• Saturday, April 13, 2024

Business

India’s Savitri Jindal among world’s richest women

Savitri took over her husband Om Prakash Jindal’s steel and power conglomerate

Savitri Jindal (ANI Photo)

By: Pramod Thomas

WITH a net worth totalling $33.5 billion, Savitri Jindal of the Jindal Group was ranked as India’s wealthiest woman and holds the sole female position among the top 10 richest women globally on Forbes‘ 2024 list.

She is the sixth wealthiest woman and 46th wealthiest person overall on the list. She is also the fourth wealthiest Indian.

Savitri took over her husband Om Prakash Jindal’s steel and power conglomerate after his sudden death in 2005.

After his passing, his four sons inherited the companies, each of whom now manages their respective businesses autonomously.

The group specialises in power and steel but also has assets in other industries such as mining, power generation, industrial gases and port facilities.

Savitri, 74, has served in the Indian Congress government on two occasions, first as the minister of power and later as the minister of urban local bodies.

However, last Thursday (28) she joined prime minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), after resigning from the membership of the opposition Congress party. Her daughter Seema Jindal also joined the party.

“I represented the people of Hisar (in Haryana) for 10 years as an MLA (state lawmaker) and have served Haryana state selflessly as a minister,” she wrote in her post.

“The people of Hisar are my family and on the advice of my family, I am resigning from the primary membership of the Congress.”

Her decision comes days after her son Naveen Jindal, a former MP, also quit the Congress and joined Modi’s party.

Rekha Jhunjhunwala, the widow of investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, is the second richest woman in India with a net worth of $8.5bn. She inherited Rakesh’s extensive stock portfolio after his demise.

She recently made headlines for purchasing nine apartments in Mumbai to safeguard the Arabian Sea view from her Malabar Hill residence. According to Forbes, she is the 298th richest person in the world.

The third richest woman in India is Vinod Rai Gupta, the wife of the late businessman Qimat Rai Gupta, who founded Havells India. The value of her fortune stands at $5bn. The group is currently run by her son Anil Rai Gupta as chairman and managing director.

The chairwoman of Landmark Group, Renuka Jagtiani, is next on the list with an estimated wealth of $4.8bn. Landmark was founded by Renuka’s late husband and businessman Micky Jagtiani, while their children — Aarti Jagtiani, Nisha Jagtiani and Rahul Jagtiani — are all Group directors at Landmark.

A member of the Godrej family, Smita Crishna-Godrej, is the fifth richest woman in India. Her net worth stands at $3.8bn. According to reports, she owns 20 per cent of family assets. Her husband and theatre actor Vijay Crishna and daughter Nyrika Holkar also work in Godrej Group.

According to the Forbes, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the granddaughter of the founder of L’Oreal, is the richest woman in the world with a net worth of $99.5bn, followed by Alice Walton, the only daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, with total assets worth $72.3bn.

Julia Koch with net worth $64.3bn was ranked third on the list. She and her three children inherited a 42 per cent stake in Koch Industries from husband David following his death from prostate cancer five years ago.

Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, is the richest Indian with a wealth of $116bn, followed by Gautam Adani of Adani Group, with a net worth of $84bn.

There are 200 billionaires from India in this year’s list, up from 169 in 2023.

List of new billionaires in India (Net worth in bracket)

Kabir Mulchandani ($2bn)
Ajay Jaisinghani ($1.6bn)
Ramesh Jaisinghani ($1.6bn)
Onkar Kanwar ($1.5bn)
Anil Gupta ($1.4bn)
Ramesh Kunhikannan ($1.4bn)
Vijay Agarwal ($1.3bn)
Girdhari Jaisinghani ($1.3bn)
Irfan Razack ($1.3bn)
Noaman Razack ($1.3bn)
Rezwan Razack ($1.3bn)
Naresh Trehan ($1.3bn)
Shivratan Agarwal ($1.2bn)
Alpana Dangi ($1.2bn)
Naresh Jain ($1.2bn)
Shashishekar Pandit ($1.2bn)
Subbamma Jasti ($1.1bn)
Motilal Oswal ($1.1bn)
Kalpana Parekh ($1.1bn)
Lalit Khaitan ($1bn)
Nikhil Merchant ($1bn)
Pradeep Rathod ($1bn)
Mahaveer Prasad Taparia ($1bn)
Shivratan Taparia ($1bn)

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