Paytm's Vijay Shekhar Sharma ranked India's youngest billionaire in Forbes's latest list

The total combined net worth of the 101 Indians in Forbes's 'The World's Billionaires' list, is $325.5 billion

Published: Mar 22, 2017

Starting out as a newswire journalist covering beats as diverse as business, politics, entertainment, crime, civic affairs, cricket and defence, I was keen to pursue a career in print or broadcast journalism. But the emerging world of multimedia storytelling promised a fascinating future, and I changed my focus to digital media more than a decade ago. Before Forbes India, I have worked for organisations such as ANI, Money Control, Arabian Business, Yahoo India and VFS Global. I hold master's degrees in Communication Studies (University of Pune, India) and Journalism (University of Westminster, London, UK).

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Paytm’s CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Image: Amit Verma


With a net worth of $1.3 billion, Paytm’s CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, is the youngest billionaire in India. Ranked at No. 1567, the 38-year-old founder of the mobile payments platform is among the world’s 2,043 richest people, according to Forbes’s latest ‘The World’s Billionaires’ list.

The total combined net worth of this year’s billionaires was $7.67 trillion, up from $6.48 trillion last year, Forbes said in a statement on Monday. The average net worth of the world’s billionaires is $3.75 billion, it added.

In contrast, as many as 101 Indians, have made it to the ‘The World’s Billionaires’ list, with a total combined net worth of $325.5 billion. Their average net worth is $3.22 billion.

With a net worth of $23.2 billion, Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), is the richest person in India. He is the highest-ranked Indian in the list of billionaires, at No. 33. He is followed by Lakshmi Mittal (No. 56; $16.4 bn); Azim Premji (No. 72; $14.9 bn); Dilip Shanghvi (No. 84; $13.7 bn) and Shiv Nadar (No. 102; $12.3 bn), to round off the top five Indian entries in the list. The combined net worth of these five Indian billionaires is $80.5 billion.

The lowest-ranked (No. 1940) Indian billionaires include Chirayu Amin, Shishir Bajaj, Harindarpal Banga and Azad Moopen, with a net worth of $1 billion each. 

According to Forbes, these values represent a snapshot of wealth based on stock prices and exchange rates from February 17.

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Pharma veteran Samprada Singh is the oldest Indian to make it to the list. The 91-year-old is ranked at No. 1795.

There are four Indian women among the world’s top billionaires: Savitri Jindal (No. 303, $5.2 bn); Smita Crishna-Godrej (No. 814, $2.5 bn); India’s richest self-made woman billionaire, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (No 973, $2.1 bn) and Leena Tiwari (No.1030, $2bn).

The annual list of billionaires has 13 debutants from India this year. Apart from Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the notable entries include Radhakishan Damani, the founder and promoter of D-Mart (No. 896, 2.3bn); Patanjali Ayurved Co-Founder Acharya Balkrishna (No. 814, 2.5bn); industrialists Nusli Wadia (No. 896, 2.3bn) and Pawan Munjal (No. 630, $3.1 bn); and banker Rana Kapoor at No 1795, with a net worth of $1.1 bn.

The other five billionaires among India’s top 10 are Kumar Birla (No. 133, $9.5 bn); Cyrus Poonawalla (No. 159, $8.1 bn); Uday Kotak (No. 166, $8 bn), Sunil Mittal (No. 182, $7.5 bn) and Gautam Adani (No. 250, $5.8 bn).

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates retained the top spot on Forbes’s ‘The World’s Billionaires’ list, with a fortune of $86 billion, up from $75 billion last year. Gates retained his top spot for the fourth year in a row and has been the richest person in the world for 18 out of the past 23 years.

Click here to view the full ‘The World’s Billionaires’ list

(Reliance Industries is the owner of Network 18, publisher of Forbes India)

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