Mumbai: ‘Vaccine king’ Cyrus Poonawalla’s wealth grew the fastest among Indian billionaires and fifth fastest in the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is because of the strong business potential of his company, ‘Serum Institute of India’. This information has been provided by a report made by ‘Hurun Research’. Cyrus Poonawalla has climbed 57 places to be the 86th richest person in the world as of May 31. He achieved a 25 per cent rise in his networth during the four months of the pandemic, the report said.
Largest vaccine manufacturer
The Pune-based entrepreneur’s unlisted company is already the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world. The networth has been helped by vaccine distribution and manufacturing potential of his business, the report added.
Recently, ‘Serum’ struck an agreement with ‘AstraZeneca’ to manufacture one billion doses of coronavirus vaccine being developed by Oxford University.
Richest Indian Mukesh Ambani continues to hold the numero uno ranking as the wealthiest Indian. After sharp losses in the first two months on market rout, the next two months saw a USD 18 billion surge in his fortune. It happened on the back of over Rs 1.69 lakh crore worth of deals struck by Reliance Industries in selling stakes. Most of the stakes were in its telecom arm, the report said. However, despite the late surge, Ambani’s wealth was down one per cent as compared to the pre-COVID-19 levels, it added.
Despite the networth being marginally lower, Ambani climbed up one place to be the eighth richest person in the world as of May 2020.
Wealthiest man in the world
Jeff Bezos continues to be at the top of the list of the world’s richest individuals. He achieved a 14 per cent gain in his fortune to USD 160 billion in four months to May. Bill Gates at USD 100 billion (down 6%) and Bernard Arnault at USD 89 billion (down 17%) are behind Bezos.
The pandemic has affected Warren Buffet badly. His fortune currently stands at USD 84 billion (down 18%). However, Mark Zuckerberg also at USD 84 billion (unchanged) hasn’t suffered much.
Ambani’s wealth erosion is the smallest as compared to other Indian billionaires in the top-100 list. HCL’s Shiv Nadar (16% decline to USD 16 billion) and Gautam Adani and family (18% decline to USD 14 billion), have suffered reverses, the report said.
From a sectoral perspective, the biggest winners from the coronavirus pandemic seem to be online retailers. Pharma, home improvement retailers and also chocolate, soya sauce and pork producers, follow next in the line, the report said.