With a net worth of $21 billion (approx Rs 1,29,150 crore), Mukesh Ambani retained his title as India’s wealthiest person for the sixth year in a row, according to US-based business magazine Forbes.
As per Forbes’ annual list of India’s 100 richest, released on Tuesday, the country’s 100 richest persons saw their collective wealth rise by a modest 3% from a year ago to $259 billion (Rs 15,92,850 crore).
NRI steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal ($16 billion — Rs 98,400 crore) continued to hold the second position.
Sun Pharma’s Dilip Shanghvi jumped to third place with about 50% surge in his wealth to $13.9 billion (Rs 85,485 crore), pushing IT czar Azim Premji to fourth place ($13.8 billion — Rs 84,870 crore).
“Growth in wealth was lacklustre due to India’s stumbling economy, which has been hit by inflation and a falling rupee,” Forbes said.
Amid the sluggishness, Reliance Industries chief Ambani and ArcelorMittal’s Mittal saw no change in their respective net worths, but pharmaceutical industry titan Shanghi managed to buck the trend with a surge of $4.7 billion (Rs 28,905 crore) in his wealth.
Premji’s wealth also rose by $1.6 billion (Rs 9,840 crore).
Pallonji Mistry, patriarch of construction giant Shapoorji Pallonji Group, which is the biggest shareholder in Tata Sons, has moved down one place to fifth rank with a net worth of $12.5 billion (Rs 76,875 crore).
His younger son Cyrus Mistry last year succeeded Ratan Tata as the new Tata group head.
NRI businessmen Hinduja brothers have moved up to sixth place ($9 billion — Rs 55,350 crore), from their 9th position last year.
HCL’s Shiv Nadar ($8.6 billion — Rs 52,890 crore) moved into top 10 at the 7th place, while telecom entrepreneur Sunil Mittal returned to this league at 10th place ($6.6 billion — Rs 40,590 crore).
On the other hand, Essar group’s Ruia brothers and Jindal group’s Savitri Jindal have moved out from the group.
Adi Godrej slipped two places to 8th rank ($8.3 billion — Rs 51,045 crore), while Aditya Birla group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla gained one position to 9th ($7.6 billion — Rs 46,740 crore).
Mukesh Ambani’s younger brother Anil Ambani retained his 11th rank, although his wealth rose to $6.2 billion (Rs 38,130 crore) from $6 billion (Rs 36,900 crore) a year ago.
In the top 20, he is followed by Shashi and Ravi Ruia ($5.5 billion — Rs 33,825 crore), Micky Jagtiani ($5 billion — Rs 30,750 crore), Savitri Jindal ($4.9 billion — Rs 30,135 crore), Uday Kotak ($4.1 billion — Rs 25,215 crore), Cyrus Poonawalla ($4 billion — Rs 24,600 crore), Anand Burman ($3.7 billion — Rs 22,755 crore), Kushal Pal Singh ($3.4 billion — Rs 20,910 crore), Desh Bandhu Gupta ($3.2 billion — Rs 19,680 crore) and the Bajaj family ($3.1 billion — Rs 19,065 crore).
There are a total of 65 billionaires on the list, four more than last year.
Some of them have made their fortunes in the Middle East, including Bahrain resident Ravi Pillai (richest newcomer with $1.7 billion — Rs 10,455 crore) of Saudi construction group, Nasser S Al-Hajri Corp, and retail mogul MA Yusuff Ali ($1.6 billion — Rs 9,840 crore) of Abu Dhabi-based Lulu Group.
As many as 15 new members have entered the top 100 list.
The minimum net worth to make to the list has increased to $635 million from $460 million last year.
Forbes said the list had been compiled using shareholder and financial information obtained from families, individuals, stock exchanges, analysts and regulators.
The ranking lists family fortunes, including those shared among extended families such as the Bajaj family, while the wealth figures have been calculated based on stock prices and exchange rates as of October 18.
Privately held companies were valued based on the valuation of similar publicly-traded companies.