The boom in the e-commerce sector has added four more members to India’s super-rich club. Though they are still small when compared with the big boys of the club, the wealth of the existing e-commerce players on the list has in dollar terms gone up by 48 per cent in the past year. For the four new players, the spike in wealth is 126 per cent. Flipkart promoters Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal — not related to each other — top the list of e-commerce players, with a net worth of Rs 9,010 crore each, according to a list compiled by Shanghai-based Hurun Report. There is a total of 296 names on the Hurun India Rich List, with a net worth cut-off of Rs 1,600 crore as on July 31, when the rupee was at 64 a dollar. The Bansals, who figured on last year’s list as well, are ranked 58th. Recent fundraising by some companies has significantly pushed up valuations of all e-commerce firms, which are unlisted so far. With a net worth of Rs 2,824 crore, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the chief executive of One Communications (which runs digital wallet service PayTM) who recently received a payments bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India, is placed next to the Bansals among the e-commerce millionaires. Sharma, a new entrant, is ranked 215th. The net worth of other new entrants such as Ola Cabs promoters Ankit Bhati and Bhavish Aggarwal (ranked 230th) has been estimated by Hurun at Rs 2,385 crore each, and Snapdeal promoter Kunal Bahl’s (ranked 243) net worth is Rs 2,314 crore. In early August, an arm of Alibaba, Japan’s Softbank and Taiwan’s Foxconn had invested a total of $500 million in Snapdeal, valuing the company at $5 billion. BSE-listed Just Dial, however, is an exception to the trend. Despite the company’s soaring valuations, its promoter Venkatachalam Sthanu Subramani has lost a sizeable amount of wealth in rupee terms, thanks to a fall in Just Dial’s market value. “Despite a weakness in the stock market and the rupee, the Hurun India Rich List has added 76 entrepreneurs, showing the resilience and dynamism of India’s private sector,” says Anas Rahman Junaid, head, Hurun Report India. Last year, the cut-off for entry to the club was Rs 1,800 crore. The industries that added the most number of wealthy in the list were fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), manufacturing, mobile phone manufacturing, and technology. On the back of a strong stock-market performance, the FMCG sector has produced the most number of new faces.
Dabur India’s Anand Burman, with a net worth of Rs 40,856 crore, topped the list among FMCG promoters. The indigenous mobile phone makers like Micromax, Lava and Karbon have also joined the club. According to the report, India had a mixed year in 2014-15, with some sectors like mobile phones and e-commerce doing well and others like real estate and energy going weak. Overall, it was an average year for India’s entrepreneurs. Besides, thanks to a six per cent devaluation of the rupee against the US dollar, and a lacklustre performance by key sectors like steel, energy and real estate, the average wealth figure dropped by seven per cent. The good news, though, is that India is adding more dollar billionaires. The number of such people increased to 124 from 109 last year. In 2012, the Hurun India Rich List had only 59 billionaires. Of these, 36 have migr-ated out of India and are non-residents. For example, Micky Jagtiani, the owner of ‘Lifestyle’ branded retail stores in the Gulf region, is placed 19th on the overall list, with a wealth of $4.9 billion. According to the report, 13 Indians saw their wealth doubling on a year-on-year basis. Dhiraj Rajaram of the unlisted data analytics company Mu Sigma (38th on the list) was the fastest riser; his wealth shot up 593 per cent to Rs 17,790 crore. The company is valued by Hurun at a premium due to a boom seen in the data analytics sector. Among the big boys, Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries, holds on to his position as the richest man in India, with a net worth of Rs 1,60,951 crore, down three per cent from last year. Sun Pharma promoter Dilip Shanghvi is the second-richest billionaire, followed by the Hinduja family at number three. Interestingly, an earlier Bloomberg list of India’s richest did not include Bharti Enterprises Chairman & Group Chief Executive Sunil Mittal (eighth on the Hurun list) and the Hinduja family, in its top 10.