Singapore: Industrialist Mukesh Ambani was on Thursday named India’s richest person for a ninth year in a row with a sharp increase in net worth to $22.7 billion, while Sun Pharma’s Dilip Shanghvi was ranked a distant second with a wealth of $16.9 billion.
The Hinduja Family moved up to the third position ($15.2 billion) on the annual Forbes list of India’s 100 Richest People. Wipro’s Azim Premji slipped one place to fourth with a net worth of $15 billion. Patanjali Ayurved’s Acharya Balkrishna, known as a close associate of yoga guru Ramdev, has made a surprise entry at the 48th position with a net worth of $2.5 billion on the list compiled by the American business magazine known for its rich lists.
Forbes said the combined net worth of India’s 100 wealthiest is $381 billion (nearly Rs.25.5 trillion), a rise of 10% from $345 billion in 2015. Mukesh Ambani’s wealth rose in the past one year from $18.9 billion to $22.7 billion (over Rs.1.5 trillion) on 21% surge in share price of Reliance Industries, the flagship company of his group, which recently launched 4G mobile services with much fanfare. He was ranked 36th in the global rich list.
Younger brother Anil Ambani was ranked 32nd with a net worth of $3.4 billion, down from 29th spot last year. Shanghvi also retained his second position, though his wealth fell by $1.1 billion due to plunge in share price of his group firm Sun Pharma, the world’s fifth largest generic drug maker, Forbes said.
Hinduja brothers rose to the third spot by displacing Premji and saw their worth rising to $15.2 billion, from $14.8 a year ago. “The four siblings - Srichand, Gopichand, Prakash, and Ashok - control multinational empire Hinduja Group, with businesses ranging from trucks and lubricants to banking and cable television. The group commissioned its much-delayed 1,040 mw thermal power unit in South India in July,” the magazine said.
“In a post-Brexit world, India appears a steady ship with an economy growing at 7 per cent-plus. The majority of India’s 100 richest have notched up handsome gains as their companies have outperformed the stock market in the past year. As the domestic investment cycle starts kicking in, we can expect more gains and new names in the future,” Forbes Asia’s India editor Naazneen Karmali said about the list.