Some people have more wealth than the average person can ever dream of achieving. Sometimes, this is because they have inherited a family fortune. Others have worked hard to become professionally and financially successful. Every country has its own list of billionaires, including India. While events over the past year have had a negative impact on the fortunes of many of the country’s wealthiest, there are still many who have a staggering net worth. Here are the 10 richest Indian billionaires.
10. Dilip Shanghvi and Azim Premji - $6.1 Billion
In joint 10th place is Dilip Shanghvi and Azim Premji, both of whom have a net worth of $6.1 billion. Shanghvi, from Mumbai, made his fortune in pharmaceuticals, and he is the founder of Sun Pharmaceuticals. It is the largest drug company in India and the fifth-largest in the world. In 2017, India Today magazine ranked Shaghvi as the eighth most powerful person in India. Bangalore-based Premji made his billions in the software services industry, and he is the chairman of Wipro Limited. On two occasions, he has been listed on the list of the 100 most influential people by TIME Magazine. Premji is one of the wealthy people who has signed The Giving Pledge, which means he has committed to giving away half his wealth. The first large sum of money he gave away was a $2.2 billion donation to the Azim Premji Foundation, which focuses on education in India.
9. Lakshmi Mittal - $7.4 Billion
Although he is from India, Lakshmi Mittal’s main residence is in London, England. He made his $7.4 billion fortune in the steel industry. According to Britannica, Mittal’s father operated a steel mill in Calcutta, and Mittal worked at the mill whilst also studying science. By 1976, he had opened his own steel mill in Indonesia, then bought the steelworks in Trinidad and Tobago in 1989. He continued to acquire steelworks from across the globe until he merged his companies to create a new company called Mittal Steel Co. NV. His company then merged with Arcelor to form ArcelorMittal, of which he is the chairman. His home in London reportedly cost $70 million.
8. Kumar Birla - $7.6 Billion
Kumar Birla is in the commodities industry, and this has earned him a net worth of $7.6 billion. Based in Mumbai, Birla is the chairman of the Aditya Birla group, which is one of India’s biggest conglomerates. In addition to this company, he is the chairman of the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, the chairman of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and the chancellor of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science. Birla married his wife, Neerja, in 1989, and they have three children together.
7. Cyrus Poonawalla - $8.2 Billion
A resident of Pune, Cyrus Poonawalla has a net worth of $8.2 billion, which he has made through vaccines. He is chairman of the Poonawalla Group, and he earned himself the nickname of the ‘vaccine king of India.’ The main part of the group is the biotech company Serum Institute of India, which specializes in pediatric vaccines. His company exports vaccines to more than 165 countries across the globe. It is estimated that half of all the children in the world have received a vaccine from his company.
6. Sunil Mittal - $8.8 Billion
The telecom industry is how Sunil Mittal, from Delhi, made his fortune of $8.8 billion. Sunil Mittal is the founder and chairperson of Bharti Enterprise. This company has diversified interests in real estate, insurance, telecom, hospitality, food, agriculture, malls, and education. One of the flagship companies is the second-largest telecom operation in India.
5. Gautam Adani - $8.9 Billion
Commodities and ports are the two sources of income for Ahmedabad-based billionaire Gautam Adani, who has a net worth of $8.9 billion. Adani is the founder and chairman of the Adani Group, which is a multinational conglomerate involved in operations and port developments in India. Since the group was founded in 1988, it has diversified into energy, agriculture, logistics, resources, and aerospace. He is married to Priti Adani, and their son, Karan Adani, is the CEO of the Adani Group.
4. Uday Kotak - $10.4 billion
Banking is how Uday Kotak, from Mumbai, earned his net worth of $10.4 billion. Bloomberg describes Kotak as India’s wealthiest banker, as he has control of Mumbai-based Kotak Mahindra Bank. It is a publicly-traded company providing investment and commercial banking, brokerage services, and insurance. The bank has approximately 1,600 branches.
3. Shiv Nadar - $11.9 Billion
Based in Delhi, Shiv Nadar has become wealthy through his business in the software services industry. Nadar is the founder and chairman of HCL Technologies Limited. He is also a philanthropist, and he founded the Shiv Nadar Foundation, which focuses on developing India’s educational system. He is married to Kiran Nadar, and they have one daughter, Roshni.
2. Radhakishan Damani - $13.8 Billion
There is a significant difference in the wealth of the top spot on this list and the billionaire in the second position, but $13.8 billion is not a figure to sniff at. Mumbai-based Radhakishan Damani has made this fortune through the retail sector and through investments. He is the founder of DMart, and he has a portfolio with his investment firm, Bright Star Investments Limited. An interesting fact about this billionaire is that he dropped out of university after just one year of studying commerce.
1. Mukesh Ambani - $36.8 Billion
Forbes lists Mukesh Ambani as the richest billionaire in India with a net worth of $36.8 billion. He also topped the list in 2019, and he has remained in the top spot despite losing $13.2 billion in the last year. Ambani has made his fortune in the petrochemicals, gas, and oil sectors, and his company is called Reliance Industries. Mukesh Ambani lives in Mumbai.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn