Patanjali’s Acharya Balkrishna enters Forbes rich list; Flipkart’s Bansals out

Acharya Balkrishna, who holds 97% stake in Patanjali Ayurved, made his debut on the annual Forbes list of India’s 100 Richest People at 48th position


A Patanjali Ayurved factory in Haridwar. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
A Patanjali Ayurved factory in Haridwar. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Singapore: Baba Ramdev’s close associate Acharya Balkrishna has entered India’s richest 100 club with $2.5 billion net-worth owing to his 97% stake in Patanjali Ayurved Ltd, while e-tailer Flipkart’s co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal made a surprise exit from the list.

Balkrishna made his debut on the annual Forbes list of India’s 100 Richest People at 48th position.

“... the childhood friend of politically well-connected yoga guru Baba Ramdev, makes debut thanks to his 97% holding in fast-growing consumer goods outfit Patanjali Ayurved, which they co-founded in 2006,” Forbes said on Thursday while releasing its annual India rich list.

“With revenue of $780 million, Patanjali sells everything from herbal toothpastes and cosmetics to noodles and jams. Though Ramdev holds no shares in Patanjali, he is the company’s de facto brand ambassador, while Balkrishna runs operations. Among much else, Balkrishna also oversees 5,000 Patanjali clinics, the Patanjali University and a yoga and Ayurveda research institute. He says that Patanjali’s profits are donated to various trusts and charities,” the magazine said.

Balkrishna is among the six newcomers on the list, topped for the ninth consecutive year by industrialist Mukesh Ambani, while 13 people failed to make the cut this year.

Also Read: Mukesh Ambani India’s richest person for ninth year in a row: Forbes

Those moving out of the list included Flipkart’s co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. The Bansals were ranked 86th last year with a net-worth of $1.3 billion.

The two friends teamed up in 2007 to start Flipkart as an online seller of books by pooling in $650 of their combined savings and started operating out of their apartment.

Now, Flipkart is among India’s biggest e-tailer and has attracted funds from several global investors, though things have not been very rosy of late.

This year, the minimum amount required to make to the Forbes list was $1.25 billion, up from $1.1 billion in 2015. The 13 who dropped out of the list also include textile figure Balkrishan Goenka.

There are only six newcomers this year. The youngest are entrepreneurs Bhavin Turakhia, 36, and Divyank Turakhia, 34, who sold their ad tech firm Media.net for $900 million in August.

Two-wheeler tycoon Pawan Munjal takes the spot of his father, Brijmohan Lall Munjal, who died last November.

Forbes said the list was compiled using shareholding and financial information obtained from the families and individuals, stock exchanges, analysts and regulators. The ranking lists family fortunes, including those shared among extended families.

Public fortunes were calculated based on stock prices and exchange rates as of 9 September. Private companies were valued based on similar companies that are publicly traded.

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