With the stock market scaling new peaks, the pace at which India is churning out billion-dollar fortunes has picked up. As a result, the price of entry into the top 100 keeps rising. This year, 40 fortunes worth $1 billion or more did not make it to the list. Here are ten of the newest and most interesting faces among them.
SRIDHAR VEMBU, 49 Image: P Ravikumar
Princeton engineer co-founded Zoho in 1996 with his two brothers and friends to provide cloud-based business software. The privately held company, of which Vembu, with family, owns close to 90 percent, competes with industry giant Salesforce. BAJRANG LAL TAPARIA, 83
Taparia and family have close to a 50 percent stake in listed Supreme Industries, one of India’s biggest makers of plastic products, from moulded furniture to packaging. Shares have risen in line with rising sales, which are now close to $700 million a year. PADAM CHAND GUPTA
Starting with one jewellery shop in Delhi in 2005, Gupta and his brother Balram Garg built their firm into an 80-store nationwide chain with annual revenue of $1.3 billion. They own 60 percent of the firm, which listed in 2012. MADHU KAPUR
Kapur inherited shares in Yes Bank after her husband, Ashok Kapur, the bank’s co-founder, died in the terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008. In order to protect her interests, she took the bank, run by her billionaire brother-in-law Rana Kapoor (No 100), and its board to court to secure her right to nominate board directors.
KM MAMMEN, 67
Head of sprawling clan chairs $2.3 billion (revenue) MRF, one of India’s leading tyre makers. The company was started by his father in 1946 as a manufacturer of toy balloons. Mammen’s son Rahul became managing director in May.
RG CHANDRAMOGAN, 68
Hatsun Agro Product
Chandramogan, who never went to college, started a tiny venture in 1970 to make ice cream, which initially was sold on pushcarts. Today his listed Hatsun Agro Product is India’s largest private dairy, procuring milk directly from 300,000 farmers daily.
KOCHOUSEPH CHITTILAPPILLY, 66
V-Guard Industries, Wonderla Holidays
In 1977, Chittilappilly borrowed $1,500 from his father to set up a small unit to make voltage stabilisers in Kochi in South India. He built it over four decades into $335 million (revenue) V-Guard Industries. He expanded into amusement parks in 2000 with Wonderla Holidays.
SANJAY LALBHAI, 63
India’s denim king and the fourth generation of a storied textile clan in the city of Ahmedabad. His Arvind has launched several international brands in India, such as Arrow, Tommy Hilfiger and Gap.ANIL KUMAR MITTAL, 65
With roots in cotton spinning and commodity trading, Mittal’s KRBL is the country’s largest rice miller and exporter of basmati rice, which it sells under the popular India Gate brand.
TARANG JAIN, 55
Nephew of two-wheeler tycoon Rahul Bajaj (No 15) started his auto parts business in 1990. His twin brother, Anurang (No 79), runs his own listed outfit. Privately held Varroc was coined from the names of their wives.
(This story appears in the 29 December, 2017 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)