The Forbes richest list released in New Delhi today shows that for the first time, the top 100 richest tycoons in India are all billionaires.
The combined net worth of India’s 100 wealthiest is 346 billion dollars, up more than a third from 259 billion dollars in 2013. In the latest issue of Forbes Asia and Forbes India, Naazneen Karmali, India Editor of Forbes Asia, said, In 2014, India’s outlook has moved very quickly from gloom to boom. The new federal government’s mandate for change has sparked euphoria in the stock market causing a seismic shift in Indian wealth this year.
Hopefully these gains are real and will be sustained as the economy revives and India fulfils its potential. India’s stock market has scaled new peaks gaining 28 per cent since January this year, though the economy, which grew at 5.7 per cent in the last quarter, has yet to catch up.
Mr Mukesh Ambani, head of RIL, tops the list for the eighth consecutive year with a net worth of 23.6 billion dollars, up 2.6 billion dollars from last year. His telecom arm, Reliance Jio Infocomm is preparing to roll out 4G services in the coming year. Mr Dilip Shanghvi, founder of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries , India’s major drug maker, is the new No 2, overtaking steel baron Lakshmi Mittal, who slips to fifth place.
The 49-year old Mr Shanghvi saw his fortune rise by 4.1 billion dollars to 18 billion dollars. Moving up one notch to No 3 is Mr Azim Premji, whose net wealth increased to 16.4 billion dollars from 13.8 billion dollars previously. In July, his tech firm Wipro set up a 100 million dollar venture capital fund to back start ups led by his son Rishad.
The biggest dollar gainer is ports magnate Nr Gautam Adani, who jumped 11 spots to No 11 adding nearly 4.5 billion dollars to his wealth which reached 7.1 billion dollars on soaring shares of his companies. Mr Adani has been on a buying spree: he bought a port in Eastern India from the Tata Group for 900 million dollars and agreed to pay one billion dollars for a power plant in Southern India. As many as 85 of the 89 who returned to the top 100 from last year are wealthier, and several are billionaires for the first time.
Among them are Mr Qimat Rai Gupta (No. 48, USD 1.95 billion), Chairman of Havells, the world’s fourth-largest lighting company; Mr V G Siddhartha (No. 75, USD 1.27 billion), founder of the Caf Coffee Day chain, India’s Starbucks; and brothers Sanjiv (No. 69, USD 1.4 billion) and Mr Harsh Goenka (No. 82, USD 1.18 billion), who runs RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group and RPG Group respectively and Mr Sourav Majumdar, Editor, Forbes India.
With the stock market on a bull run and renewed optimism in the air, this year’s list is an all-billionaires list. The good news is the distribution of wealth among the 100 continues to be broad-based, and is not just concentrated at the top of the heap. The power of Indian enterprise continues to grow stronger, despite the odds, Forbes said.
There are eight newcomers on this year’s list: Amalgamations Group family (No 47, USD 2 billion) comprise the families of the four children of the late founder S. Anantharamakrishnan; brothers Dilip & Anand Surana (No 73, USD 1.3 billion), who runs Bangalore pharma outfit Micro Labs; Hasmukh Chudgar (No 80, USD 1.2 billion), founder of Intas Pharmaceuticals; real estate tycoon Surendra Hiranandani (No 83, USD 1.17 billion); jeweler T S Kalyanaraman (No 87, USD 1.13 billion); Macleod Pharmaceuticals’ Rajendra Agarwal (No 90, USD 1.1 billion); Dubai-based Aster DM Healthcare’s Azad Moopen (No 95, USD 1.05 billion); and stock market veteran Radhakishan Damani (No 100, USD 1 billion).
Forbes said the biggest loser this year is Indus Gas founder Ajay Kalsi (No 85, USD 1.15 billion), who lost USD 1 billion after the government stalled an increase in the nation’s natural gas prices. The minimum amount required to make the list was one billion dollars, up from 635 million dollars in 2013.
With a record minimum net worth this year, 11 from last year fell off, including tycoons Brij Bhushan Singal and Vijay Mallya. The top 10 richest in India are: (1) Mr Mukesh Ambani; 23.6 billion dollars (2) Dilip Shanghvi; 18 billion dollars (3)Mr Azim Premji; 16.4 billion dollars (4) Mr Pallonji Mistry; 15.9 billion dollars (5)Mr Lakshmi Mittal; 15.8 billion dollars (6) Hinduja brothers; 13.3 billion dollars (7)Mr Shiv Nadar; 12.5 billion dollars (8) Godrej family 11.6 billion dollars.
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