[COVERSTORY]

EDITORIAL

URGE TO SPLURGE
Have money, will spend seems to be the motto of the elite

A CHECK ON PAY
Who got the biggest raises? Which company was most generous?

SHAKERS BUT NOT MARKET MOVERS
The ones who did not have to tap the market to get the numbers

BILLIONAIRE CLUB
A definitive list of India Inc’s richest

HIGHEST PAY PACKETS
List of the best paymasters

METHODOLOGY AND INDEX
How we estimated wealth and earnings of billionaires

BILLIONAIRE CLUB 2006
BILLIONAIRE CLUB 2005

HOME

Street Smart

The stock market's incessant rise has made the rich richer and spawned many new billionaires. B G Shirsat & Suveen K Sinha report

For long, Kushal Pal Singh, the zamindar of Gurgaon, was known beyond north India by the company he kept, most notably that of Jack Welch. Not any more. The former General Electric chairman may now be telling his cocktail buddies, not without a touch of pride, how well he knows Singh, whose large holding in newly-listed DLF has made him one of the richest in the world.

Pradeep Jain, the son of a grain merchant from Khekra village, may be discovering a bunch of new friends. After graduating from Delhi University’s Hansraj College, he worked for the prominent real estate developers of that time: Ansal, DLF and Unitech. Now that Jain’s company Parsvnath has made an impressive stock market debut, he stands shoulder-to-shoulder with his erstwhile paymasters.

As the Indian stock markets have entered the stratosphere – the Sensitive Index of the Bombay Stock Exchange rose 4,000 points between August last year and the same month this year – the rich have become richer.

The surging rupee, which has risen about 15 per cent against the US dollar since March, has provided the icing on the cake. The Ambani family has become the richest in the world. On the other hand, the market’s incessant rise has encouraged companies to raise funds from the public and created new billionaires.

Singh and Jain are among the 46 that took their companies public over the last one year and found good-enough valuations to force their way into Business Standard’s compilation of India’s richest.

Mukesh Ambani

THE BILLIONAIRE OF THE YEAR

With a net worth of over
Rs 1,45,000 crore, MUKESH AMBANI is the Billionaire of the Year. While the stock price of his flagship, Reliance Industries, surged 83 per cent, he also benefitted from the 92 per cent spike in the share price of Reliance Petroleum.

Pradeep Jain, the son of a grain merchant from Khekra village, may be discovering a bunch of new friends. After graduating from Delhi University’s Hansraj College, he worked for the prominent real estate developers of that time: Ansal, DLF and Unitech. Now that Jain’s company Parsvnath has made an impressive stock market debut, he stands shoulder-to-shoulder with his erstwhile paymasters.

As the Indian stock markets have entered the stratosphere – the Sensitive Index of the Bombay Stock Exchange rose 4,000 points between August last year and the same month this year – the rich have become richer. The surging rupee, which has risen about 15 per cent against the US dollar since March, has provided the icing on the cake. The Ambani family has become the richest in the world. On the other hand, the market’s incessant rise has encouraged companies to raise funds from the public and created new billionaires.

Singh and Jain are among the 46 that took their companies public over the last one year and found good-enough valuations to force their way into Business Standard’s compilation of India’s richest.

The duo also represents the other compelling trend of last year: the real estate sector’s rise to transparency. Once looked upon as somewhat shadowy, many real estate companies tapped public funds and showed themselves to be just as clean as anyone else.

Continued on next page

Business Standard December 2007