HALF of India’s 100 richest saw their net worth grew a collective 14 per cent to $517.5 billion despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
India has the second-highest number of Covid cases after the US. The total coronavirus cases rose by 70,496 in the last 24 hours to 6.91 million on Friday(9) morning, according to the health ministry.
Deaths from the infections rose by 964 to 106,490, the ministry said.
The country also reported a 24 per cent plunge in economic growth for the quarter ending June due to the pandemic.
However, India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani added $37.3 billion to his fortune—a rise of 73 per cent—to a net worth of $88.7 billion, according to a Forbes report.
Ambani raised more than $20 billion for Jio Platforms, Reliance’s fast-growing digital arm, from a string of marquee investors that included Facebook and Google.
Investors are now eyeing Reliance Retail, which has already raised more than $5 billion and recently made a major acquisition. As a result shares of his Reliance soared amid the nation’s lockdown.
India’s second richest Gautam Adani’s net worth zoomed 61 per cent to $25.2 billion. He acquired a 74 per cent stake in Mumbai airport, the country’s second-busiest.
Tech tycoon Shiv Nadar, who ceded the post of chairman of HCL Technologies in July to his daughter Roshni Nadar Malhotra, jumped three places to No. 3 with $20.4 billion as shares of India’s third-largest tech firm surged, the report said.
The fortune of vaccine billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla, whose privately held Serum Institute of India—led by his son Adar—has joined the race to produce Covid-19 vaccines, was up 26 per cent to $11.5 billion.
The wealth of Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, founder of Biocon, doubled to $4.6 billion during the period.
The new comers in the Forbes richest list include Sanjeev Bikhchandani, cofounder of Info Edge (India), which owns popular job and property websites, siblings Nithin and Nikhil Kamath, cofounders of discount stock brokerage Zerodha Broking, and three specialty chemicals producers: Vinod Saraf, founder of Vinati Organics, Arun Bharat Ram, the patriarch of SRF, and brothers Chandrakant and Rajendra Gogri of Aarti Industries.
Meanwhile, a dozen dropped off this year from the top 100 list, including Future Group founder Kishore Biyani, who sold the bulk of his debt-laden retail empire to Ambani’s Reliance Retail in August.