Mukesh Ambani Retains Top Spot in Forbes 100 Richest Indians List

Serum Institute of India (SII) founder Cyrus Poonawalla moved into the top five with a net worth of $19 billion.

2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p> <a href="">Mukesh Ambani</a>&nbsp;(left),&nbsp;<a href="">Gautam Adani</a>(right).</p></div>

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 percent rise in the past 12 months.

In this year, more than 80 percent 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 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 second in the list 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 the third rank 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 held 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.

Serum Institute of India (SII) founder, vaccine billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla, moved into the top five with a net worth of $19 billion. His privately held company makes Covishield under license from UK-based AstraZeneca and has other COVID-19 vaccines under development.

There are six newcomers on this year's list, with half of them from the booming chemicals sector. They include Ashok Boob (Rank 93, $2.3 billion) whose Clean Science and Technology was listed in July, Deepak Mehta (Rank 97, $2.05 billion) of Deepak Nitrite and Yogesh Kothari (Rank 100, $1.94 billion) of Alkyl Amines Chemicals.

Arvind Lal (Rank 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 (Rank 42, $4.5 billion) to the ranks, following the April listing of his Macrotech Developers. Among the four other returnees is Prathap Reddy (Rank 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."

(Edited for language.)

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