With the Indian economy facing a slowdown, the total wealth of the country’s richest tycoons too, saw an 8% drop, according to Forbes, which released its 2019 list of India’s richest people. “More than half of India’s 100 richest saw a decline in their net worth,” Forbes said.
Some of them, however, still managed to further increase their fortunes with India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani adding $4.1 billion to his net worth. Ambani retains this spot for the 12th consecutive year with $51.4 billion in wealth in 2019.
Apart from Ambani, Gautam Adani, Chairman of the Adani Group, which runs businesses from infrastructure to data centres, jumped eight positions this year to become India’s second richest man with a net worth of $15.7 billion. He was at the tenth spot last year with a net worth of $11.9 billion.
Azim Premji, who was at number 2 last year, dropped down to the 17th position after giving away a chunk of his fortune in March. His current net worth is $7.2 billion.
The Hinduja brothers ranked at 3 this year with a net worth of $15.6 billion, while Pallonji Mistry is the fourth richest Indian with $15 billion.
With shares of Kotak Mahindra Bank rising 39% in the past year, Uday Kotak saw a $4 billion jump in his wealth, entering the top five for the first time.
According to Forbes, six new names made it to the Forbes Indian Rich list this year. 38-year-old Byju Raveendran, founder of edtech unicorn Byju’s made his debut into the top 100 and is also the youngest on the list. He ranks 72 with $1.91 billion in wealth.
Manohar Lal and Madhusudan Agarwal of Delhi-headquartered Haldiram Snacks; and Rajesh Mehra, whose family owns the popular Jaquar brand of bathroom fittings. Samprada Singh, founder of Alkem Laboratories are other new entrants in 2019. However, Samprada Singh died in July and his fortune is now listed under his family.
The top 10 richest people in India also include Shiv Nadar (6), founder and chairman of HCL; Radhakrishna Damani, well-known investor and founder of DMart, the Godrej family (8), Lakshmi Mittal, chairman of ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker and Kumar Birla, current head of the Aditya Birla Group.