Richest Indians: How Indian Entrepreneurs Fared in 2012

An intriguing story of admirable successes, glorious comebacks and some exits

Published: Nov 20, 2012

India’s rich have made a comeback, at least of sorts. The combined wealth of the country’s 100 richest people has inched up by about $9 billion to $250.6 billion in 2012. A bit of the ground conceded last year has been regained, thanks to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s delayed but much needed reform push and a rekindled Sensex. This year, we have more billionaires—61, from 57 in 2011—and the entry barrier has gone a little higher with at least $460 million needed to make the coveted list, from $370 million a year earlier.

Internationally too, Indian billionaires have fared better than most of their BRIC counterparts. The top 25 in India are second only to their Russian peers in accumulated wealth. Russia, along with China, has fewer billionaires than last year. But when it comes to the richest Americans, this year none of the Indians would make it to their top 10. Last year, Mukesh Ambani, who seems to have cemented his place at the top of the India Rich List, would have.

Behind the numbers, the India Rich List is an intriguing story of admirable successes, glorious comebacks and some ignominious exits. The pharmaceuticals sector’s strong performance is led by Dilip Shanghvi , who has broken into the top five with a $2.5 billion jump, the biggest gainer in absolute value. Fellow pharma entrepreneur Habil Khorakhiwala continues his remarkable turnaround after making a comeback in the 2011 List. This year, he is the biggest percentage gainer. The Hinduja brothers, bolstered by a growing Indian business, mark their maiden entry on the list with a top 10 ranking. Shree Cement owner Benu Gopal Bangur’s 100 percent rise in wealth mirrors the rising fortunes of the sector.

Not surprisingly, the wealth of businessmen from the debt-burdened infrastructure sector shrank most.  The most notable of them is Gautam Adani, whose coffer is lighter by $4.3 billion. Among the 10 drop-outs, six, including Tulsi Tanti, have interests in the power sector. While most of the retailers increased their wealth, the notable exception is the king himself. Kishore Biyani, under a mountain of debt despite selling Pantaloons to Kumar Mangalam Birla, has dropped off. Glenmark Pharmaceuticals founder Gracias Saldanha passed away earlier this year and is replaced by older son Glenn on the list.

India might be bustling with the energy of its 65 percent of population under the age of 30, but most of the wealth is still in the hands of the elders. While the average age of the richest 50 individuals has increased from last year, there is half a century’s gap between the youngest (Shivinder Singh) and the oldest (Brijmohan Lall Munjal). Geographically, India’s richest are more widely spread this year, with financial capital Mumbai returning a smaller number for the third straight year. Did anyone mention regional imbalance?

- Prince Mathews Thomas 

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Image: B Mathur / Reuters
1. Mukesh Ambani
$21 billion
Source: Oil & gas
Age: 55. Married, 3 children
Residence: Mumbai

Ambani is the richest Indian for the fifth straight year despite his fortune falling for the third year in a row. Still his Reliance Industries remains India’s most valuable company despite ongoing battles with federal oil ministry over KG-D6, country’s largest offshore gas field, where output has sharply declined and which has been subject of scrutiny by a federal auditor. In August, after a two-year deadlock, it got conditional approval for its drilling plans but not its much lobbied-for price increase for gas. Final approval is pending another federal audit. 

Fast facts
Wife Nita, who oversees Reliance Foundation, launched country’s first Braille newspaper in Hindi in March and has pledged to donate her eyes upon her death. 

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Image: Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters
2. Lakshmi Mittal
$16 billion
Source: Steel
Age: 62. Married, 2 children
Residence: London

Steel baron continues to lose ground; his fortune dropped more than $3 billion since last year, $10 billion in two years, as shares of his ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, tanked due to surging costs and slumping demand in Europe. They hit a low in August when S&P downgraded the steelmaker’s rating to junk status. It has been selling non-core assets to reduce its $22 billion debt and shutting down idle plants; in May, it sold American unit Skyline Steel to Nucor for $605 million. In October it said it was closing two idle furnaces in France and two in Belgium. Expressing frustration over slow progress in his native India he’s put plans to build two steel mills which have been stalled there for years, on low priority.

Fast facts
Longtime London resident, he and his son Aditya were the torch bearers for the 2012 Olympics Torch Relay. The 377-foot-tall Mittal-funded ArcelorMittal Orbit, made largely out of recycled steel, is the UK’s tallest sculpture.


 3. Azim Premji
$12.2 billion
Source: Information technology
Age: 67. Married, 2 children
Residence: Bangalore

Shares of  Premji’s Wipro remained virtually flat in what is seen as a difficult market for outsourcing firms as they scramble for new contracts. An auction of Wipro’s stock owned by his trust in March drew a tepid response, resulting in only half of the shares offered being sold. He was among a group of tycoons to accompany Rahul Gandhi, son of Congress Party boss, to Kashmir in October to assess investment prospects in that state. One of Asia’s most generous persons, Premji, who gave $2 billion in 2010 to his foundation to build a university among much else, co-hosted a philanthropy meeting in Bangalore with Bill Gates and Ratan Tata in June.

Fast facts
His wife Yasmeen published her first novel in July, Days of Gold and Sepia


 4. Pallonji Mistry
$9.8 billion
Source: Diversified
Age: 83. Married, 4 children
Residence: Mumbai

Irish citizen and patriarch of construction giant Shapoorji Pallonji Group, handed over the chairman’s mantle of group to older son Shapoor in June. Younger son Cyrus is set to replace Indian business legend Ratan Tata as chairman of Tata Sons when Tata retires in December. Mistry’s family has long been the biggest shareholder in Tata Sons, the holding outfit of the $100 billion (revenues) conglomerate, with an 18.4 percent stake, but this will be the first time a family member will be in charge. Family’s fortune is up $2.2 billion this year, after new disclosures on holdings.

Fast facts
Son Shapoor, a horse racing enthusiast, owns a stud farm in Pune that his dad gave him as a birthday gift many years ago.

 

5. Dilip Shanghvi
$9.2  billion
Source: Pharmaceuticals
Age: 57. Married, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai

Shanghvi enters top 5 ranks for the first time as shares of his Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, which he founded in 1982, gained nearly 50 percent in past year, hitting a record high in October. It is the country’s most valuable drug maker (market cap: $14 billion).

In August, Sun said it would spin off its domestic formulations business, sparking a rumour that it may be mulling a stake sale to big pharma; company denied it. Former chief executive of Israeli generics maker Teva Pharmaceutical replaced Shanghvi, who is still managing director, as group’s chairman in May.

Fast facts

He has invested in a new power venture. Son Aalok, who studied molecular biology at University of Michigan, is in charge of international marketing.


 6. Adi Godrej
$9 billion
Source: Consumer goods, real estate
Age: 70. Married, 3 children
Residence: Mumbai

Third generation to head 115-year-old Godrej Group, a $3.8 billion (revenues) consumer goods conglomerate that makes everything from locks to refrigerators. Chocolate maker Hershey’s recently bought out Godrej’s 43 percent stake in their Indian joint venture. In April, son Pirojsha, a Columbia University grad, was appointed chief executive of fast-expanding property arm Godrej Properties. Daughter Nisaba is considered frontrunner to head listed Godrej Consumer Products. Fortune, which he shares with sibling, cousins, is up due to rising value of its biggest asset, a 3,500-acre estate
in suburban Mumbai.

Fast facts
His biography, published by Penguin, is being released in December. He’s currently president of the Confederation of Indian Industry.

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 7. Savitri Jindal
$8.2 billion
Source: Steel, power
Age: 62. Widow, 9 children
Residence: Hisar/Delhi

Another tough year for her OP Jindal Group, steel and power conglomerate founded by her late husband, which she chairs. Youngest son Naveen, who runs Jindal Steel & Power, family’s biggest asset, faced flak when a CAG report charged that the company had unfairly secured coal mines from the government. He denied any wrongdoing, saying the mines were allocated on merit. Shares of JSW Steel, run by son Sajjan, fell when it announced plans to merge with JSW Ispat, a company acquired from Lakshmi Mittal’s younger brother in 2010.

Fast facts

Family’s fortune down $6.2 billion in two years

Image: Madhu Kapparath for Forbes India

 8. Shashi & Ravi Ruia
$8.1 billion
Source: Diversified
Age: 68. Married, 2 children
Age: 63. Married, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai/London

Brothers Shashi and Ravi Ruia’s Essar Group is a $27 billion (revenues) conglomerate with operations in 25 countries. It has spent $18 billion since 2008 to expand capacities, notably in steel and oil refining.  Shares of its London-listed Essar Energy more than halved in past year, hit by delays in getting approvals for mining coal and by a Supreme Court ruling that it was liable to prepay more than $1 billion in state taxes. In May, Antwerp Port Authority bought minority stake in their Essar Ports. Brothers are looking to bring down group’s $12 billion debt. 

Fast facts

In August, the group moved into new corporate headquarters in the Bandra-Kurla Complex, an upcoming financial district in suburban Mumbai; the brothers continue to operate from old downtown offices.
 

 9. Hinduja Brothers
$8 billion
Source: Diversified
Residence: London/Geneva/Mumbai

Flagship Ashok Leyland has a 25 percent share of the commercial vehicles market in India; its Indian-listed Indusind Bank now has a market cap of $3 billion. It has interests in defence, energy, petroleum, media and technology.

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10. Kumar Birla
$7.8 billion
Source: Commodities
Age: 45. Married, 3 children
Residence: Mumbai

His $40 billion (revenues) Aditya Birla Group is in a race to meet target of $65 billion in revenues by 2015. In April, it inked a $150 million deal to buy 50 percent stake in Pantaloon Retail, flagship of troubled retail king Kishore Biyani, a notable drop-off from this year’s list. In July it acquired Canadian pulp mill Terrace Bay for $110 million and will be investing $250 million more. Group is also believed to be negotiating to buy Jaiprakash Gaur’s (No. 70) cement business. In his first foray into media, he picked up 27.5 percent  in Living Media, which publishes magazines India Today and Business Today.

Image: Dinesh Krishnan

Fast facts
In April, he took part, along with family, in the 70th wedding anniversary celebrations of his grandparents Sarala and Basant Kumar Birla, in Kolkata. His mother Rajashree has built a hospital in her late husband’s name and is known to support India’s widows.


 11. Anil Ambani
$6 billion
Source: Diversified
Age: 53. Married, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai

Younger Ambani brother reversed a two-year losing streak with modest $100 million gain in his wealth. Reliance Communications, his debt-laden telecom unit, has put the sale of its tower arm on hold, it says, in light of the cancellation of telecom licences. A Singapore listing of its submarine cable unit was withdrawn due to a weak market. In August his Reliance Power got into spotlight when the CAG alleged in a report that company had secured undue benefit by wrongfully diverting surplus coal from mine it had been allocated. Company denied any wrongdoing, saying it had got all approvals. Reliance Capital concluded the sale of a 26 percent stake in its asset management arm to Japan’s Nippon Life for $290 million in August. Group’s entertainment arm Reliance MediaWorks with China’s Galloping Horse bought 30 percent stake in Digital Domain, a Hollywood special effects firm owned by film maker James Cameron in a bankruptcy auction.

Fast facts
He attended his first Academy Awards this year with his DreamWorks Studios’ partner Steven Spielberg to celebrate 11 nominations for three of their JV’s movies, The Help, War Horse and Real Steel. In October, his Reliance MediaWorks’ studio in Mumbai was the venue for the 70th birthday bash of his pal Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan.


 12. Sunil Mittal
$5.9 billion
Source: Telecom
Age: 55. Married, 3 children
Residence: Delhi

Shares of his Bharti Airtel, which has 260 million customers in 20 countries, fell in August when it reported a 37 percent fall in the most recent quarter’s net profits to $144 million. This was due to ongoing competition in domestic operations and losses in its African unit. The company along with other telecom operators is fighting the Department of Telecommunications in court over its recent order to stop 3G roaming mobile services. Debt-laden company plans to list its telecom tower arm Bharti Infratel which brother Rakesh chairs, to raise an estimated $1 billion.  New rule allowing foreign investment in big-box retailing is likely to benefit his joint venture with Walmart though a government probe into Walmart’s Indian operations casts a cloud.

Fast facts

His Bharti Foundation operates 254 schools that have 38,000 students mostly from poor communities.

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13. Shiv Nadar
$5.6 billion
Source: Information technology
Age: 67. Married, 1 child
Residence: Delhi

Co-founder of $6.2 billion (revenues) HCL Group whose flagship HCL Technologies is among India’s top 5 software firms. Stock got a boost on better-than-expected performance in the last quarter when net profits rose by 52 percent to $162 million. Its long-time chief executive Vineet Nayyar sold all his shares in the company in June, sparking speculation about his exit. Company denied he was leaving. Lenovo is eyeing hardware arm HCL Infosystems for possible buyout. 

Image: Amit Verma

Fast facts
He donated shares worth $10 million to his foundation in February. Wife Kiran, an avid art collector, has an art museum in a popular mall in Delhi.


 14. Kushal Pal Singh
$5.5 billion
Source: Real estate
Age: 81. Married, 3 children
Residence: Delhi

Land baron credited with creating the Gurgaon township south of Delhi, had another tough year. Shares of his listed DLF fell in October over a scandal that it allegedly sold prime properties at below-market rates and gave loans to Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress Party’s Sonia Gandhi. DLF denied any wrongdoing, stating that all transactions were above board. The corporate affairs ministry had earlier probed DLF for alleged accounting irregularities. Meanwhile, it has been selling assets in bid to reduce its $4.3 billion debt. In August, it sold a prime plot of land in Mumbai, on which it had planned a luxury residential project, to fellow lister Mangal Prabhat Lodha (No. 40).

Fast facts

Daughter Pia has set up Skills Academy with a former GE executive.

 15. Uday Kotak
$4.3 billion
Source: Banking
Age: 53. Married, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai

Founder of Kotak Mahindra Bank which has featured among Forbes Asia’s Fab 50 list of companies three years in a row; Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Bank is a minority investor in the bank, which recently partnered with Scotiabank to offer financial services to immigrants in Canada. In January, it bought Barclays Bank’s non-performing credit card business in India. RBI has asked him to reduce his 45 percent stake in the bank to 20 percent by 2018.


 16. Gautam Adani
$3.9 billion
Source: Infrastructure, commodities
Age: 50. Married, 2 children
Residence: Ahmedabad

Chairman of $7 billion (revenues) Adani Group, which he founded in 1988. It is the largest port owner in India’s private sector and among the top power producers. It also owns coal mines in Australia, Indonesia. Adani is the year’s biggest loser. He’s mulling overseas listing part of flagship Adani Enterprises, whose shares tumbled in past year, shrinking his fortune by over $4 billion. Group’s port arm, where son Karan works, reportedly among those denied security clearance by the government to bid for certain ports. In big setback, government recently canceled group’s 4,500-acre special economic zone, citing alleged violations of certain rules.

Fast facts
He plans to mark 50th birthday by giving 50 scholarships to needy students for graduate studies.


 17. Micky Jagtiani
$3.8 billion
Source: Retail
Age: 61. Married, 3 children
Residence: Dubai

India-born mogul drove cab in London before starting a kids’ store in Bahrain in 1973 with $6,000 inherited after the untimely death of both his parents and brother. Today he controls $4.7 billion (sales) Landmark Group, a Middle East retailing empire with 1,300 stores in 18 countries. It’s partnered French retailer Auchan for a hypermarket venture in India. It also operates the franchise for doughnut chain Krispy Kreme in India and plans to open 80 stores in next five years. Expanded into healthcare, opening iCARE, a primary healthcare clinic, in Dubai in June. 

Fast facts
Sponsored Madonna’s concert in Abu Dhabi in June as “fashion partner”

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Image: Amit Verma

18. Anand Burman
$ 3.5 billion
Source: Consumer goods
Age: 60. Married, 2 children
Residence: Delhi

Dabur, India’s fourth largest consumer goods company, in which he and family have majority stake, sells everything from ayurvedic medicines and packaged fruit juices to hair oil. Nearly half its sales in India come from rural markets and small towns. Family also holds stakes in insurance and banking firms. Plus it owns Lite Bite Foods which has brands like Punjab Grill, Asia 7, FresCo, Street Foods of India and Baker’s Street.

Fast facts

Plays the saxophone as a hobby.

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19. Rahul Bajaj
$3.4 billion
Source: Motorcycles
Age: 74. Married, 3 children
Residence: Pune

Patriarch of 86-year-old Bajaj Group whose ownership he shares with cousins Madhur, Shekhar and Niraj. Flagship Bajaj Auto, the country’s second largest maker of two-wheelers, run by son Rajiv, is closing in on market leader Brijmohan Lall Munjal’s (No. 26) Hero MotoCorp.

Image: Amit Verma

In September, its Discover bike outsold rival Hero’s Splendor model, the country’s best selling bike. Eyeing expansion overseas, it’s partnering with Kawasaki to jointly market their bikes globally. Its partnership with Nissan to make a small car to rival Tata’s Nano has unraveled. Financial services arm, which son Sanjiv oversees, has a joint venture with Allianz Group for insurance.


 20. Cyrus Poonawalla
$3.3 billion
Source: Vaccines
Age: 71. Widower, 1 child
Residence: Pune

India’s vaccines man founded and runs Serum Institute of India. It’s the world’s largest producer of vaccines, making 1 billion doses annually for such diseases as measles, meningitis and flu, and selling them in 140 countries. In a bid to expand its portfolio, it bought Bilthoven Biologicals, a producer of injectible polio vaccines owned by the Dutch government, for $90 million in July. Poonawalla and son Adar hosted Bill Gates in May when he visited Serum’s factory in Pune; Gates had previously called him one of the world’s seven vaccine heroes.

Fast facts
He bought several pieces of art in July at a Christie’s auction, including works by Renoir, Dali and Chagall

 

21. Anil Agarwal
$3.1 billion
Source: Metals
Age: 59. Married, 2 children
Residence: London
Metals, mining magn
ate runs London-listed, $14 billion (revenues), Vedanta Resources. Group also has a majority stake in oil explorer Cairn India, chaired by brother Navin. A recent mining ban in Goa hit shares of its Indian unit Sesa Goa, whose merger with group’s Sterlite Industries is awaiting court approvals. It is negotiating with the government to acquire the stakes in Hindustan Zinc and Bharat Aluminum that it doesn’t already own. In October, company shut down its alumina refinery in eastern India due to a shortage of bauxite caused by the closure of its mine last year after a storm of protests over the company’s mining practices.

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22. Malvinder & Shivinder Singh
$3 billion
Source: Healthcare
Age: 39. Married, 3 children
Age: 37. Married, 4 children
Residence: Singapore/Delhi

Since selling their pharma inheritance in 2008 for $2 billion, brothers have continued to transform their fortune. They hived off some assets of Fortis Healthcare, among Asia’s largest hospital chains, into Religare Health Trust to be listed in Singapore any day now. In September, they inked a deal to sell 49 percent stake in asset management arm of Religare Financial to Invesco for $87 million. Their latest venture is Air Mantra, a regional airline connecting cities in north India. Malvinder, a Singapore permanent resident, is executive chairman of Fortis; Shivinder is vice chairman.
Image: Vikas Khot


 23. Subhash Chandra
$2.9 billion
Source: Media
Age: 61. Married, 3 children
Residence: Mumbai

Media mogul’s biggest asset, TV broadcaster Zee Entertainment, which he started two decades ago and is now run by son Punit, claims to reach 650 million viewers in 168 countries through 32 channels. The upcoming conversion of cable television to digital, which is likely to increase subscription revenues for broadcasters, has boosted Zee’s shares lately. Dish TV, group’s direct-to-home arm, launched a price war against rivals by offering 70 channels free to its subscribers in four cities. He took control of DNA, a daily newspaper, by buying out fellow lister Ramesh Agarwal’s (No. 95) stake in their joint venture. He bought slightly over 10 percent in IVRCL, a listed infrastructure firm in March sparking speculation about a hostile takeover but later backed out, selling most of stake in October.

Fast facts
Practices Vipassana, a Buddhist meditation technique. Says key to happiness is to take success in your stride and not be depressed when you fail.


 24. Kalanithi Maran
$2.8 billion
Source: Media
Age: 47. Married, 1 child
Residence: Chennai

Media baron best known for his Sun TV Network, a regional broadcasting powerhouse which he founded in 1993. Its 32 channels reach 95 million homes in India. Group also owns 45 FM radio stations, three daily newspapers and six magazines. Its direct-to-home arm, Sun Direct, has 8 million subscribers. Shares of Sun are up 27 percent since last year after falling in July amid reports that the Central Bureau of Investigation would be charging him and his politician brother Dayanidhi for their alleged involvement in a telecom deal linked to Malaysian billionaire Ananda Krishnan. They deny the charges. He recently increased his holding in budget airline SpiceJet to 48 percent and is rumoured to be mulling stake sale to a foreign airline. 

Fast facts
He and wife Kaveri, a director on Sun’s board, are among India’s highest paid executives.


 25. Pankaj Patel
$2.5 billion
Source: Pharmaceuticals
Age: 59. Married, 2 children
Residence: Ahmedabad

In bid to expand domestic market, his Cadila Healthcare, co-founded by his father, a pharmacy professor, bought generics firm Biochem last December. Cadila’s portfolio includes vaccines and SugarFree, India’s top-selling sugar substitute.

It also has a marketing venture with Bayer Healthcare for India. A drug discovery deal with Eli Lilly is rumoured to have unraveled.

Fast facts
He recently bought a Bombardier Challenger-604 plane and is believed to use it mainly to visit Cadila’s far-flung factories.


 26. Brijmohan Lall Munjal
$2.4 billion
Source: Motorcycles
Age: 89. Married, 4 children
Residence: Delhi

Nearly two years after breaking off ties with its longtime partner Honda Motors, his Hero Group, India’s largest motorcycle maker, seems to be holding its own. It sold 6 million bikes last year, its highest sales ever, including 2 million units of its popular Splendor bike (though rival Bajaj Auto’s Discover bike outsold it in September). It has recently forged technology alliances with Italian design firm Engines Engineering, performance bike maker Erik Buell Racing and Austrian engine maker AVL. It appointed distributors in Sri Lanka and Nepal and is apparently looking to expand to Africa and Latin America. Despite moves, shares of flagship HeroMotoCorp, run by sons Pawan and Sunil, have lost 10 percent since last year amid slowdown owing to rising fuel prices and interest rates.

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27. Desh Bandhu Gupta
$2.35 billion
Source: Pharmaceuticals
Age: 74. Married, 5 children
Residence: Mumbai

His $1.5 billion (revenues) generics-maker Lupin, which he founded and chairs, is one of the world’s largest producers of tuberculosis drugs, with 12 factories and six research centres in India and Japan. Its biggest market is the US where it claims to be among the top five generic firms in terms of prescriptions, selling pediatric and anti-cholesterol drugs, among others. It recently forged an alliance with Novartis to sell its asthma drug in India. 
Image: Vikas Khot


 28. Ajay Kalsi
$2.3 billion
Source: Oil & gas
Age: 50. Married
Residence: Delhi

Shares of London-listed Indus Gas, which he founded and runs, surged as it ramped up production at its hydrocarbon block in Rajasthan. He also chairs Indian operating arm Focus Energy. Cambridge and LSE grad got his start making footwear for Reebok and still holds a minority stake in the footwear manufacturer’s Indian arm, which recently got hit by a scandal over alleged financial fraud by its top executives.

Fast facts
Owns farmhouse in Delhi.


 29. Rajan Raheja
$2.2 billion
Source: Diversified
Age: 58. Married, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai

Built his real estate inheritance into diversified conglomerate Rajan Raheja Group. Its biggest asset is a 46 percent stake in Exide Industries, maker of auto and industrial batteries, which has a technical collaboration with American battery maker East Penn Manufacturing. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, his partner since 2000 in listed cable distribution arm Hathway Cable & Datacom, sold its 17 percent stake in March to Macquarie Bank and Providence Equity.

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30. Yusuf  Hamied
$2 billion
Source: Pharmaceuticals
Age: 76. Married.
Residence: Mumbai/London

Longtime head of generics maker Cipla, which he and brother Muku inherited from their father, is an outspoken champion of affordable medicines. Most recently he caused a stir when in May he slashed prices by 75 percent for three drugs used to treat kidney and liver cancer. He claimed in a recent interview to Forbes Asia that he’s done more humanitarian work than Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, and insisted that Cipla, which also makes AIDS, malaria and asthma drugs, is not for sale: “I don’t need more money in the bank.”
Image: Dinesh Krishnan


 31. Indu Jain
$1.9 billion
Source: Media
Age: 76. Widow, 2 children
Residence: Delhi

Chairs Bennett, Coleman & Co, India’s biggest media house, run by her sons, Samir and Vineet. It publishes 13 newspapers and 18 magazines; its titles include daily newspaper The Times of India and business daily The Economic Times. It also owns English news channel Times Now and FM radio network Radio Mirchi with 32 stations. The UK’s Financial Times, with which it has had a long-running dispute, recently released an advertisement stating that it had no links with a supplement called the Financial Times published by Bennett Coleman arm, Times Publishing House.


 32. Chandru Raheja
$1.85 billion
Source: Real estate
Age: 72. Married, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai

One of Mumbai’s leading real estate magnates, Raheja runs his privately-held K Raheja Corp with sons Ravi and Neel. Its projects include IT parks, malls, hotels. It recently opened a new mall in Bangalore and a 5-million-sq-ft commercial complex called Mindspace in Mumbai’s satellite city Navi Mumbai. It recently completed Vivarea, a luxury residential high-rise in South Mumbai, and is building another one in the same area. Its portfolio of seven hotels includes a Westin Hotel in Hyderabad and a new Marriott hotel which is due to open in Bangalore.

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33. Habil Khorakiwala
$1.8 billion
Source: Pharmaceuticals
Age: 70. Married, 3 children
Residence: Mumbai

Trained pharmacist rejoins the billionaire ranks as shares of his generics maker Wockhardt nearly tripled in past year, making him the biggest gainer in percentage terms. The company, which had near-death experience when it defaulted on loans and its market cap plunged to $140 million in 2009 over foreign exchange losses, has staged a dramatic turnaround. Having cut its debt load by selling some businesses, it’s now focusing on expanding sales, notably in the US, its biggest market.
Image: Dinesh Krishnan

Fast facts
Daughter Zahabiya, youngest of his three children, is in charge of group’s hospital arm.


 34. Benu Gopal Bangur
$1.7 billion
Source: Cement
Age: 81. Widower, 2 children
Residence: Kolkata

With his family, Bangur owns nearly two-thirds of north Indian cement maker Shree Cement, whose shares have more than doubled in the past year. Company, which his son Hari Mohan has been running since 2002, has invested close to $400 million in the last three years in power plants and cement units in Rajasthan. Grandson Prashant, who has been working in company since 2004, joined the board this year.

Fast facts
Plays volleyball once a week.


 35. Brij Bhushan Singal
$1.6 billion
Source: Steel
Age: 75. Married, 3 children
Residence: Delhi

Shares of his Bhushan Steel, which supplies steel to auto makers and home appliance manufacturers, are up more than 50 percent from last year, spurred by jump in sales. Younger son Neeraj is vice chairman and managing director of listed flagship. Last November he settled a decade-old family feud with older son Sanjay, who now controls his own privately-held outfit.

Fast facts
Son of a trucking company owner, he does yoga every day.


 36. Sudhir & Samir Mehta
$1.56 billion
Source: Pharmaceuticals, power
Age: 58. Married. 2 children
Age: 49. Married. 2 children
Residence: Ahmedabad

Started by their father in 1959 as a pharma firm to sell anti-rheumatic drugs, Torrent Group now also has significant interests in the power sector. It was those holdings that led the brothers’ fortune down in the past year, as shares of its power unit fell 30 percent amid a multitude of challenges plaguing the sector. A new power plant it is building in their home state of Gujarat has been delayed over land acquisition problems. Younger brother Samir overseas pharma interests.

Fast facts
In what is billed as Delhi’s most expensive residential property deal, brothers, through their company, paid $21 million in October for a house in the capital’s diplomatic enclave.

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Image: Kaushik Chakravorty for Forbes India

 37. Harsh Mariwala
$1.55 billion
Source: Consumer goods
Age: 61. Married, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai

His consumer goods outfit Marico is the nation’s leading maker of hair oils, cooking oils; it also sells its brands including Saffola and Parachute in 25 countries in Asia and Africa. It recently acquired part of the personal care business of Reckitt Benckiser’s Indian arm for an estimated $100 million. Mariwala recently set up Ascent, a non-profit, to mentor upcoming entrepreneurs 

Fast facts
Son Rishabh runs Soap Opera n More, an independent venture to manufacture soaps.


 38. Venugopal Dhoot
$1.5 billion
Source: Electronics
Age: 61. Married, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai

His Videocon, maker of electronics and appliances, got embroiled in series of disputes. Whirlpool took it to court for producing a washing machine that was allegedly an imitation of one its own. It got into a quarrel with Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies, which claimed $150 million in unpaid bills. Company countered, demanding $180 million in damages for being supplied faulty equipment. Telecom arm, which was earlier hit by Supreme Court order cancelling telecom licences in wake of a corruption scandal, is planning to participate in forthcoming 2G auction. He’s waiting to cash in on energy investments: A recent oil find in a deep sea basin in Brazil; he claims that Videocon’s 10 percent stake in a Mozambique oil field is worth an estimated $3 billion.

Fast facts
Was mulling a bid for the Deccan Chargers Indian Premier League cricket team put up for sale by cash-strapped owner of media group Deccan Chronicle, but later backed out.


 39. Murali Divi
$1.49 billion
Source: Pharmaceuticals
Age: 61. Married, 2 children
Residence: Hyderabad

His generics maker Divis Laboratories, which gets nearly 90 percent of its $352 million revenues from exports, has benefited from the weaker rupee. Its shares gained over 50 percent in the past year, by $450 million, boosting his wealth. But stock, which hit high in August, fell on rumours over accounting irregularities. It recovered after company denied allegations. The company also denied speculation that Divi was negotiating to sell stake to Pfizer.

Fast facts
He recently gifted a chunk of his shares to his son and daughter, who both work with him.


 40. Mangal Prabhat Lodha
$1.45 billion
Source: Real estate
Age: 56. Married, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai

His Lodha Developers, which he founded in 1980, has 30 projects under construction covering 35 million square feet. Showpiece project is the 117-story World One, a luxury high-rise in central Mumbai where some apartments are being designed by Giorgio Armani. Firm scored big coup in August, when it struck a deal to buy a coveted 17.5-acre mid-town plot in Mumbai from Kushal Pal Singh’s DLF for $510 million. It is investing over $1 billion in developing New Cuffe Parade, an upcoming township, comprising four 63-storey towers in the first phase, on a 23-acre site that it had bought for $765 million two years ago. Marketing-savvy sons Abhisheck and Abhinandan run company.

Fast facts
In June, Lodha bought Washington House, a prime South Mumbai property from the American Consulate for $70 million, with plans to turn it into a luxury residential tower.



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41. GM Rao
$1.42 billion
Source: Infrastructure
Age: 62. Married, 3 children
Residence: Bangalore

Tough times for infrastructure tycoon whose GMR Group has interests in airports, roads, power. Shares of his flagship GMR Infrastructure fell in the past year partly on concerns over its ballooning debt, which stands at $6.6 billion. Airlines protested its move to hike charges at Delhi airport by over 350 percent. The CAG criticised the government for, among much else, giving GMR prime land on lease near Delhi airport at throwaway price. Company denied allegations. 
Image: Mallikarjun Katakol for Forbes India


 42. NR Narayana Murthy
$1.4 billion
Source: Software services
Age: 66. Married, 2 children
Residence: Bangalore

Chairman emeritus of Indian software bellwether Infosys, which he co-founded and ran for 30 years. In May, he was selected for the James C Morgan Global Humanitarian Award sponsored by Applied Materials, whose past recipients include Bill Gates and Al Gore. He will be stepping down from the board of HSBC in December after a four-year stint.  He also owns venture capital fund Catamaran.

Fast facts
Murthy has been awarded about 25 honorary doctorates from universities in India and overseas


 43. K.Anji Reddy
$1.39 billion
Source: Pharmaceuticals
Age: 71. Married, 2 children
Residence: Hyderabad

His $1.9 billion (revenues) generic outfit Dr Reddy’s Laboratories formed a partnership in June with Merck Serono, a division of Germany’s Merck, to develop cancer drugs.

It already has a marketing alliance with GlaxoSmithKline and a joint venture with Fujifilm to develop and sell generics in Japan. Recently, he and other family members transferred bulk of their stake in company to a family trust. For the first time, he skipped company’s annual shareholders’ meeting this year, sparking speculation about his retirement.


 44. Shyam & Hari Bhartia
$1.38 billion
Source: Diversified
Age: 59. Married, 2 children
Age: 55. Married, 2 children
Residence: Delhi

Shares of their Jubilant FoodWorks, which has 500 Domino’s stores in 110 cities and five Dunkin Donut shops, rose 50 percent in the past year buoyed by higher sales. Shares
of pharma unit Jubilant Life Sciences, which gets 70 percent of its revenues from overseas, rose 16 percent because of pharma business growth and increased capacity utilization in the ingredients business. Shyam is group chairman and Hari co-chairs.


 45. Balvant Parekh
$ 1.36 billion
Source: Adhesives
Age: 88. Married, 3 children
Residence: Mumbai

Chairman of listed Pidilite, 53-year-old manufacturer of adhesives, sealants, art materials and construction chemicals, products widely used by carpenters, painters, plumbers and artisans. Its Fevicol is the largest selling adhesives brand in India. Its listed flagship has 14 overseas subsidiaries and sells products in the US, Brazil, Thailand, Egypt, Bangladesh and Dubai.

Fast facts
Six members of the family, including two brothers and two sons, are involved in the business. Older son Madhukar is managing director and younger son Ajay sits on board.


 46. Vikas Oberoi
$1.35 billion
Source: Real estate
Age: 42. Married, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai

Property magnate’s Oberoi Realty, which he listed in 2010, has built 34 projects covering 5 million sq ft in suburban Mumbai and has very little debt. An upcoming mid-town project will have a Mandarin Hotel. His sister Bindu sits on the company’s board.

Fast facts
He flies his own plane and is learning to play the guitar.


 47. Ashwin Dani
$1.34 billion
Source: Paints
Age: 70. Married, 3 children
Residence: Mumbai

Joined Asian Paints, co-founded by his father, in 1968 and is now vice chairman of $2 billion (sales) company. Asia’s third largest paints manufacturer with  24 factories in 17 countries, its stock gained 22 percent in the past year on higher sales and net profits, despite a construction slowdown and rising raw material costs. Son Jalaj overseas international operations. His wife Ina, who sits on board, is a yoga teacher.

Fast facts
Asian Paints was named to Forbes Asia’s list of Fab 50 companies for two years in a row.


 48. Ajay Piramal
$1.3 billion
Source: Diversified
Age: 57. Married, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai

Piramal, who sold a big chunk of his Piramal Healthcare’s domestic formulations business to US-headquartered Abbott Labs for $3.7 billion in 2010, changed his flagship’s name to Piramal Enterprises in September to denote its broadening interests. In May, it acquired US-based analytics firm Decision Resources Group for $635 million. His Piramal Realty, which has 20 million sq ft under development in Mumbai, snatched a prime seafront building in the city from Hindustan Unilever in April for $84 million in hotly-contested bid. He also has interests in financial services and glass manufacturing.

Fast facts
In the last decade he has completed over 30 mergers and acquisitions.


 49. Kapil & Rahul Bhatia
$1.29 billion
Source: Airlines
Age: 80. Married, 2 children
Age: 52. Married, 2 children
Residence: New Delhi

Father-son duo flying high while other airline entrepreneurs sputter. Taking advantage of troubles at Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines and, to a lesser degree, Naresh Goyal’s Jet Airways, their privately held IndiGo Airlines became India’s largest domestic airline in terms of market share in August. Their six-year-old IndiGo, which operates 59 Airbus-A320 aircraft and flies to 33 destinations, including five overseas, is also the country’s most profitable airline. In partnership with Accor Group, their hotel arm operates seven Ibis hotels and is building 13 more. They also recently formed a joint venture with US-chain Hudson News & Café and have opened 22 outlets at Delhi’s metro stations.

Fast facts
Rahul Bhatia owns three restaurants in Gurgaon, near Delhi, called China Club, Nooba, and L’Angoor.

 50. Rakesh Jhunjhunwala
$1.25 billion
Source: Investments
Age: 52. Married, 3 children
Residence: Mumbai

Cigar-puffing, whiskey-loving stock market investor has cult following. One fan writes a blog called The Secret Journal of Rakesh Jhunjunwala. Stocks he buys often jump on news of his investment. He recently said that he doesn’t like being called India’s Warren Buffett. Some of his current holdings include watchmaker Titan Industries and pharma firm Lupin Laboratories.

Fast facts
English Vinglish, a Bollywood film he co-produced, was released in October.


51. Kris Gopalakrishnan
$1.24 billion
Source: Software services
Age: 57. Married, 1 child
Residence: Bangalore

Co-chairman of Infosys, a firm he co-founded in 1981 and helped grow into the country’s second largest outsourcing services company. Its shares declined over concerns of slowing growth, especially in the US, its biggest market. In July, he was appointed to head a government panel on cloud computing. Gopalakrishnan donates close to $4 million annually to various causes, including funding scholarships for college students. He recently backed Startup Village, a technology incubator in Kerala that aims to create 1,000 new ventures.

Fast facts
Family owns a coffee estate and farm in the state of Karnataka. 


 52. Niranjan Hiranandani
$1.23 billion
Source: Real estate
Age: 62. Married, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai

This property baron’s Hiranandani Group, which he co-founded with brother Surendra, faced another challenging year. In March, in a case involving the alleged misuse of development rights at its 250-acre township in suburban Mumbai, the Bombay High Court ordered the group to build 2,500 smaller apartments there in line with the original agreement. Hiranandani’s expansion into the power sector with a new 2,500 MW plant, overseen by son Darshan, has been stalled over environmental clearances. A family dispute with daughter Priya, who lives in London, involving certain property assets is under arbitration. One of the arbitrators is Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. 


 53. Nandan Nilekani
$1.2 billion
Source: Software services
Age: 57. Married, 2 children
Residences: Delhi/Bangalore

Infosys co-founder now works in the UPA government as head of the Unique Identification Authority of India, which is issuing identification numbers (branded Aadhar) to all Indian citizens. It has issued 200 million numbers so far. It got into a tangle with the home ministry, which is developing a similar National Population Register, requiring the prime minister to intervene. He and wife Rohini are prominent philanthropists; they took part in Azim Premji’s philanthropy meeting with Bill Gates. 


 54. Mofatraj Munot
$1.17 billion
Source: Construction
Age: 68. Widower, 3 children
Residence: Mumbai

Former real estate broker is now one of Mumbai’s leading property developers. His privately held Kalpataru Constructions has a dozen ongoing projects in Mumbai and Pune, including a five-million-sq-ft township in suburban Mumbai. It is closing in on a deal to acquire 108 acres in Mumbai from Bayer’s Indian arm. The Kalpataru Group, which he founded, also has interests in property management, power transmission, logistics and telecom infrastructure. Son Parag works with him as the managing director of Kalpataru Ltd.

Fast facts
He's building a hostel for poor students in Mumbai. The name Kalpataru is derived from Kalpavriksha, a mythological wish-fulfillment tree.


 55. MG George Muthoot
$1.14 billion
Source: Financial services
Age: 63. Married, 2 children
Residence: New Delhi

With three brothers, he runs Muthoot Group, founded by his grandfather in 1887. Its flagship Muthoot Finance is India’s largest gold loan company, with 25 million customers. The group is credited for bringing about a change in the perception among middle-class Indians that pawning gold is shameful; it claims to dispense loans within five minutes. Revenues and profits have nearly doubled in the current financial year helped by a spurt in gold prices. A dark cloud: India’s central bank recently ruled that the loan-to-value ratio had to be 60 percent, down from 80 percent.

Fast facts
Muthoot supports traditional boat artisans in his native Kerala in reviving the art of constructing kettuvallams or rice boats.


 56. Ashwin Choksi
$1.12 billion
Source: Paints
Age: 69. Married, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai

He’s one of the three new billionaires whose fortune is tied to paintmaker Asian Paints, which featured in the Forbes Fab 50 list. Choski joined the company, co-founded by his father, in 1965 in the materials division. It is the largest paint manufacturer in India and he has been its chairman since 1997. Nephew Manish overseas IT and strategy in the firm.

Fast facts
He’s an avid golfer.

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57. Rajesh Mehta
$1.1 billion
Source: Gems and Jewellery
Age: 48. Married, 2 children
Residence: Bangalore

His Rajesh Exports is India’s largest manufacturer and exporter of gold jewellery, with $5 billion in sales, up 10 percent in the past year, on rising exports and soaring gold prices. It plans to add 40 jewellery stores under its brand ‘Shubh’ and is looking to open another 400 across south India in the next three years. Mehta got his start years ago when he borrowed $118 from an older brother, and along with his younger brother started selling jewellery door-to-door. He now shares the fortune, which includes stakes in African gold mines, with his three brothers.
Image: Getty Images

Fast facts
Regularly plays tennis and cricket.


 58. Abhay Vakil
$1.08 billion
Source: Paints
Age: 62. Married, 3 children
Residence: Mumbai

New billionaire, riding on a 22 percent increase in the share value of Asian Paints, which was co-founded by his father in 1942.

Vakil ran the company till 2009 when he and other co-owners decided to hand over its operations to a professional chief executive. Today, he and brother Amar, with whom he shares the fortune, sit on the company’s board. 


 59. Murugappa Family
$1.06 billion
Source: Diversified
Residence: Chennai

Family’s 112-year-old Murugappa Group, which started out as a money-lending firm in Myanmar in 1900, is a sprawling conglomerate today with $4.4 billion in sales, and interests in everything from bicycles and sugar to abrasives and financial services; its manufacturing operations stretch from Russia to China to South Africa. Chairman A Vellayan, 59, is one of the 10 members of the family currently working in the group.


 60. Gautam Thapar
$1.05 billion
Source: Engineering, paper
Age: 51. Married, 4 children
Residence: Delhi

This chemical engineer’s net worth is down nearly half a billion as his Avantha Group’s main businesses struggled. Shares of his flagship Crompton Greaves, maker of power equipment, fell 16 percent, weighed down by rising costs, competition from Chinese firms and weak European markets. Paper firm Ballarpur Industries saw margins fall due to a supply glut. The group is reportedly mulling an insurance venture with Ergo, arm of Munich Re.

 

61. Glenn Saldanha
$1.03 billion
Source: Pharmaceuticals
Age: 41. Married, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai

Takes the spot of his father, Gracias, founder of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, who died in July.


 62. Devendra Kumar Jain
$980 million
Source: Chemicals
Age: 83. Married, 4 Children
Residence: New Delhi

Jain turned his family’s paper trading business into the $2-billion (sales) INOX Group, with varied interests in chemicals, industrial gases, cryogenic equipment and entertainment. Standard Chartered’s private equity arm paid $47 million for a minority stake in INOX India, maker of cryogenic equipment.

INOX Leisure recently merged with rival Fame India, propelling it ahead of Anil Ambani’s Big Cinemas to become the country’s largest multiplex chain with 257 theatres. His fortune is up, despite a decline in his listed Gujarat Flurochemicals, due to new information on private assets.


 63. Ranjan Pai
$975 million
Source: Education, healthcare
Age: 40. Married, 2 children
Residence: Bangalore

Head of Manipal Education and Medical Group, which operates six colleges and 15 hospitals and has interests in stem cell therapy and clinical research.  


 64. Qimat Rai Gupta
$965 million
Source: Electrical fittings 
Age: 75. Married, 3 children
Residence: Delhi

Former school teacher started an electrical components outfit with just $200 over five decades ago. Today his company, Havells, sells $1.2 billion worth of lighting, switchgears, electrical and home appliances. It moved into overseas markets in 2007, when it acquired European brand Sylvania Lighting. The company now sells products in 50 countries, mostly in Europe. His fortune is up due to the inclusion of his family members’ shares.


 65. Baba Kalyani
$915 million
Source: Forgings
Age: 63. Married, 1 child
Residence: Pune

This MIT engineer joined his family-owned Bharat Forge in 1972 and built it into one of the world’s largest makers of auto forgings. It is the flagship of his $3 billion (revenues) Kalyani Group, which has lately expanded into non-auto forgings to counter a slowdown in the car market. His business reported a modest 8 percent rise in net earnings to $20 million in the last quarter due to slowing auto sales. Other businesses picking up: Group’s joint venture with Alstom to make power equipment snatched a $297 million order in April to supply turbines to state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation.


 66. Jitendra Virwani
$910 million
Source: Real estate
Age: 46. Married, 4 children
Residence: Bangalore

In 1993 set up Dynasty Developers with $50,000 borrowed from friends, later renaming it as Embassy Property Developments. Grew it into leading developer of tech parks and office buildings for Bangalore’s outsourcing firms and multinationals.


 67. VG Siddhartha
$885 million
Source: Retail
Age: 53. Married, 2 children
Residence: Bangalore

His café chain Café Coffee Day, India’s answer to Starbucks, started with one café in Bangalore in 1996. It now has nearly 1,400 outlets in India and 20 overseas in Prague and Vienna. The group now faces imminent competition from the Seattle-based Starbucks, which opened its first café in Mumbai in October. Born into a plantation-owning family, he dabbled in stock trading before starting his retail venture. He bought, in the past year, stakes in tech services firm MindTree; logistics outfit Sical Logistics and Ittiam Systems, an embedded chip designer. His other interests include venture capital, timber trading, real estate development and hospitality.

Fast facts
Travels incognito to disaster-hit places in India to personally carry out relief work.

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Image: Getty Images
 68. Anand Mahindra
$ 880 million
Source: Automobiles
Age: 57. Married, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai

Harvard grad replaced his uncle Keshub Mahindra (No. 90) as chairman of $15.4 billion diversified conglomerate Mahindra Group in August; he continues to serve as the firm’s managing director, a post he’s held since 1997. He gets the bulk of his fortune from his stake in flagship Mahindra & Mahindra, the country’s largest producer of sports utility vehicles (SUVs); despite declining auto sales, M&M managed to sell 36,000 units of its XUV 500, which was launched last year. The group has now launched Korean subsidiary Ssangyong’s Rexton SUV in India. Mahindra Racing meanwhile is partnering with Swiss firm Suter Racing Technology to produce an all-new Mahindra Moto3 race bike. Mahindra was also a promoter in Kotak Mahindra Bank controlled by Uday Kotak (No. 15). 

Fast facts
Active on Twitter where he has over 600,000 followers; he tweets at least twice a day.


 69. K Dinesh
$860 million
Source: Software services
Age: 58. Married, 2 children
Residence: Bangalore

Infosys co-founder stepped down from its board last year, but still owns shares of the company. At present he lectures in schools and other educational institutions and devotes time to social causes, primarily education and health. Dinesh sits on the board of Narayana Hrudayalaya, a private hospital in Bangalore where he, along with wife Asha, has funded an organ transplant institute and mobile cardiac diagnostic labs. They are planning to come up with a 1,000-bed health city in Mysore.


 70. Jaiprakash Gaur
$855 million
Source: Hydropower
Age: 81. Married, 5 children
Residence: Delhi

Got his start working as a junior engineer for the government; he co-founded and built the $3 billion (revenues) Jaypee Group, now India’s largest private sector producer of hydropower. It also has interests in cement, roads, power and hotels. Its 160-km expressway between Delhi and Agra opened in August. Jaypee Sports, run by son Sameer, hosted the first Formula 1 race in India last year. It will host MotoGP and World Superbike races next year, and was also awarded the Punjab franchise of the India Hockey League, expected to debut in 2013. Jaiprakash Associates, which has $8.3 billion in debt and trades on the Bombay Stock Exchange, is reportedly in talks to sell a part of its cement business to the Aditya Birla group. Other son Manoj is the CEO of Jaypee Infratech. Family fortune, which he shares with his children, sister and nephews, is down due to new information on shareholdings.

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71. Irfan Razack
$825 million
Source: Real estate
Age: 59. Married, 2 children
Residence: Bangalore

His Prestige Estate Projects is currently developing 69 projects in Bangalore. Its showpiece project— Kingfisher Towers, a high rise billed as Bangalore’s most exclusive address—is located on the site of liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s ancestral property, jointly developed with Mallya. He shares his fortune, which he earns from the family’s garment business, with younger siblings Rezwan and Noaman who work with him.
Image: Mallikarjun Katakol for Forbes India

Fast facts
He enjoys going on drives during holidays to relax.


 72. Shishir Bajaj
$810 million
Source: Sugar
Age: 64. Married, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai

Brother of Rahul, also one of India’s richest, with whom he split four years ago, runs the Shishir Bajaj Group whose main listed entities are Bajaj Hindustan and Bajaj Corp, maker of Bajaj Almond Drops hair oil. Son Kushagra, the group’s vice chairman, is leading its nearly $2.4 billion investment in a new power plant in energy-starved Uttar Pradesh, and a coal mine in Indonesia. Last year his son made a $2.5 million endowment for a professorship at his alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business.


 73. Vijay Mallya
$800 million
Source: Liquor
Age: 56. Married, 3 children
Residence: Bangalore

The ‘King of Good Times’ has had pretty bad times of late. Shares of his listed United Breweries Group tumbled due to the financial mess in his Kingfisher Airlines; KFA’s debt is believed to be $2 billion; it has not paid staff salaries in seven months. The wife of a Kingfisher engineer in New Delhi committed suicide in September over financial worries. In October, a court issued a non-bailable warrant for Mallya and other executives for issuing a cheque that bounced for airport charges owed to GM Rao’s (No. 41) GMR Group, which withdrew its charges after he paid up. Mallya, who has pledged a chunk of his shares, is believed to be to trying to sell his stake in his liquor company, United Spirits (the largest beer maker in India), to Diageo to help pay off the airline’s debts. He’s already sold a 42.5 percent stake in his Formula 1 team to the Sahara group. Mallya owns Gandhi memorabilia worth millions of dollars.


 74. Anu Aga
$790 million
Source: Engineering
Age: 70. Widow, 1 child
Residence: Pune

Director of engineering firm Thermax, in which she and her family have a 62 percent stake, Anu Aga ran the business until 2004 when her daughter Meher took over as the chairman. She’s now involved with various social causes, notably educational non-profits Teach for India and Akanksha. She was nominated as a Member of Parliament this year.


 75. Lachhman Das Mittal
$785 million
Source: Tractors
Age: 81. Married, 5 children
Residence: Delhi

Makes his debut this year after selling a stake in his privately held company, International Tractors, to private equity firm Blackstone in a deal that valued the business at $800 million.


 76. Hemendra Kothari
$780 million
Source: Financial services
Age: 66. Widower, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai

Investment banking doyen derives bulk of his wealth from the cash he made selling his 47 percent stake in DSP Merrill Lynch to his American joint venture partner in 2005, and his remaining 10 percent to Bank of America in 2009. He now chairs asset management firm DSP BlackRock, in which he owns 60 percent. Older daughter Aditi is executive vice president. He also owns a minority stake in ING Vysya Life Insurance.

Fast facts

Loves watching tigers in the wild; Hemendra Kothari Foundation (HKF)— his wildlife conservation trust—works with 42 national parks and sanctuaries in the country.

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77. SD Shibulal
$770 million
Source: Software services
Age: 57. Married, 2 children
Residence: Bangalore

One of the co-founders of Infosys, he became chief executive last year after heading operations for four years and working with the company in various capacities since its inception. The company, which analysts criticised for sitting on its $4 billion cash hoard, acquired Swiss consulting firm Lodestone Holding in September, for $350 million. While announcing the deal, its first major one in many years, he said, “I don't think Infosys and ‘conservative’ should be used in the same sentence anymore.” But a lower guidance by Infosys in recent quarter sent its stock tumbling. V Balakrishna, the company’s CFO, who was considered a favorite to succeed him as chief executive, stepped down in October.
Image: Vikas Khot

Fast facts
Daughter Shruti, who has an MBA from Columbia University, is the head of corporate strategy at Tamara Real Estate Holdings & Development Pvt Ltd.


 78. Analjit Singh
$740 million
Source: Healthcare, insurance
Age: 58. Married, 3 children
Residence: Delhi

Chairman of the $1.6 billion (revenues) Max Group, a healthcare and insurance player. Has been busy dealmaking in the past year: He listed flagship Max India, in which he owns 39 percent; sold a 26 percent stake in its healthcare unit to South African hospital chain Life Healthcare for $95 million; swapped partners in life insurance in April when New York Life sold its 26 percent holding in their joint venture to Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui. He’s in talks to sell his packaging business to Germany's Treofan. Max is also investing $50 million in Antara, provider of homes for senior citizens that daughter Tara oversees. He sold his minority stake in Biki Oberoi’s (No. 100 among India’s richest) hotel chain to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries in March.

Fast facts
He’s also non-executive chairman of Vodafone’s Indian arm in which he owns a small stake.


 79. Harsh Goenka
$730 million
Source: Diversified
Age: 54. Married, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai

Father Rama Prasad Goenka, who was earlier listed among India’s richest, divided family assets between Harsh and younger brother Sanjiv two years ago. Harsh got the $3 billion (revenues) RPG Group, a conglomerate of 15 companies including tyre maker Ceat, outsourcing services firm Zensar Technologies and his biggest listed asset, power transmission unit KEC. He’s hired consulting firm McKinsey to review operations at Ceat and Zensar. Harsh’s son Anant, a science graduate from The Wharton School and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, took charge of Ceat in April as its managing director.


 80. Sanjiv Goenka
$725 million
Source: Diversified
Age: 51. Married, 2 children
Residence: Kolkata

Sanjiv controls the $2 billion (sales) RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, with interests in power, carbon black, retail and media. The company is on an expansion drive: Its 113-year-old power utility CESC, which managed to continue supplying power to Kolkata when other parts of northern and eastern India suffered a blackout, plans to increase its capacity to 7,345 MW in the next five years. Sanjiv, who is the honorary consul of Canada in Kolkata, has hired McKinsey to review his group companies and advise them on overall strategy.

81. Joy Alukkas
$700 million
Source: Retail
Age: 56. Married, 3 children
Residence: Kochi/Thrissur

His Joyalukkas jewellery retail chain has $1.3 billion in sales from 85 stores in India and the Gulf.  


 82. Ramesh Chandra
$695 million
Source: Real estate
Age: 73. Married, 2 children
Residence: Delhi

Worth over $11 billion at his peak in 2007, Chandra is yet to regain his billionaire status. His property developer Unitech, which he started in 1972, was in trouble after it got embroiled in a telecom scandal that led to younger son Sanjay being jailed for seven months last year. It recently settled a long-running dispute with partner Telenor by agreeing to sell its nearly 33 percent stake in their Uninor—whose telecom licences were cancelled in the wake of a corruption scandal—to the Norwegian firm. To reduce its $1 billion debt, Unitech is in talks with private equity firms to sell its two special economic zones, and an IT park in Kolkata.

Fast facts

A trained engineer, his wife is a doctor.

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83. Prathap Reddy
$690 million
Source: Healthcare
Age: 80. Married, 4 children
Residence: Chennai

US-trained cardiologist returned to India and set up the country's first corporate hospital in Chennai in 1983 . Today his listed Apollo Hospitals Enterprise is among Asia’s largest healthcare providers, with 49 hospitals, 90 clinics and 1,350 pharmacies. It also has an insurance joint venture with Munich Re. International Finance Corporation recently upped its stake in the company by converting foreign currency convertible bonds worth Rs 90 crore into equity; Apollo is investing Rs 1,940 crore in 14 new hospitals to be built by 2015. Reddy’s four daughters run group. Daughter Preetha was
recently appointed to the board of New York Stock Exchange-listed Medtronic.
Image: Getty Images

Fast facts

Daughter Suneeta and her husband co-own telecom firm Aircel with Malaysian billionaire Ananda Krishnan.


 84. Radhe Shyam Goenka
$675 million
Source: Consumer goods
Age: 66. Married, 3 children
Residence: Kolkata


Fast facts
He has informal cooking competitions with Radhe Shyam Agarwal.

 85. Radhe Shyam Agarwal
$675 million
Source: Consumer goods
Age: 67. Married, 3 children
Residence: Kolkata

Goenka and his childhood pal and longtime business partner Radhe Shyam Goenka were arrested last December after a fire at  Kolkata’s AMRI Hospital killed 93 people. Members of the hospital’s board, they were charged, along with others, with culpable homicide and were later released on bail. Trial is yet to begin but the company insists the men were non-executive directors not involved in daily operations. A trained accountant, he borrowed $400 from father to co-found consumer goods outfit Emami with Goenka in 1974; they each own one-third of the health, herbal and beauty products group, which is well-known for its men’s fairness cream, and celebrity endorsements. As a part of the group’s diversification, he and his friend have also invested in a wide range of businesses including real estate, biotech and retail.  

Fast facts
He is fond of writing poetry.

mg_67487_karsanbhai_patel_280x210.jpg
86. Karsanbhai Patel
$660 million
Source: Detergents
Age: 68. Married, 3 children
Residence: Ahmedabad

Founder of detergent maker Nirma, he became a hero in country’s fast moving goods sector for challenging giants like Unilever and Procter & Gamble with his value-for-money products. He has long since handed over the reins to his sons, who took the company—which has expanded into pharma, chemicals, infrastructure, cement—private last year. Group may reportedly build its new cement factory in Rajasthan instead of his native Gujarat. It has roped in Siddhivinayak Cement Ltd as its partner. Patel himself now focusses on his education ventures such as Nirma University.
Image: Pravin Indrekar for Forbes India

Fast facts
Madhukar Parekh, son of billionaire Balvant Parekh (No. 45 on India’s rich list) and managing director of Pidilite Industries, gave a commencement speech to Nirma University’s graduating class this year.


 87. TT Jagannathan
$655 million
Source: Consumer products
Age: 64. Married, 3 children
Residence: Bangalore

Kitchen mogul runs TTK Group, an 84-year-old conglomerate started by his grandfather, which makes everything from pressure cookers and non-stick cookware to health supplements. Flagship TTK Prestige got a US patent in August for its microwave pressure cooker. Earlier this year, it formed a joint venture with US-based World Kitchen, maker of premium glassware; it will be launching the Corningware and Pyrex brands of glassware in India. Younger brother TT Raghunathan manages TTK Healthcare out of Chennai.

Fast facts
Senior executives at the company must know how to cook or take classes if they don’t.


 88. MAM.Ramaswamy
$650 million
Source: Cement
Age: 81. Widower, 1 child
Residence: Chennai

Third-generation head of century-old conglomerate Chettinad Group makes debut, thanks to a jump in the value of its Chettinad Cement; its shares gained 72 percent in the past year, mainly on news that it had been planning to go private.

mg_67489_kk_modi_280x210.jpg
89. KrishaN Kumar Modi
$645 million
Source: Tobacco
Age: 72. Married, 3 children
Residence: Delhi

India’s tobacco king has a 26 percent stake in Godfrey Phillips, India’s second-largest cigarette maker that is a joint venture with Philip Morris.
Image: Getty Images


 90. Keshub Mahindra
$635 million
Source: Automobiles
Age: 89. Married, 3 children
Residence: Mumbai

He stepped down as chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra after 48 years at the helm, handing charge to nephew Anand Mahindra (No. 68). Wharton grad, he joined the company in 1947, two years after it was started by his father and uncle. He got a standing ovation at his last shareholders’ meeting in August. He is now chairman emeritus of the $15.4 billion (sales) group.

Fast facts
He’s keen on photography.


 91. Vikram Lal
$630 million
Source: Automobiles
Age: 70. Married, 3 children
Residence: Delhi

He ran Eicher Tractors for three decades until 1997, when he handed over charge to son Siddharth. Listed Eicher Motor is India’s third-largest maker of commercial vehicles and has a joint venture with Volvo to make trucks and buses.


 92. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
$625 million
Source: Biotech
Age: 59. Married
Residence: Bangalore

India’s first biotech entrepreneur founded Biocon in 1978 when she was 25 by partnering with an Irish firm to make industrial enzymes. In March, its stock took a hit when a $350-million deal with Pfizer to market its insulin was unexpectedly called off. Two months later, Portuguese investment bank Espirito Santo downgraded it, raising concerns on Biocon’s accounting policies; the company denied any irregularities. It opened a new research centre in Bangalore in April. Biocon is also investing $200 million to build Asia’s largest insulin plant in Malaysia. But shares are still down 23 percent since last year. She was recognised as India's Global Woman of the Year by Asia's healthcare magazine Pharmaleaders.


 93. Shobhana Bhartia
$620 million
Source: Media
Age: 55. Married, 2 children
Residence: Delhi

Fortune of media baroness took a beating as shares of her family’s HT Media fell by a third due to a slump in advertising revenues. Company is also battling an overall industry slowdown and rising newsprint prices. It owns three leading newspapers including the daily Hindustan Times, country’s second largest English newspaper; business daily Mint in partnership with The Wall Street Journal and Hindi daily Hindustan. Portfolio includes four FM radio stations and job portal shine.com. It has a 65:35 joint venture with Velti, a US-based mobile services firm. She is married to fellow tycoon Shyam Bhartia, chairman of listed Jubilant Group.


 94. Naresh Goyal
$600 million
Source: Aviation
Age: 63. Married, 2 children
Residence: London/Mumbai

His Jet Airways turned corner reporting small profit in last quarter after five loss-making quarters, cashing in on rival Kingfisher Airline’s downslide. In a bid to prune costs it had merged its budget carriers JetLite and JetKonnect and cut back on international flights. Still, it ceded top spot as India’s largest domestic airline to Rahul Bhatia’s IndiGo. He’s said to be in talks with Etihad Airways for a stake sale in Jet, following the government’s decision in September to permit foreign airlines to invest upto 49 percent in Indian carriers.

Fast facts
He was awarded Commander of the Order of  Leopold II by the Belgian government last year.


 95. Ramesh Agarwal
$580 million
Source: Media
Age: 67. Widower, 4 children
Residence: Bhopal

Regional media baron turned his inheritance of a single Hindi language newspaper into media powerhouse DB Corp, more commonly known as the Dainik Bhaskar group. Its 65 newspaper editions, published in four languages and 13 states, have a combined readership of more than 19 million. It also has 17 FM radio stations. Other businesses include power, mining and agricultural solvents. In May, he sold some shares as part of a move to bring down his 81 percent holding in the flagship to 75 percent as required by a new rule. He also recently sold his 50 percent stake in DNA, an English daily, to partner Subhash Chandra (No. 23).     


 96. Virendra Mhaiskar
$560 million
Source: Infrastructure
Age: 41. Married, 1 child
Residence: Mumbai

Gets his fortune from a 60 percent stake in IRB Infrastructure, which builds roads and highways.  Its shares were hit in May when he was investigated in connection with the 2010 murder of an activist who had alleged the company had grabbed government and private land in Pune. Mhaiskar took a polygraph test in May, the results of which are not known. He has denied any involvement in the incident and has also denied alleged land grabbing. He got his start working at family-run construction business in 1990 at the age of 19.


 97. BR Shetty
$540 million
Source: Healthcare
Age: 70. Married, 4 children
Residence: Abu Dhabi

His New Medical Center (NMC) is UAE’s largest hospital chain. Listed company in London in April; retains 21 percent stake. (Shetty doesn’t agree with our estimate of his net worth but wouldn’t say why.)


 98. Anand Jain
$525 million
Source: Diversified
Age: 55. Married, 2 children
Residence: Mumbai

One-time billionaire chairs Jai Corp, maker of plastic packaging, and steel. It has interests in real estate through two funds, which have invested in 33 projects across 14 cities in India.  His plans to build special economic zones and a port with Mukesh Ambani are in limbo after they got mired in land acquisitions problem.
 
Fast facts

He and Mukesh Ambani are school friends.
 

 99. Onkar Kanwar
$510 million
Source: Tyres
Age: 70. Married, 3 children
Residence: Delhi

Father Raunaq Singh founded Apollo Tyres in 1976. He took control as chairman in 2002 after a prolonged public spat with his father, and has since grown it into one of India’s largest tyre-makers, with revenues of $2.5 billion.


 100. Prithvi Raj Singh Oberoi
$460 million
Source: Hotels
Age: 83. Married, 3 children
Residence: Delhi

Hotel magnate more popularly known as Biki runs the Oberoi Group and its chain of 29 hotels and two luxury yachts in five countries. He’s been buying shares of his listed flagship East India Hotels (EIH) in a bid to shore up family’s shareholding. He’s retained noted American interior designer Adam Tihany to renovate the chain’s Delhi hotel and was reported as saying, “A luxury hotel is like a beautiful woman. If you do not look after her and bejewel her from time to time, no one will desire her.” Mukesh Ambani, whom he refers to as a friend, bought a 10 percent stake in his listed EIH in 2010. They will reportedly develop new hotels and luxury residences together in Mumbai and Bangalore. Son Vikram heads operations while nephew Arjun handles overseas planning and also serves as the joint managing director of EIH.

(Additional reporting by Anuradha Raghunathan, Saritha Rai, Neerja Pawha Jetley, Phyllis Fang)

(This story appears in the 02 November, 2012 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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  • Sachin

    Dear All..Big B's ...we Indians have lots of hopes from u....after all we are as One family(All Indians)....we have loads of talent and always appreciate by outsiders...only need is to use it properly...wisely. Cross functional connectivity in business will enlarge and widen the boundaries. We can touch Many more such Highs.....for Indians like Sky is no Limit. Regards- Sachin

    on Jul 23, 2013
  • Sara

    I don\'t think the list is complete.....there are more Indian Billionaires residing in the GCC to name a few like Yousef Ali, BR Shetty, Rajiv Pillai and so on....but there even more billionaires in India itself. They dont show themselves because of Income Tax issues and other reasons.

    on May 6, 2013
  • Tarun Kumar Ganguly

    I, personally liked it

    on Nov 20, 2012
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