Forbes: Amid Pandemic, India’s Richest Preserve Their Wealth

Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), continued to remain the wealthiest Indian for the 13th consecutive year. On Thursday, Forbes released 2020’s list of the top 100 richest Indians.

While a few businessmen, who were lagging behind in the earlier list, took a leap to the top positions, a few others occupying better positions, slipped downwards in the latest list.

“In a tumultuous year for the global economy, India’s richest preserved their wealth. Mukesh Ambani remains the wealthiest Indian for the 13th year in a row, adding $37.3 billion to his net worth,” Forbes noted. Now, his total wealth is $88.7 billion, which means a jump by 73% to his last year’s figures. By the beginning of 2020, Mukesh Ambani had begun drawing investments into Reliance Jio ad Reliance Retail which gave a boost to the value of his stocks.

Amid the Coronavirus pandemic which hit India hard, half of the nation’s 100 richest on the 2020 Forbes India Rich List saw gains. “Their collective net worth rose by 14% to $517.5 billion from the last year,” Forbes said.

Meanwhile, Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), which is the world’s largest vaccine producer by the number of doses produced, had entered into the Forbes Top 10 league.

After Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani occupied the second position with the value of his assets increasing by 61 per cent and his net worth pushed up to $25.2 billion. Recently, he bought 74 per cent stake in the Mumbai airport.

Then stood IT giant — HCL Technologies chief Shiv Nadar with his net worth increasing to $20.4 billion. Avenue Supermarts (DMart) chairman Radhakishan Dhamani stood in the fourth position with $15.4 billion and Hinduja brothers occupied the next position with $12.8 billion.

SII chairman Cyrus Poonawalla stood in the sixth position with a net worth of $11.5 billion. His wealth increased by 26 per cent following SII’s crucial role in the manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccine, most needed to check the spread of Coronavirus pandemic.

Construction tycoon Pallonji Mistry occupied the 7th position with a net worth of $11.4 billion while Kotak Mahindra Bank managing director Uday Kotak occupied the next position with his wealth at $11.3 billion. The Godrej family was pegged at the 9th position with a net worth of $11 billion while Airtel chief Sunil Mittal stood at 11th position with a net worth of $10.2 billion.

Meanwhile, Biocon’s Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw’s wealth had doubled to $4.7 billion putting her in the 27th position in the Forbest List 2020.

On the other hand, over nine entrepreneurs made a foray into the list this year. They include Sanjeev Bikchandani, founder and executive vice chairman of Info Edge which owns, at 68th rank with a net worth of $2.1 billion, Zerodha Brokerage Company co-founders Nitin and Nikhil Kamath at the 90th position with a net worth of $1.55 billion. Zerodha is India’s first online discount brokerage firm launched in 2010.

The new entrants also include chemical producers – Vinathi Organics CEO Vinati Saraf Mutreja at the 95th position ($1.4 billion), Chandrakanth-Rajendra Gogri Brothers of Aarthi Industries in the 96th position ($1.39 billion) and SRF’s Arun Bharat Ram at the 99th position with a net worth of $1.34 billion.

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