The Covid-19 pandemic which resulted in a major economic contraction did not hamper the gains of India's richest as half of the nation’s 100 richest on the 2020 Forbes India Rich List saw there wealth grow by 14 per cent to $517.5 billion from a year ago. Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani accounts for more than half of those gains and retains the title of India's richest man for the 13th year.
Forbes in a statement said, "Ambani added $37.3 billion, bringing his fortune to $88.7 billion, a rise of 73 per cent. Shares of his Reliance Industries soared when, amid the nation’s lockdown, Ambani raised more than $20 billion from a string of marquee investors for Jio Platforms." The company is now paving way for the big bucks in its retail subsidiary RRVL.
Gautam Adani retains the second spot on the list by boosting his net worth 61 per cent to $25.2 billion. Adani, who aspires to be India’s airport king, acquired a 74per cent stake in Mumbai airport in 2020. Meanwhile, Tech giant Shiv Nadar jumped three places to No. 3 with $20.4 billion as shares of HCL surged.
Nadar had recently ceded his position to daughter Roshni Nadar Malhotra.
Pharma major Cyrus Poonawalla, whose privately held Serum Institute of India has joined the race to produce the Covid-19 vaccine secured the sixth spot on the rich list with a wealth of $11.5 billion, a 26 per cent jump from 2019. "The biggest percentage gainer on the list was Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, at number 27, founder of Biocon, which is set to start phase IV trials of a potential Covid-19 drug. Her wealth nearly doubled to $4.6 billion," Forbes added.
There are nine newcomers on this year’s list. They include Sanjeev Bikhchandani, No.68 with $2.1 billion, cofounder of Info Edge India, siblings Nithin and Nikhil Kamath, at 90 spot with $1.55 billion, cofounders of discount stock brokerage Zerodha Broking. The new entrants also include three specialty chemicals producers Vinati Organics’ founder Vinod Saraf at 95 position with $1.4 billion, brothers Chandrakant and Rajendra Gogri at 96 with $1.39 billion, of Aarti Industries, and Arun Bharat Ram, the patriarch of SRF at 99 with $1.34 billion.
Here are the top 10 richest Indians
- Mukesh Ambani: US$88.7 billion
- Gautam Adani: $25.2 billion
- Shiv Nadar: $20.4 billion
- Radhakishan Damani: $15.4 billion
- Hinduja brothers: $12.8 billion
- Cyrus Poonawalla: $11.5 billion
- Pallonji Mistry: $11.4 billion
- Uday Kotak: $11.3 billion
- Godrej family: $11 billion
- Lakshmi Mittal: $10.3 billion