Business : Forbes' Richest Indians

Indian billionaires nearly double

The head of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani, is once again the wealthiest person in India. His net worth is put at US$ 32 billion, an increase of 54 percent from nearly US$ 21 billion last year, according to the latest Forbes’ India Rich List.

Trailing behind him are Lakshmi Mittal with a net worth of US$ 30 billion, up 46 percent from US$ 20.5 billion, and Mukesh’s estranged brother, Anil, whose net worth of US$ 17.5 billion, 40 percent higher than before, put him in the third place. A rebounding stock market that gained two-thirds in the past year and an economy growing at 6% have boosted the net worth of India’s richest people, according to the Forbes’ India. The combined net worth of India’s 100 richest people is US$ 276 billion, almost a quarter of the country’s GDP.

Last year, there were only 27 billionaires on the India Rich List. This year, the number has almost doubled to 52—two short of what India had at the peak of the stock market boom in 2007. Naazneen Karmali, India Editor of Forbes Asia and Mumbai bureau manager for Forbes magazine, said, “Happy days are definitely back again for India’s richest. This year’s list shows yet again that when conditions in the financial markets and the economy are right, India has the scale and resources to produce billionaires faster than most of the countries on earth.”

Indrajit Gupta, Editor of Forbes India, said recently, “The substantial jump in net worth is clear evidence that entrepreneurial capitalism is alive and kicking in India. What’s more, the growth in wealth creation has been broad-based. Entrepreneurs from a wide variety of sectors comprise the list.” Sunil Mittal has moved down from Number 4 to Number 8 and Azim Premji has moved up to Number 4 position. The Ruia brothers with a net worth of US$ 13.6 billion have made it to number 5 this year.

The richest newcomers are two brothers from Torrent Power-Sudhir and Samir Mehta, ranked 23 at US$ 2.02 billion. Forbes India highlights how 2009 has been a turnaround year for the rich in India. The list is an indicator of how India’s billionaires have done better than their counterparts in other parts of the world. The three richest Indians are worth US$ 79.5 billion. It takes 24 Chinese billionaires to be worth US$ 80 billion. Take a bow, you rich men.

The top 10 richest in India are:


Mukesh Ambani

US$ 32 billion


Lakshmi Mittal

US$ 30 billion


Anil Ambani

US$ 17.5 billion



Azim Premji

US$ 14.9 billion


Shashi and Ravi Ruia

US$ 13.6 billion



KP Singh

US$ 13.5 billion


Savitri Jindal

US$ 12 billion



Sunil Mittal

US$ 8.2 billion


Kumar Birla

US$ 7.8 billion


Gautam Adani

US$ 6.4 billion

December 2009

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