Mukesh Ambani, Azim Premji, Shiv Nadar and Lakshmi Mittal are the four Indians to feature in the top 100 of the Forbes World’s Billionaire list released Tuesday. Ambani continued to lead the Indian pack in the Forbes list which featured 106 Indians this year. The list does not feature a woman in the top 10.
Here are the top 10 richest Indians to feature in the Forbes list this year.
Reliance Group Chairman Mukesh Ambani continued to dominate the Indian billionaire sphere with a net worth of $50 billion. A Stanford dropout, Ambani jumped six positions to feature at the 13th spot on the World’s Billionaire list this year. He was ranked 19th last year.
"Ambani chairs and runs $60 billion (revenue) oil and gas giant Reliance Industries, among India's most valuable companies," Forbes said. "In 2016, Reliance sparked a price war in India's hyper-competitive telecom market with the launch of 4G phone service Jio." Jio, it said, has signed on 280 million customers by offering free domestic voice calls, dirt-cheap data services and virtually free smartphones.
Wipro founder Azim Premji occupied the second spot in India’s richest list for the second year in a row with a net worth of $22.6 bn. Premji has been ranked at 36th place in the Forbes World’s Billionaire’s list this year. Premji’s $8.4 bn (revenue) Wipro is India’s third-largest outsourcer, Forbes stated.
Like Ambani, Premji is a Standford University dropout who gave up studies in 1966 to look after the family’s cooking oil business when his father died, expanding it into software. Wipro has an innovation centre in Silicon Valley, which is focused on developing new technologies and collaborating with startups.
In September 2018, Wipro won a landmark $1.6 billion,10-year contract from Alight Solutions of Illinois, Forbes said.
HCL co-founder Shiv Nadar jumped three places to finish at third on India’s billionaire’s list with a net worth of $14.6 bn. He is ranked at 82nd in the world’s billionaire list this year.
According to Forbes, Nadar chairs HCL Technologies, an $8.2 billion (revenue) company that is India’s fourth-largest software services provider. In December 2018, HCL Technologies agreed to buy some software products from IBM for $1.8 billion.
Nadar is also a philanthropist and donated $662 million to his Shiv Nadar Foundation, which backs education-related causes.
Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, with a net worth of $13.6 bn, slipped one place to fourth on India’s richest list this year. He is ranked 91st in the world rankings.
Mittal merged his company Mittal Steels with France’s Arcelor in 2006, leading to the formation of world’s biggest steelmaker ArcelorMittal. Mittal is the CEO of this joint venture now.
Benefiting from an uptick in steel, the company reported double-digit growth in net profit to $5.1 billion in 2018 on revenue of $76 billion, Forbes said.
In 2018, ArcelorMittal acquired Italy’s loss-making steel group Ilva at $2.1 bn and also made a $5.9 bn bid for bankrupt Essar Steel, which was accepted by Essar’s creditors.
Kotak Mahindra Bank’s Uday Kotak, with a net worth of $11.8 bn, jumped seven places to be ranked at 5th in India’s richest billionaire list this year. He is ranked 114th in the world’s billionaire’s list.
His Kotak Mahindra Bank is now among India’s top four banks in the private sector, boosted by its 2014 acquisition of ING Bank’s Indian operations. Since its March 2017 launch, Kotak’s 811 digital banking app, which offers zero-balance accounts, has expanded the customer base to 16 million, Forbes stated.
KM Birla, Radhakishan Damani & family
Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla and investor Radhakishan Damani share the 6th place in India’s richest list this year with a net worth of USD 11.1 bn. They jumped 3 and 5 places respectively from their last year’s ranking.
Birla and Damani are ranked 122nd in the world list.
Kumar Birla is the fourth generation head of the storied, $44.3 billion (revenue) Aditya Birla Group. In August 2018, Birla completed the merger between his Idea Cellular and Vodafone India to form Vodafone Idea, India’s largest telecom firm.
Damani holds stakes in a range of companies, from tobacco firm VST industries to beer maker United Breweries. His property portfolio includes the 156-room Radisson Blu Resort in Alibaug, a popular beach-front getaway close to Mumbai.
Vaccine tycoon Cyrus Poonawalla, with a net worth of $9.5 bn, jumped eight places to 7th in the India’s richest list this year. He is ranked 147th in the world’s richest list.
Poonawalla founded Serum Institute of India in 1966 and built it into one of the world’s largest vaccine makers. Serum produces 1.5 billion doses annually of a range of vaccines, including for measles, polio and flu, Forbes said.
Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani, with a net worth of $8.7 bn, jumped two positions to 8th in India’s richest this year. Adani is ranked 167th in the world’s richest list.
His $12 billion Adani Group spans over power generation and transmission, real estate and commodities. Adani also controls Mundra Port, India’s largest, in his home state of Gujarat.
In August 2018, Adani completed the $2.6 billion acquisition of Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Infrastructure’s power business in Mumbai. Adani has entered the petrochemicals sector in a $2.6 billion joint venture with Germany’s BASF and has also won bids to run six domestic airports.
Sun Pharma founder Dilip Shanghvi, with a net worth of $7.6 bn, slipped one place to 9th in India’s richest list this year. He is ranked 191st in the world list.
Shanghvi’s Sun Pharma is the world’s fourth-largest speciality generics maker and India’s most valuable pharma outfit with March 2018 revenues of $3.6 billion, Forbes noted.
Wadia Group Chairman Nusli Wadia, with a net worth of $7 bn, jumped eight places to 10th in India’s richest list this year. Wadia is ranked 209th in the world list.
Wadia Group’ group companies include Britannia Industries, home textiles company Bombay Dyeing and budget airline GoAir.