Mumbai: The Billionaires Club of India almost doubled from last year to 54 members up from 27, aided by a rebounding stock market that gained two-thirds in the past year and an economy growing at six percent.
According to Forbes Asia magazine, the country`s 100 richest people have a combined net worth of USD 276 billion, which was 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.
Mukesh Ambani, heading Reliance Industries Limited, is once again the wealthiest person in India with his net worth increasing by 54 percent to USD 32 billion from nearly USD 21 billion last year.
Trailing behind him are Lakshmi Mittal with a net worth of USD30 billion, up 46 percent from USD20.5 billion, and Mukesh`s estranged brother, Anil, whose net worth of USD17.5 billion, 40 percent higher than before, put him in the third place.
India Editor of Forbes Asia Naazneen Karmali in a statement 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.”
Though, the top 10 positions remain largely unchanged, there are some shifts in fortunes across the list. Sunil Mittal has moved down from number four to number eight and Azim Premji has moved up to number four position.
The Ruia brothers with a net worth of USD13.6 billion have made it to number five this year.
Adi Godrej has moved out of the top 10 to the number 12 position. Savitri Jindal, Nonexecutive Chairwoman of OP Jindal Group, at a net worth of USD12 billion this year has made it to number seven on the list – she is one of only six women on the list.
The richest newcomers are two brothers from Torrent Power – Sudhir and Samir Mehta, ranked 23 at USD2.02 billion.
Another notable mention is Nandan Nilekani, who has stepped down from Infosys board and is now a part of government. He ranks 43 with a net worth of USD1.25 billion.
Southern India`s TV king, Kalanithi Maran, ranked 20, almost doubled his net worth to USD2.3 billion from USD1.2 billion. His Sun TV Network operates in four states in the south, a region that accounts for one-quarter of India`s population and one-third of those with television in their homes.