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3 Indians among Forbes 'Web Billionaires'

Three Indians, including Indiabulls' Sameer Gehlaut and Party Gaming founder Anurag Dikshit, have been named among the 34 innovators in the 'Web Billionaires' list by Forbes.

business Updated: Sep 12, 2008 22:52 IST
HT Correspondent & Agencies

India has thrown up its first Internet billionaires. Three Indians, including Indiabulls' Sameer Gehlaut and Party Gaming founder Anurag Dikshit, have been named among the 34 innovators in the Web Billionaires list by US magazine Forbes.

Kavitark Ram Shriram, is the other India-born innovator on the list, with a net worth of $ 1.8 billion (Rs 8,220 crore) and co-owns Indian job site Naukri.Com, said Forbes.

Young Turks of India’s Internet business feel that the prospects are stronger for entrepreneurs in new media, mobile, online and social media space. India currently ranks 4th as far as Internet users are concerned and second in the number of mobile users.

“It's the turn of new media, social networking, Internet and mobile space to create successful billionaires,” said Vishal Gondal, founder and CEO, Indiagames.

Indian industry leaders feel that though it is a matter of pride for India, Indiabulls’ unique business model means that it would be very difficult for others to come up. “Indiabulls started as a website, but its ability to quickly scale up to financial services, and strong implementation skills has made it what it is. That is unique,” said Vimal Bhandari, India country manager, Aegon, the Dutch insurance company.

Indiabulls’ Sameer Gehlaut, the youngest self-made billionaire in India, with a net worth of $ 1.2 billion (Rs 5,480 crore), has featured in the list. Gehlaut had started online brokerage firm Indiabulls with two college friends in 1999 and still heads the company and is the largest shareholder. The group has moved into real estate business and is further looking to expand into the power sector, the magazine stated.

Online gambling firm Party Gaming's Anurag Dikshit is the third Indian on the list, with $1.6 billion (Rs 7,307 crore) of wealth. Forbes described him as ‘developmental engineer turned online gambling mogul.’

Dikshit holds a degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi. He had joined Party Gaming a year after its founder, American Ruth Parasol, had launched Starluck Casino on the Internet in 1997.

The Internet boom has put 34 innovators the list of world's richest, with a total net worth of $ 109.7 billion (Rs 5,00,999 crore), Forbes said. The list includes Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page with the highest net worth of $ 18.7 billion (Rs 85,402 crore) each.