With a slowing economy, the total wealth of India’s richest has decreased by 8 percent to US$452 billion, according to Forbes India. While many on the rich list have experienced a decline in their net worth, 62-year old Mukesh Ambani has managed to maintain his position as India’s richest man, for the 12th year in a row, making it to the top of Forbes India’s Rich List 2019. Mukesh Ambani’s wealth is currently valued at US$51.4 billion. His telecom brand Jio, which operates under the banner of Reliance Industries, has become India’s largest mobile carrier with 340 million subscribers, and as a result, Mukesh Ambani has added US$4.1 billion to his fortune this year.
Gautam Adani of Adani Ports and SEZ has jumped eight spots to reach the second position, with his wealth valued at US$15.7 billion. The 57-year old infrastructure tycoon has ventured into several new businesses and finally secured permission (after a wait of nine years) to commence work on an Australian coal mine.
Hinduja brothers of Ashok Leyland (US$15.6 billion) and Pallonji Mistry of Shapoorji Pallonji Group (US$15 billion) have been ranked on third and fourth positions, respectively. Uday Kotak, of Kotak Mahindra Bank, has made it to the top five on the Forbes India list for the first time with the addition of US$ 4 billion and a 39 percent increase in his bank’s share value, bringing his total wealth to US$ 14.8 billion. There are also six new individuals who have been named in the Forbes list, including Byju Raveendran (Byju’s), Manohar Lal and Madhusudan Agarwal (Haldiram Snacks), Rajesh Mehra (Jaquar brand) the late Samprada Singh (Alkem Laboratories). Meanwhile, tech tycoon Azim Premji, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, gave away a large amount of his wealth and consequently dropped from the second position to number 17 on the list. 14 individuals on the list, including Azim Premji, have seen a decline in their fortunes by more than US$1 billion.