India@75: A nation in the making

2015 World's Billionaires: From rags to richest

Published: Apr 11, 2015 07:45:13 AM IST
Updated: Apr 7, 2015 05:59:36 PM IST

2015 World's Billionaires:  From rags to richest

Hong Kong
Net Worth: $33.3 bln
Li Ka-Shing

Asia’s wealthiest man quit school when he was 12 and worked at a watch-strap factory to support his family.

Italy
Net Worth: $20.4 bln
Leonardo Del Vecchio

At seven, his mother sent him to a Milan orphanage. At 14, he began an apprenticeship in an eyeglass factory. Eleven years later, he founded Luxottica.


2015 World's Billionaires:  From rags to richest


Russia
Net Worth: $9.1 bln
Roman Abramovich

The oil oligarch was orphaned by the age of four and raised by relatives. After dropping out of college, he served with the Soviet army before selling plastic toys from his apartment.

2015 World's Billionaires:  From rags to richest

US
Net Worth: $6.6 bln
Jan Koum

WhatsApp’s co-founder emigrated from Ukraine at the age of 16 with his mother and swept floors in a grocery store to help pay the bills.



India
Net Worth: $5.2 bln
Micky Jagtiani

He dropped out of accounting school, cleaned hotel rooms and drove a cab in London before running a Dubai-based retail empire.

US
Net Worth: $3.1 bln
David Murdock

When he returned from WWII, he slept on a Detroit park bench before borrowing $1,800 to open a diner and eventually becoming the chairman of Dole Food.

US
Net Worth: $3 bln
Oprah Winfrey

The media mogul was born to a teenage mom and raised by her grandmother on a Mississippi farm.

2015 World's Billionaires:  From rags to richest
US
Net Worth: $2.8 bln
John Paul DeJoria

After selling shampoo Door-to-door—and sleeping in his car—he co-founded hair care giant John Paul Mitchell Systems.

UK
Net Worth: $2.1 bln
Christos Lazari

The London real estate investor moved to the UK from Cyprus when he was 16 and worked as a dishwasher.


Images: LI KA-SHING: BOBBY YIP / REUTERS; JAN KOUM: DAVID RAMOS / REUTERS; ROMAN ABRAMOVICH: OLIVIA HARRIS / REUTERS; JOHN PAUL DEJORIA: SAMANTHA SAIS / REUTERS

Check out our 75th Independence year discounts on subscriptions, additional Rs.750/- off website prices. Use coupon code INDIA75 at checkout. Click here for details.

(This story appears in the 17 April, 2015 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

Show More
Post Your Comment
Required
Required, will not be published
All comments are moderated