New Delhi: Fourteen newly minted billionaires helped India contribute the largest number of uber rich from Asia to the annual homage to the wealthy put out by Forbes magazine.
India contributed 36 billionaires to the 2007 list of 946 wealthiest people on the planet, displacing Japan as the top dog from Asia. Mukesh Ambani (#14, $20.1 billion) and Anil Ambani (#18, $18.2 billion), along with Lakshmi Mittal (#5, $32 billion), formed an Indian triumvirate among the world’s 20 wealthiest. All the Indians put together had a net worth of $191 billion, up by $92 billion from the previous list. That is $3.6 billion each.
The overall list of billionaires grew sharply, up 153, for a collective wealth of $3.5 trillion, a 35% increase from the previous year’s list. Some 178 billionaires made their debut on the list even as 44 people dropped off, including Brij Mohanlal Munjal, head of the Hero group.Forbes
Led by perennial No. 1 Bill Gates ($56 billion) hanging on to his top slot for the 13th year, and Warren Buffet ($52 billion) in the second spot, the US continues to dominate billionaires’ row with 415 members, with some 50 of them coming from New York alone.
Russia contributed 53 billionaires. China, which had just seven billionaires last year, now boasts 20, while Hong Kong, which has a special administrative status within China, saw five more entrepreneurs make the grade, giving it a total of 21.
Who is the average billionaire? It is mostly a man, 62 years old, two years younger than in the previous list. A high 60% made their money from the scratch. And some 100 of them are single.