Cookies-and-airline tycoon Nusli Wadia is the wealthiest newcomer with a net worth of $5.6 billion at the 25th position on the Forbes’ richest Indians list that was topped by Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani for the 10th straight year. Though there has been a significant rise in the number of billionaires, but only six could make the cut in the top 100 club on the Forbes India Rich List 2017. Other new entrants in the list are Dinesh Nandwana (ranked 88th with a fortune of $1.72 billion) of e- governance services firm Vakrangee; Vijay Shekhar Sharma (99th, $1.47 billion) of fast-rising mobile wallet Paytm; and Rana Kapoor (100th, $1.46 billion) of Yes Bank.
“While the Indian billionaire factory continued to churn out new names from diverse sectors, the price of entry rose to a record high. The top 100 club is getting more exclusive with each passing year,” said Naazneen Karmali, India Editor of Forbes Asia. The minimum net worth to make the cut in this year’s list rose to $1.46 billion from $1.25 billion last year. Last year, Yoga guru Ramdev’s close associate Acharya Balkrishna had entered the annual Forbes list of India’s 100 Richest People at the 48th position with a net worth of $2.5 billion. This year he has improved his rank to 19 and his wealth has swelled to $6.55 billion.
Noted returnees to the list include veteran investor Radhakishan Damani at the 12th place with a net worth of $9.3 billion. Damani saw a significant rise in wealth by the listing of his supermarket chain D-Mart in March. Other returnees on the list are Future Group’s Kishore Biyani at the 55th place with a fortune of $2.75 billion and siblings Murli Dhar and Bimal Gyanchandani (75th, $1.96 billion).
“The aggregate wealth of the top 100 has risen 26 per cent over last year, despite the struggle of some sectors like pharma. In fact, the entry point to the list is at its highest ever, at $1.46 billion, with several billionaires waiting in the wings. Clearly, India’s entrepreneurial energy is flourishing despite challenges,” Forbes India Editor Sourav Majumdar said. These rankings are based on stock prices and exchange rates as of September 15. Private companies were valued by using comparisons with similar publicly traded companies.