Indian Billionaires Soar To Record Highs

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The Indian stock market is ablaze ahead of the anticipated federal election, widely projected to secure a third term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This surge has propelled a record-breaking 200 Indians onto Forbes’ 2024 list of the World’s Billionaires, marking a significant increase from the previous year’s count of 169. Collectively, their wealth is nearing a trillion dollars, soaring by 41% from $675 billion to $954 billion, surpassing the total of $750 billion in 2022.

Mukesh Ambani, fueled by the success of his conglomerate Reliance Industries, saw a substantial boost in net worth, reaching $116 billion from $83 billion. This milestone makes him the first Asian to join the elite $100 billion club on the World’s Billionaires list. Ambani’s ventures, including an $8.5 billion merger with Viacom18 Media and Walt Disney Company’s India operations, underscore his continued prominence as both India’s and Asia’s wealthiest individual.

Another notable figure is Gautam Adani, the infrastructure and commodities magnate, who experienced a staggering increase in wealth, adding $36.8 billion to his fortune. Despite facing challenges following allegations of fraud, Adani Group rebounded strongly, securing investments and reaffirming his position as India’s second wealthiest citizen, ranking 17th globally with a fortune of $84 billion.

The list also highlights Savitri Jindal as India’s richest woman, with a net worth of $33.5 billion, primarily derived from her steel and power empire. Moreover, a significant portion of Indian billionaires saw substantial growth in their wealth, with a dozen doubling their fortunes since 2023.

However, amidst the prosperity, some experienced setbacks. Notably, vaccine billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla witnessed a decline in fortune due to reduced sales of Covid-19 vaccines, while steel baron Lakshmi Mittal’s wealth dwindled amid market challenges.

The list also welcomes 25 new Indian billionaires, including figures like Naresh Trehan, Ramesh Kunhikannan, and Renuka Jagtiani, representing various sectors from healthcare to technology. Additionally, several individuals made a comeback to the list, propelled by India’s infrastructure initiatives.

Despite the overall growth, some individuals dropped off the list, including edtech star Byju Raveendran, reflecting the dynamic nature of wealth accumulation.

Overall, the evolving landscape of Indian billionaires reflects the country’s economic vitality and entrepreneurial spirit, underlining its significance on the global stage.

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