After 14 years, gone are the times when Ambani was synonymous to Richest as Gautam Adani, who turned a small commodities trading business into a conglomerate spanning ports, mines and green energy, has now become Asia’s richest person.
The 59-year-old mogul’s net worth on Monday reached US$88.5 billion according to Bloomberg and US$90.1 billion, according to the Forbes, eclipsing fellow countryman Mukesh Ambani’s US$89.9 billion. With an almost US$12 billion jump in his personal fortune, Adani is the world’s biggest wealth-gainer this year.
Among the mega-rich whom Adani has leapfrogged to reach the world top 10 are Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who slipped down the table several places last week after losing $30bn of his personal fortune.
What’s the big deal if Adani, a self-made entrepreneur, overtakes Ambani?
Well, Ambani’s been the leader of India’s rich list for the last 14 years. He was briefly toppled by pharmaceutical king Dilip Shangavi a few years ago but then moved back into first place. What’s more, he was so far ahead of all other challengers, it didn’t seem like anyone was likely to catch up.
There’s no question that Adani’s been moving meteorically up through the wealth charts all through 2021 and in the first few weeks of 2022.
In April 2021, Forbes reckoned he was worth around $50 billion. His Adani group companies have nearly doubled in value in barely nine months. In slightly over a month since the start of January, Adani’s wealth has zoomed by $8.68 billion alone.
Ambani, by contrast, is down by around $2 billion from the beginning of the year. Ambani’s Reliance Industries slipped 1.47 per cent on Thursday and before that was down slightly for 2022.
Ambani was worth $92.7 billion according to Forbes’ calculations in April 2021 and hasn’t moved much during the year.
Some of Adani Group’s listed stocks have soared more than 600 per cent in the past two years on bets his push into green energy & infrastructure will pay off as PM Modi looks to revive the US$2.9 trillion economy and meet the India’s carbon net-zero target by 2070.