Vastavam web: Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani on Thursday emerged as India’s wealthiest for the 10th straight year as his net worth swelled to USD 38 billion (nearly Rs 2.5 lakh crore) while the wealth of 100 richest rose by 26 per cent despite economic hiccups.Wipro’s Azim Premji was the distant second with a net worth of USD 19 billion, moving up two places from last year, while Sun Pharma’s Dilip Shanghvi slipped from his earlier second place to the ninth now (USD 12.1 billion) on Forbes magazine’s annual ‘India Rich List 2017’.
Forbes said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “economic experiments” barely affected India’s billionaires while none gained more than oil-and-gas tycoon Mukesh Ambani, who cemented his decade-long hold on the top slot by adding a staggering USD 15.3 billion (67 per cent) to his last year’s wealth to become one of Asia’s top five richest.Patanjali Ayurved’s Acharya Balkrishna, known as a close associate of yoga guru Ramdev, made a big jump from 48th place last year to 19th now with a net worth of USD 6.55 billion (about Rs 43,000 crore).
“India’s turbo-charged economy sputtered in the quarter ended in June as it grew at a three-year low of 5.7 per cent, due to the aftershocks of last November’s demonetisation and uncertainties over the rollout of a nation-wide Goods and Services Tax. Despite this, the stock market scaled new heights and boosted the fortunes of the nation’s 100 richest,” it added.The Hinduja brothers are at the third position with USD 18.4 billion while Lakshmi Mittal is now ranked fourth (USD 16.5 billion) and Pallonji Mistry fifth (USD 16 billion).
Forbes said the list was compiled using shareholding and financial information secured from the families and individuals, stock exchanges, analysts and regulatory agencies.More than four-fifths of those who kept their spot on the list from last year saw their wealth rise, with 27 listees adding USD 1 billion or more to their net worth.The richest newcomer is cookies-and-airline tycoon Nusli Wadia at the 25th place with a net worth of USD 5.6 billion.Among the five other new entrants to the list are Dinesh Nandwana (88, USD 1.72 billion) of e-governance services firm Vakrangee; Vijay Shekhar Sharma (99, USD 1.47 billion) of fast-rising mobile wallet Paytm and Rana Kapoor (100, USD 1.46 billion) of Yes Bank.
Other returnees are Future Group’s Kishore Biyani (55th, USD 2.75 billion) and siblings Murli Dhar and Bimal Gyanchandani (75, USD 1.96 billion).Pharmaceutical magnate Dilip Shanghvi is the biggest dollar loser on the list as his net worth fell by USD 4.8 billion, ending his three-year run as India’s second-richest.The Gupta family (40, USD 3.45 billion), heirs of patriarch Desh Bandhu Gupta, who died in June, saw their fortune shrink as shares of their generics maker Lupin declined.