Mukesh Ambani tops Forbes rich list again, thanks to Reliance Jio this time; check others on list

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Published: October 11, 2019 1:00:07 PM

Adding $4.1 billion to his net worth thanks to the success of his telecom unit Reliance Jio, RIL chief has charged ahead in what Forbes has called the challenging times in Indian economic history.

RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani

Mukesh Ambani has topped the Forbes list of richest Indians in 2019, maintaining the winning streak of 12 years. Adding $4.1 billion to his net worth thanks to the success of his telecom unit Reliance Jio, RIL chief has charged ahead in what Forbes has called the challenging times in Indian economic history. “It was a challenging year for the nation’s wealthiest … economic growth slowed to 5%, a six-year low,” Forbes said, adding that despite this, some wealthy Indians charged ahead. Following Reliance Industries Limited chairman is Gautam Adani, who made a big leap from his previous 10th position to become the 2nd richest Indian in 2019. 

Gautam Adani, who secured permission to start work on an Australian coal mine after a nine-year long wait, propelled to second spot thanks to new business ventures in airports to data centers. Banker Uday Kotak has made it to the top five list for the first time backed by a $4 billion boost. “The lower tax rate is expected to boost earnings of his Kotak Mahindra Bank, which saw its shares rise 39% since we last measured fortunes,” Forbes said. Among the debutants in the Forbes list are Byju Raveendran, founder of unicorn edtech Byju’s; Haldiram famed Manohar Lal and Madhusudan Agarwal; and Rajesh Mehra, who runs popular Jaquar brand of bathroom fittings.

However, the 8% shrinking of total wealth of the richest in 2019 as compared to 2018 bears testimony to the economic slowdown. According to the American magazine, the riches fortunes slipped by $452 billion and over 50% of India’s 100 richest saw a decline in their net worth. “In all, 14 were poorer by $1 billion or more, and nine members from last year’s ranks dropped off,” Forbes said. Not all of the barons lost their money to economic slowdown. Tech Moghul Azim Premji’s charitable endeavours cost a $21 billion dent to his fortune, thus making him slip to 17th rank from 2nd. 

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