Singapore: Industrialist Mukesh Ambani was on Thursday named India’s richest person for a ninth year in a row with a sharp increase in networth 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 networth 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 networth of $2.5 billion on the list compiled by the American business magazine known for its rich lists.
Forbes said the combined networth of India’s 100 wealthiest is $381 billion (nearly Rs. 25.5 lakh crore), a rise of 10 per cent 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 lakh crore) on 21 per cent 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 networth 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.
Forbes also said the fortunes of cement and paint tycoons in the country benefitted from the government’s infrastructure push and housing-for-all policy.
Shree Cement’s Benu Gopal Bangur moved up to the 14th place with a networth of $5.9 billion, while Asian Paints’ Ashwin Dani saw his wealth rise to $3.3 billion to rank him 34th.
As many as 15 people, including these two, saw their wealth rise by more than $1 billion. Sourav Majumdar, Editor, Forbes India, said: “This year’s list sees a rise in the overall wealth of the country’s top 100 billionaires, in line with the movement of the markets.
While the composition at the top of the list remains largely unchanged, the distribution of wealth within the list continues, with the top 20 now contributing 52 percent of the total, down from 55 percent last year.”
Forbes’ 100-richest for 2016 saw eight persons rejoining the ranks and these included biotech major Biocon’s Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw at 65th place with $1.83 billion.
Besides, there are six newcomers including serial entrepreneurs and brothers Bhavin and Divyank Turakhia (95th, $1.3 billion), who sold their ad tech firm Media.net for $900 million to a consortium of Chinese investors.
Balkrishna made his debut at 48th place ($2.5 billion), “thanks to his 97 per cent holding in fast-growing consumer goods outfit Patanjali Ayurved, which he co-founded with yoga guru Baba Ramdev.”
Hero group’s Pawan Munjal debuted at 29th place ($3.65 billion), taking his father late Brijmohan Lall Munjal’s spot on the list.
The minimum amount required to make the list was $1.25 billion, up from $1.1 billion in 2015. There were 13 drop-offs from the last year, including textile figure Balkrishan Goenka and co-founders of Flipkart, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal.
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 such as the Godrej and Bajaj families.
Public fortunes were calculated based on stock prices and exchange rates as of September 9. Private companies were valued based on similar companies that are publicly traded.
The magazine also gave a disclaimer that Reliance Industries is the owner of Network 18, publisher of Forbes India.
In the top-10, construction magnate Pallonji Mistry was ranked 6th ($13.9 billion) and was followed by NRI steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal ($12.5 billion), Godrej family ($12.4 billion), HCL’s Shiv Nadar ($11.4 billion), Kumar Mangalam Birla ($8.8 billion) and Cyrus Poonawalla ($8.6 billion).
Banker Uday Kotak was ranked 11th ($8.3 billion), Sunil Mittal was 12th ($6.6 billion), while Gujarati business tycoon Gautam Adani is 13th ($6.3 billion).
Others in the top-20 included Anand Burman($5.85 billion), Shashi and Ravi Ruia ($5.8 billion), Bajaj Family ($5.7 billion), Subhash Chandra ($5.6 billion), Savitri Jindal ($5.3 billion) and Desh Bandhu Gupta ($5.1 billion).
Royal Enfield motorbike maker Eicher Motors’ Vikram Lal was ranked 21st with $5 billion, while DLF’s K P Singh was 22nd with $4.8 billion.
Also on the list were Pankaj Patel, Micky Jagtiani, M A Yusuff Ali, Madhukar Parekh, Sudhir and Samir Mehta, Kuldip Singh and Gurbachan Singh Dhingra, Harsh Mariwala, Vivek Chaand Sehgal, Kapil and Rahul Bhatia, Ajay Piramal, P V Ramprasad Reddy, Ravi Pillai, Vijay Chauhan, Kalanithi Maran, Murali Divi, Samprada Singh, Ashwin Choksiand Yusuf Hamied.
Besides, Rajan Raheja, Vinod and Anil Rai Gupta, B R Shetty, Abhay Vakil, Chandru Raheja, Baba Kalyani, Karsanbhai Patel, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, M P Lodha, Sunil Vaswani, Rajendra Agarwal, M G George Muthoot, Sunny Varkey and Rajesh Mehta are also among India’s richest.
Infosys’ co-founder and former Chairman N R Narayana Murthy is ranked 62nd with $1.87 billion, while his former colleagues Nandan Nilekani is at 80th with $1.62 billion and S Gopalakrishnan is at 81st with $1.61 billion.
Anand Mahindra is at 90th place with $1.42 billion, while mining baron Anil Agarwal is at 63rd place with $1.86 billion. Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, who once owned a huge pharmaceutical empire, but are still facing troubles over sale of the erstwhile Ranbaxy, are ranked 92nd with $1.38 billion.
Nirav Modi, Ramesh Juneja, Murugappa Family, Ranjan Pai, Harsh Goenka, Jitendra Virwani, Salil Singhal, PNC Menon, Leena Tewari, Satish Mehta, Ravi Jaipuria, Radhe Shyam Agarwal, R S Goenka, Sameer Gehlaut, Devendra Jain, Jai Hari and Yadu Hari Dalmia, Vikas Oberoi, Sanjiv Goenka, Sunder Genomal, Ajay Kalsi, Divyank and Bhavin Turakhia, Dilip and Anand Surana, Azad Moopen, Shamsheer Vayalil, Rajju Shroff and Hari and Shyam Bhartia are also on the list.