India's 100 Richest Total Wealth Touches $800 Billion This Year: Report

The combined wealth of India’s 100 richest grew $25 billion to $800 billion (Rs 66.03 lakh crore), driven by Gautam Adani.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Gautam Adani, chairman of Adani Group at the Invest Rajasthan summit on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022. (Photo: Adani Group)</p></div>
Gautam Adani, chairman of Adani Group at the Invest Rajasthan summit on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022. (Photo: Adani Group)

The combined wealth of 100 of India's richest grew $25 billion (Rs 2.06 lakh crore) to $800 billion (Rs 66.03 lakh crore), driven by “record-breaking” feat by Asia's wealthiest man Gautam Adani, according to a report by Forbes Asia.

The post-pandemic era, which witnessed a demand revival and lifted the economy to become the world's fifth largest, also saw a weaker rupee that fell 10% dragging the Indian stock markets.

Despite this, Adani was able to change the pecking order at the top for the first time since 2008, the report said.

The billionaire businessman doubled his fortune this year to emerge as the new "No. 1" in the country, the report said. Adani also, for a while, became the second richest on the planet.

Adani, who stood as the biggest gainer this year in both percentage and dollar terms, announced he would be investing $100 billion over the next decade with 70% of it in green energy.

Meanwhile, Mukesh Ambani, who owns Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd., has taken up the position of being the second richest in the country, with a fortune of $88 billion (Rs 7.26 lakh crore). This is 5% lower than last year, the report added.

Adani and Ambani now account for 30% of the total wealth of India's 100 richest.

Besides Adani and Ambani taking up the first two places, Radhakishan Damani, founder of DMart chain of supermarkets, broke into the top three for the first time, the report said. His net worth, however, declined 6% to $27.6 billion (Rs 2.28 lakh crore).

Cyrus Poonawalla climbed to the fourth place, with wealth worth $21.5 billion (Rs 1.77 lakh crore), driven by profits from Covid-19 vaccines, the report said.

Poonawalla owns Serum Institute of India, which developed Covishield vaccine to combat the coronavirus infection in collaboration with AstraZeneca.

The report pointed out that nine new people entered the list this year, including three from IPO.

This includes Falguni Nayar, a former banker turned the country's richest self-made woman after listing her beauty and fashion retail platform Nykaa, ethnic garments maker Ravi Modi and shoemaker Rafique Malik, who listed Metro Brands last December, the report said.

According to the report, Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group was one of the four returnees to the ranks.

The gainers of this list were outnumbered by a majority of 60 people, who witnessed a decline in wealth from a year ago, the report added.

Among the drop offs was Vijay Shekhar Sharma, who saw shares of One97 Communications Ltd.- the parent company of fintech platform Paytm- fall amid global tech rout, the report said.

It added that the cutoff for the top 100 was $1.9 billion (Rs 15,682.79 crore), almost the same as last year’s $1.94 billion.

This year, three “prominent” list members passed way. This included Rahul Bajaj of the Bajaj family, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, often referred to as India’s Warren Buffet, and  construction magnate Pallonji Mistry, the report said.

Disclaimer: Adani Enterprises is in the process of acquiring a 49% stake in Quintillion Business Media Ltd., the owner of BQ Prime.