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The Richie Rich club: Mukesh Ambani breaks into top-20 billionaires in 2017

More than one third of India's rich list replaced as businesses failed

Dev Chatterjee  |  Mumbai 


Despite a slowing economy and demonetization, India added 56 new billionaires in 2017 with a total of 170 Indians making it to the with a wealth of over $1 billion or more. As per the Hurun Global Rich List, China topped the list with 819 billionaires almost 5 times more than India’s, and United States with 571 billionaires.

With a wealth of $45 billion, topped the India rich list and also made it to the top 20 rich list in the world. The India list also saw almost one-third of the rich list replaced by new billionaires as many businesses failed due to cancellations of mines, infighting among promoters and sale of businesses by the local entrepreneurs.

China also scored well with more women billionaires making it to the list. As against China's 163 women billionaires, India had only 14 with Savitri Jindal of the Jindal family topping the list. “Story of wealth creation in India talks about the story or modern businesses and new competition dynamics in India. India is now the third largest billionaire creating country in the world. When India’s GDP touches $ 6 trillion by 2022, we expect the number of billionaires to at least double from the current number,” said Anas Rahman Junaid, Managing Director and Chief Researcher, Hurun Report India.

Jeff Bezos, 54, shot up to world number one for the first time after Amazon stock rose 70 per cent in 2017. Last year, online marketer, Amazon reported a revenue of $177 billion and net profit of $3 billion.

The biggest gainer in the India rich list was 62-year old, Radhakishan Damani, Chairman of Avenue Supermarts (operator of D-Mart brand of super stores) with a 445 per cent increase in his wealth. Damani was followed by Acharya Balakrishna (45) of Patanjali Ayurved with a wealth increase of 224 per cent. Another good performer was Kishore Biyani of Future Retail who re-entered the list following the merger of Future Retail and Bharti Retail which created the biggest supermarket chain with a turnover of Rs 150 billion. The company’s subsequent relisting resulted in significant wealth creation for Biyani, Hurun said here today.

The Richie Rich club: Mukesh Ambani breaks into top-20 billionaires in 2017


India also saw three self-made billionaires under 40 years of age with of PayTM making it to the list, followed by Divyank Turakhia of Media.Net and Shraddha Agarwal (32) of Outcome Health joining him. With a wealth of Rs 609 billion each, Cyrus Mistry and Shapoor Mistry are the richest new entrants as their father Pallonji Mistry divided his empire equally between his two sons. The Mistry brothers would be second richest Indian family after Ambani if their wealth is taken into account jointly.

Among thewealth-creatingg sectors, the top-performer was pharmaceutical industry with 20 billionaires out of 170 billionaires from India, followed by technology, media and telecom and automobile/auto components sectors. Other industries that had a good year include consumer products and conglomerate. The pharmaceuticals, FMCG, conglomerate and automobile & components added six new billionaires each to this year wealth.

The 2018 ranked 2,694 billionaires from 68 countries and from 2,157 companies. The total wealth of billionaires increased by a staggering 31 per cent to US$10.5 trillion, equivalent to 13.2 per cent of global GDP, and almost double the 7 per cent of global GDP six years ago. “Never has so much wealth been concentrated in the hands of so few,” Founder of Hurun Global Rich List, Rupert Hoogewerf said.

“A boom in China, a weak dollar and a 26 per cent hike in Nasdaq have led to a surge in dollar billionaires across the world. The US dollar depreciated against all currencies. Global economic growth was at 3 per cent last year, the fastest rate since 2011 and a significant acceleration compared with 2.4 per cent the previous year,” he said.

Hurun Global India Rich List 2018
India Rank Global Rank Name Net Worth INR Bn.
1 19 Mukesh Ambani 2866
2 65 Lakshmi N Mittal 1176
3 87 Dilip Shanghvi 962
4 98 Shiv Nadar 917
5 98 Gautam Adani 862
6 127 Cyrus Poonawalla 781
7 127 Azim Premji 777
8 127 Acharya Balakrishna 765
9 150 Uday Kotak 699
10 150 Savitri Jindal & Family 681

First Published: Thu, March 01 2018. 00:20 IST