Mukesh Ambani tops Forbes India rich list for 10th year in a row

NEW DELHI: Premier magazine Forbes has come out with the 2017 Forbes India Rich List, with the wealth of Indian tycoons growing a combined 26 percent even as the broader economy exhibited signs of a slowdown.

This was partially because the stock market continued to rise amid hopes that an economic turnaround will be under way soon.

Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani topped the list of India's richest for the tenth year in a row with a net worth if USD 38 billion.

"Ambani added USD 15.3 billion to his net worth this year, making him the biggest dollar gainer on the list and one of Asia’s top five richest," Forbes said. "Improved refining margins and his telecom unit Reliance Jio’s thundering success in notching up 130 million subscribers since its 2016 launch boosted shares of his Reliance Industries."

Another big gainer was tech mogul Azim Premji with a net worth of USD 19 billion. He jumps two places to No 2 this year after adding USD 4 billion to his wealth.

"The gain is partly due to increased revenue and profit at his privately held consumer-goods business Wipro Enterprises, which makes everything from soaps to lightbulbs," the magazine said.

The Hinduja brothers (No. 3, USD 18.4 billion) added USD 3.2 billion to their net worth.

More than four-fifths of those who kept their spot on the list from last year saw their wealth rise, with 27 listees adding USD 1 billion or more to their net worths. Among them is Kumar Birla (No. 8, USD 12.6 billion) of Aditya Birla Group, who oversaw the merger between his telecom company Idea Cellular with Vodafone India. Auto parts tycoon Vivek Chaand Sehgal (No. 23, USD 5.85 billion), added USD 2.25 billion to his wealth after his Motherson Sumi Systems acquired Finnish truck-parts maker PKC Group for USD 620 million in March.

"The richest newcomer is cookies-and-airline tycoon Nusli Wadia (No. 25, USD 5.6 billion). Among the five other new entrants to the list are Dinesh Nandwana (No. 88, USD 1.72 billion) of e-governance services firm Vakrangee; Vijay Shekhar Sharma (No. 99, USD 1.47 billion) of fast-rising mobile wallet Paytm; and Rana Kapoor (No. 100, USD 1.46 billion) of Yes Bank, India’s fifth-largest bank in the private sector," Forbes said.

Veteran investor Radhakishan Damani, boosted by the listing of his supermarket chain D-Mart in March, returned to the list at No. 12 with a net worth of USD 9.3 billion. Other returnees are Future Group’s Kishore Biyani (No. 55, USD 2.75 billion) and siblings Murli Dhar and Bimal Gyanchandani (No. 75, USD 1.96 billion).

The top 10 richest in India are:

1) Mukesh Ambani; USD 38 billion

2) Azim Premji; USD 19 billion

3) Hinduja brothers; USD 18.4 billion

4) Lakshmi Mittal; USD 16.5 billion

5) Pallonji Mistry; USD 16 billion

6) Godrej family; USD 14.2 billion

7) Shiv Nadar; USD 13.6 billion

8) Kumar Birla; USD 12.6 billion

9) Dilip Shanghvi; USD 12.1 billion

10) Gautam Adani; USD 11 billion

 

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