Mumbai: India climbed up to third spot in the Hurun Global Rich List 2021 with 209 billionaires — 40 more than last year — with Mukesh Ambani seeing his wealth up 24 per cent to 83 billion dollars (about Rs six lakh crore) on the back of a surge in value of energy and telecom giant Reliance.
Gautam Adani and family saw his wealth almost double to 32 billion on the back of Adani Green Energy growing to a 20 billon valuation. Shiv Nadar & family saw his wealth rise to 27 billion dollars, up 10 billion dollars, backed by a 66 per cent increase in the share price of the software and services giant HCL.
N R Narayana Murthy was up 35 per cent to 3.1 billion dollars. His son-in-law Rishi Sunak is the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, the most powerful person in British government after the Prime Minister.
Pankaj Munjal and family of cycle manufacturer Hero Cycles made to the list for the first time with 1.2 billion dollars on the back of surging e-bike demand in India.
The other notable entrants are Murli Divi and family of pharma major Divi’s Laboratories and Kumar Mangalam Birla and family of the global conglomerate Aditya Birla Group who grew 72 per cent to 7.4 billion dollars and 61 per cent to 9.2 billion dollars.
Scandal-hit BR Shetty lost his billionaire status for the first time. His assets have been ordered to be globally frozen by UK Courts. Ritesh Aggarwal of hotel chain Oyo Rooms lost his billionaire status after the impact of Covid-19.
Kishore Biyani of Future Retail, the fastest wealth creator in 2018, dropped out after over-leveraging that blew out of control due to Covid-19. Rajesh Mehta also dropped out.
“Asia has, for the first time in perhaps hundreds of years, more billionaires than the rest of the world combined. Wealth creation is moving to Asia,” said Hurun Report chairman and chief researcher Rupert Hoogewerf.
Despite the disruption caused by Covid-19, this year has seen the biggest wealth increase of the last decade. A stock markets boom, driven partly by quantitative easing, and flurry of new listings have minted eight new dollar billionaires a week for the past year.
“The world has never seen this much wealth created in just one year, much more than perhaps could have been expected for a year so badly disrupted by Covid-19. The speed of wealth creation is nothing short of staggering,” said Hoogewerf.
“Three individuals added more than 50 billion dollars in a single year, led by Elon Musk with 151 billion dollars on the back of the rise of e-cars while e-commerce billionaires Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Colin Huang of Pinduoduo added 50 billion dollars each. At this rate, expect to see 50 or more break through the 100 billion dollar mark within the next five years.”
China has added more new faces than the rest of the world combined, and pulled away big time from the United States in the past year.
Despite the trade war with the United States, China added 256 new billionaires to become the first country in the world to top 1,000 ‘known’ dollar billionaires with 1,056 — more than the combined total of next three countries of the United States, India and Germany.
In the last five years, China has added 490 billionaires compared with 160 in the United States.
The Hurun Global Rich List tells the story of the world economy through the stories of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.
While India ranked third in this year’s list, China was the first followed by the United States. Germany ranked fourth and the United Kingdom fifth.