Indian-born steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal and Reliance Industries' Chairman Mukesh Ambani are among the 20 most powerful billionaires in the world, as they possess not only the riches but also economic dominance as well as political clout, says Forbes.
The Indian steel baron and the head of India's largest private sector company were included in the list of "The World's Most Powerful Billionaires" and according to Forbes "(they) have tremendous sway over the world's markets, workers -- and, in some cases, armies."
Lakshmi Mittal, who controls the world's largest steel firm, ArcelorMittal, has been ranked third on the list "despite his fortune falling USD 24.5 billion between March and November 2008".
Elaborating his power quotient, Forbes says, Mittal's political clout often incites controversy. "In 2002, then British Prime Minister Tony Blair reportedly wrote a letter to the Romanian prime minister hinting a sale of the country's steel company to Mittal would facilitate its entrance into the European Union," the US business magazine said.
Ambani, head of Reliance Industries, India's largest company by market cap, was ranked seventh on the coveted list. "(The company) produces oil, gas, petrochemicals and textiles. Personally funding construction of a 27-story home in Mumbai that could cost USD two billion," Forbes says.