Life is not a template and neither is mine. Like several who have worked as journalists, I am a generalist in my over two decade experience across print, global news wires and dotcom firms. But there has been one underlying theme in each phase; life gave me the chance to observe and tell a story -- from early days tracking a securities scam to terror attacks and some of India's most significant court trials. Besides writing, I have jumped fences to become an entrepreneur, as an investment advisor -- and also taught the finer aspects of business journalism to young minds. At Forbes India, I also keep an eye on some of its proprietary specials like the Rich list, GenNext and Celebrity lists. An alumnus of Xavier Institute of Communications and H.R College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai, I have worked for organisations such as Agence France-Presse, Business Standard, The Financial Express and The Times of India prior to this.
Forbes Asia’s inaugural ranking of the top 50 Asian business dynasties features four Indians in the top 10. In fact, Indians hold 14 of the 50 spots in the 50 Richest Families in Asia list, the most from any jurisdiction, a press release from Forbes Asia said.
The Ambani family is ranked third, with a combined wealth of $21.5 billion from the two Reliance groups [brothers Mukesh and Anil Ambani run their businesses separately].
Wipro chairman Azim Premji is seventh with a wealth of $17 billion; the Hinduja brothers are at number 9 with $15 billion in wealth while the Mistry family, through the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, is ranked 10th, with a wealth of $14.9 billion.
South Korea’s Lee family, which controls the Samsung Group, tops the list with a combined wealth of $26.6 billion.
The list reveals that the growth of family groups and dynastic wealth are at the core of many of Asia’s largest conglomerates and best brands. Nearly half of the richest families in Asia are of Chinese descent, yet none of the inaugural 50 is based in the mainland, where conglomerates are young, run by the first generation, able to muster billions of dollars in wealth in an open economy, a Forbes Asia statement says.
The Forbes Asia top 50 business dynasties was compiled after reviewing families of 550 members of 11 Forbes Asia Rich Lists (excluding Australia) and additional families behind the region’s biggest private companies and dynasties that had fallen out of the rich lists because the fortunes were too dispersed.
Valuations were made using shareholdings and financial information obtained from families and individuals, stock exchanges, analysts and other sources. Net worth is based on stock prices and exchange rates as of the close of markets on September 25, 2015. Private companies were valued based on similar companies that are publicly traded.
The top 10 richest families in Asia are:
1) Lee from South Korea; US$26.6 billion
2) Lee from Hong Kong; $24.1 billion
3) Ambani from India; $21.5 billion
4) Chearavanont from Thailand; $19.9 billion
5) Kwok from Hong Kong; $19.5 billion
6) Kwek/Quek from Singapore, Malaysia; $18.9 billion
7) Premji from India; $17 billion
8) Tsai (Financial) from Taiwan; $15.1 billion
9) Hinduja from India, UK; $15 billion
10) Mistry from India; $14.9 billion