Gautam Adani’s wealth doubles to Rs 91K crore, 31 Indians turn billionaires this year

In another record-breaking year for billionaires, their total wealth increased by 31 per cent to US$10.5 trillion, equivalent to 13.2 per cent of global GDP, and almost double the seven per cent of global GDP six years ago. The Hurun Global Rich List 2018 ranked 2,694 billionaires from 68 countries and 2,157 companies. As far as India goes, it was a great year for the country as it reclaimed the third place in the list. The country saw 31 new billionaires added to the list this year, taking its overall tally to 131.

The only Indian who saw a massive growth in his fortunes was Gautam Adani, the list noted, adding that his wealth doubled to approx `91,245 crore as per current value in the last one year. The 55-year-old business tycoon witnessed a growth of 109 per cent in the last 12 months, grabbing the 98th spot in the overall list.

The data revealed that most billionaires in India come from the pharmaceuticals sector. It took the top spot with 19 billionaires, followed by Automobile and components with 14 and consumer products with 11. Among cities, Mumbai is the preferred destination for Indian billionaires followed by New Delhi.

Apart from India, only China and the United States had two or more cities in top 30. The number of Indian billionaires would have gone up but 31 of them migrated from India, with UAE, UK and USA as preferred destinations.

Also, if the Indian-origin billionaires are considered, the tally would have been 170 instead of the current 131. The combined wealth of the Indian billionaires increased by 49 per cent to US$454bn while the average age is 64.

China increased its gap from the US on the top with 819 billionaires in comparison to 571. Two years ago, there was a close competition between the two countries with the numbers standing at 534 and 535, respectively.

India also had its representation in the list of politically affiliated billionaires topped by Donald Trump. The US president’s wealth dropped by US$1bn to US$3.5b, dropping him down 352 places to 747. Savitri Jindal, who is a minister in the Har­yana government, ranked 149 with US $11bn.

Mukesh Ambani continues to be the richest Indian man with a 73 per cent increase in his wealth. The 60-year-old Reliance boss has taken his overall wealth to US $45 bn and is currently the 19th richest man in the world.

A total of 19 new billionaires made it to the global Top 100, led by Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers of L’Oreal who inherited the wealth from her mother Liliane, who died in September last year aged 94.