For the first time, the top 100 richest tycoons in India are all billionaires, according to the latest Forbes rich list. The combined net worth of India’s 100 wealthiest is US$346 billion, up more than a third from $259 billion in 2013. The complete list is available at www.forbesindia.com and in the latest issues of Forbes Asia and Forbes India.
Naazneen Karmali, India Editor of Forbes Asia, said: “In 2014, India's outlook has moved very quickly from gloom to boom. The new federal government's mandate for change has sparked euphoria in the stock market causing a seismic shift in Indian wealth this year. Hopefully these gains are real and will be sustained as the economy revives and India fulfils its potential.”
India’s stock market has scaled new peaks gaining 28% since January this year, though the economy, which grew at 5.7% in the last quarter, has yet to catch up.
Mukesh Ambani tops the list for the eighth consecutive year with a net worth of $23.6 billion, up $2.6 billion from last year. His company Reliance Industries' telecom arm, Reliance Jio Infocomm is preparing to roll out 4G services.
Dilip Shanghvi, founder of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, India’s most valuable drug maker, is the new No. 2, overtaking steel baron Lakshmi Mittal, who slips to fifth place. Sun Pharmaceutical’s shares surged after it acquired rival Ranbaxy Laboratories from Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo for $4 billion in April. The 59-year old Shanghvi saw his fortune rise by $4.1 billion to $18 billion.
Moving up one notch to No. 3 is Azim Premji, whose net wealth increased to $16.4 billion from $13.8 billion previously. In July, his tech firm Wipro set up a $100 million venture capital fund to back startups led by his son Rishad.
The biggest dollar gainer is ports magnate Gautam Adani, who jumped 11 spots to No. 11 adding nearly $4.5 billion to his wealth which reached $7.1 billion on soaring shares of his companies. Adani has been on a buying spree: he bought a port in eastern India from the Tata Group for $900 million and agreed to pay $1 billion for a power plant in southern India.
As many as 85 of the 89 who returned to the top 100 from last year are wealthier, and several are billionaires for the first time. Among them are Qimat Rai Gupta (No. 48, $1.95 billion), chairman of Havells, the world’s fourth-largest lighting company; V.G. Siddhartha (No. 75, $1.27 billion), founder of the Café Coffee Day chain, India’s Starbucks; and brothers Sanjiv (No. 69, $1.4 billion) and Harsh Goenka (No. 82, $1.18 billion), who runs RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group and RPG Group respectively.
Sourav Majumdar, Editor, Forbes India, added: “With the stock market on a bull run and renewed optimism in the air, this year’s list is an all-billionaires list. The good news is the distribution of wealth among the 100 continues to be broad-based, and is not just concentrated at the top of the heap. The power of Indian enterprise continues to grow stronger, despite the odds.”
There are eight newcomers on this year’s list: Amalgamations Group family (No. 47, $2 billion) comprise the families of the four children of the late founder S. Anantharamakrishnan; brothers Dilip & Anand Surana (No. 73, $1.3 billion), who run Bangalore pharma outfit Micro Labs; Hasmukh Chudgar (No. 80, $1.2 billion), founder of Intas Pharmaceuticals; real estate tycoon Surendra Hiranandani (No. 83, $1.17 billion); jeweler T.S. Kalyanaraman (No. 87, $1.13 billion); Macleod Pharmaceuticals’ Rajendra Agarwal (No. 90, $1.1 billion); Dubai-based Aster DM Healthcare’s Azad Moopen (No. 95, $1.05 billion); and stock market veteran Radhakishan Damani (No. 100, $1 billion).
The biggest loser this year is Indus Gas founder Ajay Kalsi (No. 85, $1.15 billion), who lost $1 billion after the government stalled an increase in the nation’s natural gas prices.
The minimum amount required to make the list was $1 billion, up from $635 million in 2013. With a record minimum net worth this year, 11 from last year fell off, including tycoons Brij Bhushan Singal and Vijay Mallya.The Top 10 Richest in India are:
1) Mukesh Ambani; US$23.6 billion
2) Dilip Shanghvi; $18 billion
3) Azim Premji; $16.4 billion
4) Pallonji Mistry; $15.9 billion
5) Lakshmi Mittal; $15.8 billion
6) Hinduja brothers; $13.3 billion
7) Shiv Nadar; $12.5 billion
8) Godrej family; $11.6 billion
9) Kumar Birla; $9.2 billion
10) Sunil Mittal; $7.8 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 Godrej and Bajaj families. Public fortunes were calculated based on stock prices and exchange rates as of September 12. Private companies were valued based on similar companies that are publicly traded.The special Forbes India Rich list issue will be available on stands from 30th September.