Mumbai: Forty Indians have entered the billionaires’ club in the pandemic-stricken 2020. The new additions have taken the number of those in the coveted list to 177, a report said on Tuesday.
Mukesh Ambani continued to be the wealthiest Indian with a networth of USD 83 billion. The head of Reliance Industries witnessed a 24 per cent jump in fortunes and climbed up one spot to be the eighth richest globally, as per the ‘Hurun Global Rich List’. The other Indians still have a lot of catching up to do with Mukesh Ambani.
Gautam Adani from Gujarat has had a spectacular rise in fortunes in the last few years. He saw his wealth almost doubling to USD 32 billion in 2020. He climbed 20 places to be the 48th richest person globally and the second wealthiest Indian. His brother Vinod’s wealth grew 128 per cent to USD 9.8 billion.
The report compiles individual or family wealth in the year to January 15. It can be noted that the Indian economy is set to contract by over 7 per cent because of the impact of the pandemic. The COVID-19 outbreak had forced governments to go for lockdowns that had a debilitating impact on the poor.
The report comes at a time when concerns are being raised about a ‘K-shaped’ recovery being underway, where a select few prosper.
Hurun India’s MD and chief researcher Anas Rahman Junaid said Indian wealth creation is dominated by cyclical or traditional industries. So it cannot be compared to the tech-driven wealth creation in the US and China.
“When the tech-driven wealth creation reaches full potential, India could potentially beat USA in terms of the number of billionaires,” informed Junaid.
IT company HCL’s Shiv Nadar was the third wealthiest Indian with a fortune of USD 27 billion. Jay Chaudhry of software company Zcaler saw a 274 per cent rise in networth to USD 13 billion during the year while Byju Raveendran and family saw a 100 per cent increase in its wealth to USD 2.8 billion, the report said. Diversified corporate house Mahindra Group’s head Anand Mahindra and family also saw a 100 per cent increase in wealth to USD 2.4 billion, it added.
Among those who saw a decline in their networth during the year was Acharya Balkrishna of Patanjali Ayurved. He was down at USD 3.6 billion, a decrease of 32 per cent.
The financial capital continues to lead in the country from a concentration perspective. It is home to 60 of the 177 Indian billionaires. Next is New Delhi with 40 billionaires and Bangalore with 22 billionaires.
From a gender perspective, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon leads with a networth of USD 4.8 billion (up 41 per cent). She is followed by Smita V Crishna of Godrej at USD 4.7 billion and Lupin’s Manju Gupta at USD 3.3 billion.
Globally, the list is led by Elon Musk of Tesla with a fortune of USD 197 billion. He is followed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos at USD 189 billion and Frenchman Bernard Arnault of fashion house LVMH at USD 114 billion.