The number of US dollar billionaires in India is at a record high. According to the Hurun India Rich List for 2014, this is owed to the boom in the stock market and the slight strengthening of the rupee. The number of billionaires in the country hovered between 59 and 63 for the last two years. The listings made available on Tuesday said that this figure has gone up to 109.
Mukesh Ambani Leads the Billion-Dollar Club
The Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) held on to his position as the richest man in the country. His fortune, at INR1.65 lakh crores, has gone up 37% from last year.
This is the third consecutive year in which Ambani tops the list of 230 individuals. His pole position does not come as a surprise considering the performance of his group of companies over the last few months. RIL sought approval for an INR78,000 crore expansion plan for its existing refinery business last year. In addition to this, RIL has also bought over Network 18, one of India’s largest media houses, for INR4,200 crore.
Others on the List
Dilip Shangvi, Founder and Managing Director of Sun Pharmaceuticals rose up to second position, surpassing Laxmi Mittal for the very first time. His wealth at INR1.29 lakh crores shot up by 43% over the last year. During the same period, his company acquired the Japanese-owned Ranbaxy, making Sun Pharmaceuticals the largest drug manufacturer in India and the 5th largest in the world.
With a fortune that went down by 4%, to INR97,000 crore, LaxmiMittal, Chairman and CEO of Arcelor Mittal dropped down one place to the 3rd position on the list. The 4th place is taken by AzimPremji, Chairman of Wipro Limited. He saw the value of his 57% stake in the company go up by 11% making him the richest South Indian on the list. His current fortune is valued at INR86,000 crores.
A surprise entry into the top 10 of the Hurun India Rich List of 2014 was Gautam Adani, Chairman and Founder of Adani Group. With a net worth of INR 44,020 crores, his wealth shot up by 152% from last year. The stock prices of Adani Ports and Adani Enterprises went up 90% and 180%, respectively, during this period.
Founder and Chairman of HCL Technologies, Shiv Nadar, at 5th position registered a 40%rise in wealth that is owed to the 57% increase in the stock price of his company. The 6th position went to Chairman of Hinduja Group of Companies, S P Hinduja, with a net worth of INR72,000 crores.
Pallonji Mistry, Chairman of Shapoorji Pallonji Group; Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of Aditya Birla Group; and Sunil Mittal, Chairman and CEO of Bharti Enterprises, also made it into the top 10 of the Hurun India Rich List for 2014.
“If last year’s rich list demonstrated the resilience of Indian corporates in a sluggish market, this year’s exemplifies corporate India’s potential to lead the global market,” says Anas Rahman Junaid, Head of Hurun Report India. Furthermore, he also believes that the new Central Government has also sparked a boom in the stock market.