The global pandemic Coronavirus has seeped into every country and not only is its rampant spread causing fatalities left and right but it has also had a dangerous effect on India’s already ailing economy.
India is home to many billionaires and mos t of them had already been suffering due to the slowing economy and decrease in consumer demand.
Before the total lockdown was imposed in India, around the end of March, the country’s stock market was at an all-time three year low. The total number of billionaires had been brought down to 102 in comparison to 2019’s 106 and even more strikingly our billionaires’ wealth had shrunk by a whopping 23%.
The breakout of the coronavirus was the last nail in the coffin, the pandemic has brought every purchase other than the absolute essentials to a complete standstill.
But despite the obvious decline in the economy, many billionaires have been able to hold their own and the year 2020 has also seen the introduction of some new faces in the list of billionaires. But the top 10 richest people in India still remain very much known to us all.
Here is the List of Top Ten Richest Indians, According to their net worth:
- Net worth: $36.8 billion
- Company: Reliance
- Business: Petrochemicals, Oil and Gas
Born in Aden, Yemen, Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani is the richest person in India for eons and is undisputedly leagues ahead of any other billionaires present on the list.
The business tycoon is the CEO, managing director and largest shareholder of the Reliance Industries Ltd. A multinational conglomerate company and India’s most valuable asset in terms of market value, the Reliance Industries Ltd.
is one of the most profitable companies of India and also the largest company after having surpassed the government-controlled Indian Oil Corporation.
Engaged in various business sectors in India ranging from petrochemicals, natural resources, energy, textiles, retail and telecommunications, the company is unstoppable and indomitable.
Despite suffering a $13.2 billion drop from the past year, Ambani has still managed to hold his title as India’s richest man with ease.
- Net worth: $13.8 billion
- Company: DMart
- Business: Retail, Investments
Owner of supermarket Walmart inspired DMart – Radhakishan Damani is the only Indian magnate whose net worth remains unscathed by the growing pandemic thanks to the bulk purchasing and hoarding of Indian consumers to stock up for the extended lockdown.
The chain of supermarts is spread across 72 cities including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, etc.
Raised in a one-room apartment in Mumbai, Radhakishan Damani dreamed big and didn’t quit till his objective was achieved. In the retail business since 2002, his first business venture started with a store in the suburbs of Mumbai, has since then seen an exponential growth.
It is believed that the DMart stores can hold its own even after the lockdown has been lifted with its smart business strategy of – offering customers fewer choices in terms of no-frills products, negotiating endlessly with its vendors and avoiding any and every advertising expense.
- Net worth: $11.9 billion
- Company: HCL
- Business: Software services
Founder and chairman of software service giant HCL, Shiv Nadar is an Indian business tycoon and philanthropist. A multinational IT service and consulting company functional worldwide, HCL is headquartered at Noida, Uttar Pradesh and has company offices in UK, USA, France and Germany.
Operational under various sectors including chemical and process industries, healthcare, hi-tech, industrial manufacturing, aerospace and defense, consumer goods, insurance, energy and utilities, media and entertainment, mining and natural resources, oil and gas, retail, telecom and more, HCL is under the top 20 largest publicly traded companies in India.
Recipient of the Padma Bhushan for his contribution in the field of IT, Shiv Nadar has also donated millions to his Shiv Nadar Foundation that focuses on the development of the Indian educational system.
- Net worth: $10.4 billion
- Company: Kotak Mahindra Bank
- Business: Banking
One of Asia’s biggest billionaire bankers, Uday Kotak is the founder, managing director and CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank. In the early 1980s when the economic growth of India was still stunted, Kotak diversified his business and made an entrance in various regions of financial services.
Soon enough he had made a prominent name for himself in stockbroking, investment banking, car finance, bills discounting, mutual funds and life insurance.
Finally, in the March of 2003 due to the unremitting efforts of Uday Kotak, Kotak Mahindra Finance Ltd. became the first company in India’s corporate history to receive a banking license from the Reserve Bank of India.
The self-made businessman who abandoned his family’s cotton business to start his own finance firm has led the bank to become listed in the India’s top four banks in the private sector.
- Net worth: $8.9 billion
- Company: Adani Group
- Business: commodities, port
Chairman and founder of Adani Group, Gautam Shantilal Adani is an Ahmedabad-based billionaire industrialist involved in port development and operations in India.
Found in 1988, Adani Group is into various sectors of business from power generation and transmission, coal, solar power, agriculture, edible oil, logistics, energy, real estate, defence and aerospace, resources to agriculture.
Coming from a family of businessmen, Adani too was keen on business and got involved in various business schemes such as diamond brokerage, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) imports and other agriculture and power commodities.
By 1991, due to favourable economic liberalization policies, he was able to expand his business into trading textiles, metals and agro products. His ascent to the top was sealed when he acquired the contract for the managerial outsourcing of the Munda Port in Gujarat, India’s largest port.
With time his empire has expanded overseas as well with the inclusion of Carmichael Coal and Abbot Point Port in Australia. Gautam Adani has also recently expanded business into new ventures, airports and data centers.
- Net worth: $8.8 billion
- Company: Bharti Airtel
- Business: Telecom
Billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist, Sunil Bharti Mittal is the founder and chairman of the Bharti Enterprises, the business group’s predominant interest is telecom with diversified interests in real estate, education, malls, insurance, food and agriculture.
Bharti Airtel is the enterprises’ flagship company and is known to be India’s second-largest and one of the world’s largest telecom companies. The company is spread across 18 countries in Asia and Africa and has a user base of 418 million.
An entrepreneur at heart, Mittal’s first gig was at the age of 18 when he started business by selling bicycle parts. He then moved on to bigger and better things and began importing Suzuki Motor’s portable electric power generators from Japan till India prohibited the act. In 1984, he entered into the telecom industry by assembling parts of a push-button phone to replace the old, outdated rotary phones.
By the early 90s he had made steady progress and was making fax machines, cordless phones and telecom gears under the brand name Beetel.
By 1995, he launched his cellular services under the name Airtel and quickly became the first telecom company to gather 2 million subscribers. Since then there has been no stopping him.
He further acquired Africa owned company Zain telecom and also collaborated with US retail giant, Walmart. Among other feather’s in his cap, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2007 and was elected the chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce.
- Net worth: $8.2 billion
- Company: Poonawalla Group
- Business: Vaccines
Chairman of Poonawalla Group, founder of Serum Institute of India and a biotech company that makes pediatric vaccines, Cyrus Poonawalla is a man of sharp intellect and a witty business mindset.
Son of a race horse breeder, Poonawalla founded the Serum Institute of India back in 1966 and with continued efforts built it to be one of the largest vaccine makers which is now responsible for exporting various vaccines to 100 countries and more.
Serum manufactures 1.5 billion doses of vaccines annually for polio, measles, flu and various other diseases. It is said that one out of every two children in the world have been vaccinated by Serum Institute’s vaccines.
The institute’s contribution in the field of vaccine and medicine is unparalleled. The business tycoon has also further expanded his business by acquiring ownership of Dutch vaccine manufacturer Bilthoven Biologicals and Czech unit of U.S. firm Nanotherapeutics.
Cyrus’s son Adar has taken over as the CEO of Serum to help run the business and since diversified the group to Poonawalla Finance. In the face of the global outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus, Serum is co-developing two vaccines, one with the US and another with Paris.
- Net worth: $7.6 billion
- Company: Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Idea Ltd.
- Business: Commodities
Industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla took over as the CEO of the Aditya Birla Group, one of the largest conglomerates in India at the ripe age of 28 and has since then radically expanded the business and taken it to new heights. Under his guidance, the company has seen a massive turnover from 1995 $2 billion to $48.3 billion in today’s times. The group’s interests are varied and numerous spanning over industries of aluminum, copper, textiles, cement, solar power, insulators, carbon black, natural resources, financial services, telecommunication services, retail, agriculture and trading.
Over the years, Birla has acquired manufacturing plants in China, Indonesia and Canada, mines in Australia and even set up new plants in China, Egypt and Thailand. Among his list of acquisitions, Novelis of Ohio, Columbian Chemicals and Domsjö Fabriker of Sweden, Jaypee Cement plants of India are most notable.
The group also dabbles in popular consumer goods including Peter England, Van Huesen, Louis Phillipe and Allen Solly. Kumar Birla has also been designated as the chairman of Vodafone Idea after having engineered their recent merger and has an 11% stake in the telecom company.
- Net worth: $7.4 billion
- Company: ArcelorMittal
- Business: Steel
Steel business magnate, Lakshmi Niwas Mittal is the chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producing company. Hailing from a family exclusively involved in steelmaking (Nippon Denro Ispat), 26-year-old Lakshmi Mittal soon separated from his siblings to create his very own steel company in East Java, Indonesia and soon merged it with France’s company Arcelor.
Lakshmi Mittal sits at the World Steel Association’s executive committee, member of board of directors of Goldman Sachs, Kazakhstan’s foreign investment council, World Economic Forum’s (WEF) International Business Council, Global CEO Council of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and is also included in the board of trustees of the Cleveland Clinic.
In 2005, Mittal was recorded as the third richest person globally, making him the first ever Indian citizen to be included in the list. His reign continued till the year 2011, when he was ranked the sixth richest person in the world.
But since 2015, there has been a steady decline in his rankings as other Indian businessmen has gone on to overtake him. In 2019, the company reported a loss of 2 billion owing to lower steel prices and higher cost production. Despite the huge loss he has still made it into the list of top 10 richest in India.
- Net worth: $6.1 billion
- Company: Wipro
- Business: Software services
Business magnate, engineer and investor, Azim Premji, also known as the Czar of Indian IT industry, is the chairman of popular IT Company giant Wipro Limited.
A man of immense caliber, Azim PRemji guided Wipro through four decades of ever-changing technology and diversification only to come out stronger than before.
Pegged as one of the leading global IT leaders, his introduction to the world of software business was a peculiar one. Premji’s father, a noted businessman named Muhammed Hashim Premji ran a business of cooking oil (Sunflower Vanaspati) and laundry soap (787) in the small town of Alner.
Upon his father’s sudden demise, 21-year-old Azim returned home from Stanford University to continue his father’s legacy. He diversified the business by adding bakery fats, hair care soaps, lighting products, adult and baby toiletries and hydraulic cylinders.
By the 1980s Premji recognized the emergence of IT sector in India and taking advantage of the vacuum left behind by the expulsion of IBM from India, Azim Premji entered the field only to change it forever. That is how suddenly and swiftly the tycoon shifted business from soap to software.
But the man is not all business and has a heart of gold. Premji has gone on to sign The Giving Pledge, which promises that he will give away at least half of his wealth for the betterment of society.
The net worth of India’s richest are always changing due to the constant shift in economy.
But these men are game-changers and are always one step ahead of the rest of the Indian billionaires fighting for the coveted top 10 spot in the list of India’s richest.