These are the people who reached the top 10
Forbes released its annual list of the 100 richest Indians, which shows India’s richest have grown richer despite the COVID-19 pandemic. As we move through the second year of the pandemic, India’s richest have seen their total wealth increase by 50%.
While some billionaires have retained their places, others have now moved to higher positions on the list, compared to the previous year. According to Forbes India, “India’s richest 100 are now worth $ 775 billion.”
For the 14th year in a row, Mukesh Ambani continues to be the richest person in India. While the exhaustive list includes renowned business families like the Godrej family, Bajaj family and the Hinduja brothers, we are looking at the top 10 richest Indians of 2021 of the Forbes’ listing.
Mukesh Ambani – US $ 92.7 billion
Society: Trusted industries
In 1957, Mukesh Ambani’s father – the late Dhirubhai Ambani – began a journey that would make history and take the business world by storm. Under the umbrella of Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries Limited has grown steadily to become a force to be reckoned with.
The multinational conglomerate has expanded its branches to various sectors such as petrochemicals, oil and gas, telecommunications and retail. The richest Indian family also lives in wealth. The Ambani occupy one of the most expensive houses in the world named Antilia, which is a 27-story mansion.
Ambani has consistently topped the list of richest Indians since 2008. The business mogul has added $ 4 billion to his fortune since 2020. He recently shed light on his plan to invest $ 10 billion in renewable energies.
Gautam Adani – $ 74.8 billion
Society: Ports of Adani and ZES
Maintaining his position as the second richest Indian is Gautam Adani, who began by establishing a company exporting raw materials in 1988. The infrastructure mogul amassed wealth in 2020 when the stock prices of his listed companies soared – he tripled his fortune from $ 25.2 billion to a staggering $ 74.8 billion. The Adani group is surely on a roll and is one of the biggest winners.
Adani controls India’s largest port, called Mundra Port, in Gujarat. The various interests of the Adani Group include infrastructure, raw materials, power generation and transmission, and real estate. In September 2020, it acquired a 74% stake in Mumbai International Airport.
Shiv Nadar – US $ 31 billion
Company: HCL Technologies
Who knew that a business that started out in a garage would grow into one of the largest software service providers in India – HCL Technologies. Co-founded by Shiv Nadar in 1976, he passed the baton to his daughter Roshni Nadar Malhotra in 2020, who has since been president emeritus.
HCL Technologies’ big boss, Shiv Nadar, retained his top spot as he took an interest in the country’s vibrant tech sector. Known for his philanthropic efforts, India’s third richest man donated $ 662 million to the Shiv Nadar Foundation, who is “committed to creating a more equitable and merit-based society by empowering individuals through transformational education to bridge the socio-economic divide”.
Radhakishan Damani – $ 29.4 billion
Company: Avenue Supermarts
In fourth place is Radhakishan Damani, who entered the retail business in 2002 with just one store in the suburbs of Mumbai. Today, it has 214 DMart stores across the country and its supermarket chain went public in 2017, which led Damani to become the retail king of the country.
Besides being a pioneer in the retail industry, he has investments in various companies such as the tobacco company, VST Industries and India Cements. He is also the owner of the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Alibaug.
After opening 22 new stores in the previous year, Damani’s revenue doubled from US $ 15.4 to US $ 29.4.
Cyrus Poonawala – US $ 19 billion
Company: Serum Institute of India
It was in 1966 that Cyrus Poonawalla founded the Serum Institute of India (SII) – the company that gave hope to Indians amid a global pandemic. Under the leadership of his son and SII CEO Adar Poonawalla, the company is building a new factory that aims to increase production of COVID-19 vaccines. A whopping $ 800 million has already been invested for the same thing.
While the company’s impressive portfolio includes COVID vaccine partnerships, SII is best known for Covishield. He is responsible for the distribution of the vaccine, which was developed by the pharmaceutical and biotechnology company AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
The company, which is the world’s largest vaccine maker (in doses), produces 1.5 billion doses of vaccine each year to prevent diseases like measles, polio and influenza, according to Forbes.
Earlier this year, Adar Poonawalla acquired a 60% stake to $ 475 million in financial firm Magma Fincorp. The company was renamed Poonawalla Fincorp after the acquisition.
Lakshmi Mittal – US $ 18.8 billion
This year has turned out to be a lucky one for Arcelor Mittal chairman Lakshmi Mittal, who has gained four positions to become the sixth richest person in India.
Belonging to a family of steelworkers, he separated from the company and created Mittal Steel. In 2006, it merged with the French Arcelor. ArcelorMittal has become the world’s largest steel and mining company (in terms of production).
During the eventful 2019, Arcelor and Nippon Steel acquired Essar Steel for US $ 5.9 billion.
Earlier this year, he stepped down as CEO to make way for his son, Aditya, but the former retains his position as executive chairman.
He owns a property in the national capital Lutyens Delhi. He also owns three properties in London, UK, including a mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens but it went on sale in 2013.
Savitri Jindal – US $ 18 billion
Company: OP Jindal Group
Savitri Jindal’s fortune skyrocketed last year, rising from US $ 6.6 billion, and for the first time ever saw him appear in the top 10 richest Indians.
It was her husband, Om Prakash Jindal, who began this journey in 1952. At the time, he started a one-unit steel plant. But things changed in 1964 when a pipeline unit, Jindal India, came into being and the rest is history.
After the death of OP Jindal in 2005, his businesses were divided among his sons and are now managed independently by them. Although much of the business is managed by Sajjan Jindal, who also founded JSW Steel, the conglomerate is chaired by Savitri Jindal.
Uday Kotak – US $ 16.5 billion
Company: Kotak Mahindra Bank
In 1985, Uday Kotak started a finance company to turn it into a bank in 2003. With that, he made his way to become one of the richest bankers in the country.
What consolidated Kotak Mahindra Bank’s position as one of the top four private sector banks was the 2014 membership of ING Bank’s Indian operations.
Following guidelines from the Reserve Bank of India, Kotak sold shares worth US $ 950 million in 2020 to reduce the stake to 26%.
Its portfolio is further strengthened by mergers with Goldman Sachs and Old Mutual.
Pallonji Mistry – $ 16.4 billion
Society: Shapoorji Pallonji Group
Adding $ 5 billion to his fortune, Pallonji Mistry ranks ninth on the list of richest Indians.
Founded in 1865, Shapoorji Pallonji Group played an important role in beautifying Mumbai – they are the creators of some of the royal monuments in the city, which also includes the Reserves Bank of India.
The group has a diverse repertoire, which includes the Eureka Forbes brand of water purifiers and Next Gen Publishing.
The company’s row with Tata Sons grabbed the headlines when Cyrus, the son of Pallonji Mistry, was ousted from Tata Sons in 2016. He had served as executive chairman of the multinational conglomerate.
Shapoorji Pallonji Group owns an 18.4% stake in Tata Sons, which they decided to sell last year and are parting ways with Tata Sons.
According to the latest reports, the the company does not rush to sell its stake. According to Economic times, “The SP group is now in no rush to sell its 18.4% stake in the Tata group’s holding company, after taking a two-year hiatus after the KV Kamath committee approved a fiscal year. ad hoc restructuring aimed at strengthening its balance sheet and reducing debt by monetizing assets. It is also unlikely that Tata Sons will make a proposal to purchase the stake and will focus on the group’s internal requirements for future growth plans. “
Kumar Birla – $ 15.8 billion
Society: Aditya Birla Group
Kumar Birla, Director of Aditya Birla Group, increased his net worth by US $ 7.3 billion and moved up four places.
Birla was 28 when he inherited the family business after his father passed away in 1995.
The Aditya Birla group, founded by his great-grandfather, has since diversified into cement, aluminum, telecoms and financial services.
In 2019, the European Commission cleared its manufacturing company Novelis to acquire Ohio aluminum producer Aleris for US $ 2.6 billion.
Birla resigned as chairman of debt-ridden telecommunications company Vodafone Idea in August 2021. The company was formed in 2018 when Idea Cellular and Vodafone India joined forces.
Click here to view the full Forbes India Rich List 2021.