New Delhi, Oct 7 : A soaring stock market propelled the combined wealth of members of the 2021 Forbes List of India’s 100 Richest to a record US$775 billion, after adding $257 billion — a 50 per cent rise — in the past 12 months.
In this bumper year, more than 80 per cent of the Listees saw their fortunes increase, with 61 adding $1 billion or more.
At the top of the List is Mukesh Ambani, India’s Richest person since 2008, with a net Worth of $92.7 billion.
Ambani recently outlined plans to pivot into renewable energy with a $10 billion investment by his Reliance Industries.
Close to a fifth of the increase in the collective wealth of India’s 100 Richest came from infrastructure tycoon Gautam Adani, who ranks No.2 for the third year in a row.Adani, who is the biggest gainer in both percentage and dollar terms, nearly tripled his fortune to $74.8 billion from $25.2 billion previously, as shares of all his Listed companies soared.
At No.3 with $31 billion is Shiv Nadar, founder of software giant HCL Technologies, who saw a $10.6 billion boost in his net Worth from the country’s buoyant tech sector.
Retailing magnate Radhakishan Damani retained the fourth spot with his net Worth nearly doubling to $29.4 billion from $15.4 billion, as his supermarket chain Avenue Supermarts opened 22 new stores in the fiscal year ending March.
India has administered over 870 million Covid-19 vaccine shots to date, thanks partly to Serum Institute of India, founded by vaccine billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla, who moves into the top five with a net Worth of $19 billion.His privately held company makes Covishield under license from AstraZeneca and has other Covid-19 vaccines under development.
India’s recovery from a deadly second wave of Covid-19, which broke out earlier this year, restored investor confidence in the world’s sixth-largest economy.
There are six newcomers on this year’s List, with half of them from the booming chemicals sector.They include Ashok Boob (No.93, $2.3 billion) whose Clean Science and Technology Listed in July; Deepak Mehta (No.97, $2.05 billion) of Deepak Nitrite and Yogesh Kothari (No.100, $1.94 billion) of Alkyl Amines Chemicals.Arvind Lal (No.87, $2.55 billion), the executive chairman of diagnostics chain Dr Lal PathLabs, also debuted on the List after a pandemic-induced surge in testing caused shares of his company to double in the past year.
The country’s IPO rush returned property magnate and politician Mangal Prabhat Lodha (No.42, $4.5 billion) to the ranks, following the April Listing of his Macrotech Developers.Among the four other returnees is Prathap Reddy (No.88, $2.53 billion), whose Listed hospital chain Apollo Hospitals Enterprise has been testing and treating Covid-19 patients.
Eleven Listees from last year dropped off, given the increased cut-off for gaining entry to this year’s List.The minimum amount required to make this year’s List was $1.94 billion, up from $1.33 billion last year.
Naazneen Karmali, Asia Wealth Editor and India Editor of Forbes Asia, said: “This year’s List reflects India’s resilience and can-do spirit even as Covid-19 extracted a heavy toll on both lives and livelihoods.Hopes of a V-shaped recovery fueled a stock market rally that propelled the fortunes of India’s wealthiest to new heights.
With the minimum net Worth to make the ranks approaching $2 billion, the top 100 club is getting more exclusive.