Forty Indians entered the billionaires’ club in the pandemic- stricken 2020 to take the number of those in the coveted list to 177 people, a report said on Tuesday. Mukesh Ambani continued to be the wealthiest Indian with a networth of $83 bn.
The head of Reliance Industries witnessed a 24 pc jump in fortunes and climbed up one spot to be the eighth richest globally, as per the Hurun Global Rich List.
Gautam Adani from Gujarat, who has had a spectacular rise in fortunes in the last few years, saw his wealth almost doubling to $32 billion in 2020 and climbed 20 places to be the 48th richest person globally and the second wealthiest Indian.
His brother Vinod’s wealth grew 128 pc to $9.8 bn. The report compiles individual or family wealth in the year to January 15.
It can be noted that the Indian economy is set to contract by over 7 per cent because of the impact of the pandemic, which had forced governments to go for lockdowns that had a debilitating impact on the poor.
The report comes at a time when concerns are being raised about a ‘K-shaped’ recovery being underway, where a select few prosper.
Hurun India’s MD and Chief Researcher Anas Rahman Junaid said Indian wealth creation is dominated by cyclical or traditional industries compared to tech-driven wealth creation in the US and China.
“When the tech-driven wealth creation reaches full potential, India could potentially beat USA in terms of the number of billionaires,” he added. HCL’s Shiv Nadar was the third wealthiest Indian with a fortune of $27 billion while some peers in the tech industry dominated the list of fastest growing wealth.