-largest telecom operator. Mittal's son Kavin announced on Twitter in January that his SoftBank-backed start-up Hike, once regarded as India's answer to WhatsApp, had closed down its messaging service. Mittal bought a stake in the publicly traded AU Small Finance Bank through his personal investment firm in May 2020. Hike, the SoftBank-backed startup founded by Mittal's son Kavin and regarded as a rising unicorn, has shut down its messaging service and is now focusing on gaming.