Good days have come for the rich; all of India’s 100 wealthiest turn billionaires


  • 25 Sep 2014
Good days have come for the rich; all of India’s 100 wealthiest turn billionaires

For the first time, the 100 richest tycoons in India are all billionaires with Mukesh Ambani topping the league for the eighth consecutive year, according to Forbes.

With a net worth of USD 23.6 billion, up USD 2.6 billion from last year, RIL Chief Mukesh Ambani topped the list for the eighth consecutive year.

Ambani was followed by Dilip Shanghvi, who got richer this year by USD 4.1 billion. Shanghvi is the new No. 2, after he displaced steel baron Lakshmi Mittal (USD 15.8 billion), who slipped to the fifth place.


Wipro's Azim Premji moved up one notch to the number three position as his net wealth increased to USD 16.4 billion from USD 13.8 billion previously. Pallonji Mistry, patriarch of construction giant Shapoorji Pallonji Group which is the biggest shareholder in Tata Sons with a new worth of USD 15.9 billion, was placed in the fourth place.

Forbes said that "good days are here" for the India's 100 Richest, as the top 100 richest Indians are all billionaires with combined wealth of USD 346 billion, up more than a third from USD 259 billion in 2013.

Propelled by the euphoria after the Bharatiya Janata Party's landslide victory in May, the stock market has gained 28 per cent since January, driving the net-worth of the uber-rich people in India.


The biggest dollar gainer is ports magnate Gautam Adani, who jumped 11 spots to 11th rank in the list, adding nearly USD 4.5 billion to his wealth which reached USD 7.1 billion on soaring share prices.

"Shares of Adani's companies started soaring ahead of the elections on hopes of a BJP victory. The gains added close to USD 4.5 billion to his wealth, more than anyone else," Forbes said.

Others in the top 10 include NRI businessmen Hinduja Brothers who were at the sixth position with a net worth of USD 13.3 billion, followed by Shiv Nadar (7th, USD 12.5 billion), Godrej family (8th, USD 11.6 billion), Kumar Birla (9th, USD 9.2 billion) and Sunil Mittal & family (10th, USD 7.8 billion).


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 Qimat Rai Gupta (ranked 48, net worth USD 1.95 billion), Chairman of Havells; V G Siddhartha (75, USD 1.27 billion), founder of the Cafe Coffee Day chain; and brothers Harsh Goenka (82, USD 1.18 billion) and Sanjiv Goenka (69, USD 1.4 billion), who run their independent empires and are listed separately. 

On Adani who was placed 11th on the list, Forbes said that he snatched the biggest bonanza from the stock market rally.


"Snatching the biggest bonanza is ports magnate Gautam Adani, who hails from Modi's native Gujarat state and is known to be the PM's personal friend," Forbes said.

The rising market also restored some to the billionaire ranks, including property baron Vikas Oberoi (84, USD 1.2 billion) and pharma entrepreneur Habil Khorakiwala (76, USD 1.3 billion), Forbes said.

Others in top 20 include Savitri Jindal & family at 12th place with a net worth of USD 6.4 billion; Anil Ambani (13, USD 6.3 billion); Cyrus Poonawalla (14, USD 6.2 billion); Uday Kotak (15, USD 6.1 billion); Shashi & Ravi Ruia (16, USD 5.9 billion); Micky Jagtiani (17, USD 5.1 billion); Anand Burman (18, USD 4.9 billion); Desh Bandhu Gupta (19, USD 4.8 billion) and Bajaj Family (20, USD 4.1 billion).


"Pharma is on a roll: More than a fifth of the 100 have pharma and health care riches," Forbes said.

The pharma billionaires include Hasmukh Chudgar, whose Intas Pharmaceuticals was recently valued by Temasek at USD 1.4 billion and is ranked 80 on the list with a net worth of USD 1.2 billion.

Moreover, entrepreneur P V Ramprasad Reddy, ranked 54th on the list with a net wealth of USD 1.8 billion, is one of three returnees to the list, who came back after four years on a threefold jump in shares of his Aurobindo Pharma.

The biggest loser this year is Indus Gas founder Ajay Kalsi, who lost USD 1 billion after the government deferred a decision on increasing nation's natural gas prices. Kalsi was ranked 85th on the list with a net worth of USD 1.2 billion.

The minimum amount required to make the list was USD 1 billion, up from USD 635 million in 2013.

With a record USD 1 billion as the minimum net worth this year, as many as 11 people could not make it to this year's list including Brij Bhushan Singal, whose Bhushan Steel's shares tanked after son Neeraj was arrested in a corruption scandal, Forbes said.

The flamboyant Vijay Mallya, who was tagged by his bankers as a "willful defaulter" also dropped off from the list, it added.

The list was compiled using shareholding and financial information obtained from the families and individuals, stock exchanges, analysts and India's regulatory agencies.

The ranking listed family fortunes, including those shares among extended families such as the Godrej and Bajaj families.

Public fortunes were calculated based on stock prices and exchange rates as of September 12. Private companies were valued based on similar companies that are publicly traded.

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