n a dramatic shift in the pecking order at the top, Mukesh Ambani reclaims the No. 1 position on the 2023 Forbes list of India’s 100 Richest. The collective wealth of India’s 100 Richest was flat at $799 billion this year. The complete list is available here
. The list can also be found in the October issue of Forbes Asia
and the December issue of Forbes India
India is on a high after hosting the G20 Summit in New Delhi this September and becoming the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon. Reflecting this sentiment, India’s stock market rose 14% since fortunes were last measured. However that jump, tempered by a weaker rupee, was not reflected in the collective net worth of India’s 100 Richest, which flatlined at $799 billion.
Mukesh Ambani, who transformed his Reliance Industries into a diversified conglomerate, reclaims the No. 1 spot with a net worth of $92 billion. Shortly after spinning off and listing Jio Financial Services, which has an asset management joint venture with BlackRock, Ambani cemented his succession plan by appointing his three children to Reliance’s board as non-executive directors in August.
The fortune of infrastructure magnate Gautam Adani, who rose meteorically to overtake Ambani as India’s richest person for the first time last year, reversed dramatically after a damaging report by U.S. short seller Hindenburg Research in January sent his group’s shares tumbling. Despite recovering somewhat since, his net worth, which includes that of his family, fell by a whopping $82 billion to $68 billion – down the most in both dollar and percentage terms – and he slips back into second place.
Software tycoon Shiv Nadar climbs two spots to return to No. 3 with a fortune of $29.3 billion, as shares of HCL Technologies jumped 42% in the past year amid a tech rebound.
Matriarch Savitri Jindal, of the O.P. Jindal Group, a power and steel conglomerate, ranks No. 4 with $24 billion, up 46%, thanks partly to the September IPO of ports unit JSW Infrastructure, by her son Sajjan Jindal. Rounding out the top five is Radhakishan Damani of Avenue Supermarts, whose fortune declined to $23 billion from $27.6 billion previously.
Naazneen Karmali, Asia Wealth Editor and India Editor of Forbes Asia
, said: “India is riding high and is considered a hot spot by global investors. That buoyancy has made the elite club of India’s 100 Richest even more exclusive this year, with the minimum net worth to make the cutoff rising to a record $2.3 billion.”
The biggest percentage gainer this year is Inder Jaisinghani at No. 32 with $6.4 billion. His family’s net worth nearly doubled as his wires and cables company, Polycab India, benefited from increasing electrification. Pharma brothers Ramesh and Rajeev Juneja got a handsome 64% boost from the May listing of their Mankind Pharma, bringing them to No. 29 with $6.9 billion. The Juneja siblings also appear on the cover of the October issue of Forbes Asia.
There are three new entrants this year: Renuka Jagtiani, chairwoman of Landmark Group, a Dubai-headquartered retailing giant, enters the list at No. 44 with $4.8 billion, following the passing of her husband Micky Jagtiani in May. Also new to the list is the Dani family (No. 22, $8 billion) of Asian Paints, heirs of patriarch Ashwin Dani, who died in September. The third newcomer is garment exporter K.P. Ramasamy (No. 100, $2.3 billion), founder and chairman of K.P.R. Mill.
Among the seven returnees this year is Ranjan Pai (No. 86, $2.75 billion), who cashed out $1 billion from selling part of his stake in hospital chain Manipal Health Enterprises to Singapore’s Temasek. Notable among the eight drop-offs are ed tech couple Byju Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath, whose firm Byju’s saw its valuation marked down drastically amid myriad challenges.
The top 10 richest in India are:
- Mukesh Ambani; US$92 billion
- Gautam Adani; $68 billion
- Shiv Nadar: $29.3 billion
- Savitri Jindal; $24 billion
- Radhakishan Damani; $23 billion
- Cyrus Poonawalla; $20.7 billion
- Hinduja Family; $20 billion
- Dilip Shanghvi; $19 billion
- Kumar Birla; $17.5 billion
- Shapoor Mistry & Family; $16.9 billion
This list was compiled using shareholding and financial information obtained from the families and individuals, stock exchanges, analysts and India’s regulatory agencies. The ranking lists family fortunes, including those shared among extended families such as the Bajaj and Godrej families. Public fortunes were calculated based on stock prices and exchange rates as of September 22. Private companies were valued based on similar companies that are publicly traded. The list can also include foreign citizens with business, residential or other ties to the country, or citizens who don’t reside in the country but have significant business or other ties to the country.