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The 25 richest Indians

Last updated on: September 30, 2010 10:14 IST

The 25 richest Indians

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India's rising stock market and a booming economy that's expanding by 8.5 per cent have boosted the net worth of India's richest people, according to the latest Forbes' India Rich List.

The combined net worth of India's 100 richest people is $300 billion, up from $276 billion last year. This year, there are 69 billionaires on the India Rich List, 17 more than last year.

Mukesh Ambani, head of Reliance Industries, has topped the latest Forbes' India Rich List with a net worth of $27 billion, for the third consecutive time. Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, remains at No. 2 with a net worth of $26.1 billion. However both are less well off than they were a year ago.

Naazneen Karmali, India Editor of Forbes Asia and Mumbai bureau manager of Forbes magazine, said: "As we had predicted, the huge correction in Indian wealth which occurred in 2008 is fast becoming a distant memory. This year's list illustrates the vibrancy and resilience of India's economy.  It signals a second wave of Indian capitalists accumulating fantastic fortunes especially in sectors such as pharmaceuticals and real estate."

"The record number of billionaires on this year's Forbes list of 100 Richest Indians is yet another clear signal that the centre of gravity will increasingly shift to India and China over the next decade. Frontline Indian entrepreneurs have once again displayed their ability to harness the unprecedented wealth creation opportunities that exist in this part of the world," said Indrajit Gupta, Editor of Forbes India.

The top four tycoons on the list are worth a combined $86 billion, short of the $180 billion record they set three years ago, and well shy of the $150 billion net worth of the four richest Americans.

The 100 richest Indians have a combined wealth of $300 billion, an all-time high and more than the combined GDPs of all the other nations in South Asia put together.

Indian entrepreneurs are creating more wealth than they have ever before. There are now 69 billionaires in India, compared with 52 last year.

So click NEXT to check out who the 25 richest Indians are . . .


Image: There are now 69 billionaires in India.
Photographs: Reuters
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The 25 richest Indians

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1. Mukesh Ambani

Net worth: $27 billion

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani is the richest man in India with $27 billion in net worth.

At $27 billion, Mukesh Ambani is as rich as Larry Ellison, the third richest American. Bill Gates at $54 billion is twice as rich as Ambani.

Chief of oil and gas conglomerate Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani lost wealth when compared to the previous year. Mukesh lost 15 per cent.

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Image: Mukesh Ambani
Photographs: Reuters
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2. Lakshmi N Mittal

Net worth: $26.1 billion

Owner of ArcelorMittal, this business tycoon has stake in British soccer team QPR. Mittal is looking to invest in Brazil, India and West Asia. He owns 12-bedroom mansion in London's posh Kensington area.

Steel group's workers attacked its Luxembourg headquarters during its annual shareholders meeting in May to protest temporary layoffs during slump.

Megha Mittal, wife of his only son, Aditya, who is steel group's financial director, last year bought the insolvent German fashion house Escada.

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Image: Lakshmi N Mittal.
Photographs: Reuters
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3. Azim Premji

Net worth: $17.6 billion

The software czar's company Wipro has done well over the last one year, recording a significant turnaround.

Wipro has also signed a $500-million, nine-year contract from Unitech Wireless. Company's consumer care division bought Asian business of personal care brand Yardley from UK's Lornamead.

Premji is the 3rd richest Indian.

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Image: Azim Premji.
Photographs: Reuters
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4. Shashi Ruia

Net worth: $15 billion

The Ruia-owned Essar Group is looking for major expansions in all its businesses, including steel, oil and power. Essar Oil bought 50 per cent in Kenya Petroleum Refineries in July and is negotiating with Royal Dutch Shell to acquire three refineries.

The duo was also attempting to raise $925 million, using part of their 33 per cent stake in Vodafone Essar as collateral. They recently withdrew their $150-million bid to take over Australian coal firm Rocklands Richfield.

The Ruias are the 4th richest Indians.

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Image: Shashi Ruia.
Photographs: Reuters
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5. Savitri Jindal

Net worth: $14.4 billion

She is the non-executive chair of O P Jindal Group who took over the reigns of the steel and power conglomerate founded by her late husband Om Prakash in 1952.

Took over as group head after he died in a helicopter crash in 2005.

She is the 4th richest Indian and the richest Indian woman.

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Image: Savitri Jindal.
Photographs: Rediff Archive
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6. Anil Ambani

Net worth: $13.3 billion

The chief of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, Anil Ambani on Tuesday outlined investments of nearly Rs 1,25,000 crore (Rs 1,250 billion) and also fund-raising to the tune of over Rs 65,000 crore (Rs 650 billion) for expanding businesses and entering new areas.

Hopping from one AGM to another in a span of a few hours, Ambani told shareholders of Reliance Power, Reliance Capital and Reliance Communications that the investments were not just about creating wealth but sharing it with them.

With the Reserve Bank of India throwing open a discussion on granting new banking licences, the Anil Ambani Group on Tuesday said it plans to enter the banking business through group firm Reliance Capital.

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Image: Anil Ambani.
Photographs: Reuters
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7. Gautam Adani

Net worth: $10.7 billion

Gautam Adani, chairman of the Adani group, is the seventh richest Indian.

With a wealth of $10.7 billion, his global ranking too has gone up.

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Image: Gautam Adani.
Photographs: Reuters
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8. Kushal Pal Singh

Net worth: $9.2 billion

Chairman of DLF faced hard times recently as the global economic crisis hit India's realty sector. However, this property company's stocks rebounded 58 per cent this year.

The developer went for major price cuts to woo buyers earlier this year. In May, the Pal Singh family sold nearly 10 per cent of its DLF stake for $834 million.

He is the 8th richest Indian.

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Image: Kushal Pal Singh
Photographs: Reuters
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9.  Sunil Mittal

Net worth: $8.6 billion

Sunil Mittal, chairman of Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel, is the 9th richest Indian.

Bharti Airtel last year faced a major setback when Sunil Mittal's bid to pull off a mega-merger with MTN collapsed in September after months of negotiations.

Incidentally, Bharti also backed out of a deal to take over MTN in 2008. However, it went on to buy out the Kuwait-based Zain Telecom.

Group's joint venture with Wal-Mart launched its first cash and carry store in Chandigarh more than a year ago.

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Image: Sunil Mittal.
Photographs: Reuters
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10. Kumar Mangalam Birla

Net worth: $8.5 billion

Head of commodities conglomerate Aditya Birla Group has his hands full with a move to restructure group's cement business.

If successful, the deal will create India's biggest cement company and the world's 10th largest. Idea Cellular, the group's telecom unit, is heavily on to an ongoing price war.

Kumar Birla is the tenth richest Indian.

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Image: Kumar Mangalam Birla.
Photographs: Reuters
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11. Adi Godrej

Net worth: $7.5 billion

Adi Godrej, managing director of the Godrej Group, is the 11th richest Indian.

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Image: Adi Godrej.
Photographs: Reuters
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12. Pallonji Mistry

Net worth: $6.9 billion

Pallonji Mistry is one of India's most reclusive billionaires. The twelfth richest Indian is hardly ever heard from.

The 80-year-old Mistry has a fortune of $6.9 billion.

Mistry is an affable and humble person seldom willing to assert his authority or position. However, he carries a high degree of credibility in his business dealings.

Noel Tata, Ratan's half-brother and the son of Simone Tata, is married to Mistry's eldest daughter, Aloo.

Mistry's sons Shapoor and Cyrus are on the board of Indian Hotels and Tata Power, respectively.

The Mistrys have a huge construction company, Shapoorji Pallonji. Shapoorji, the group patriarch and Pallonji's father, built some of Mumbai's landmarks around the Fort area -- the Hong Kong Bank, Grindlays Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Reserve Bank of India building.

Pallonji Mistry extended the construction interests of the group to the Middle East by bidding for the Sultan of Oman's palace.

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Image: (Inset) Pallonji Mistry.
Photographs: Reuters
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13. Anil Agarwal

Net worth: $5.5 billion

Agarwal is founder-director and executive chairman of the UK-based Vedanta Resources corporation, which owns mining and metal resources in India, Australia and Zambia.

In a big blow to Vedanta Resources, the government recently rejected environment clearance to its $1.7-billion bauxite mining project in Orissa after accepting recommendations of its key panel clearing such ventures.

In 2006, Anil Agarwal donated $1 billion to establish the Vedanta University modelled on Stanford University. It will be built in Orissa on a 6,000 acre campus that will ultimately accommodate 100,000 students.

Agarwal, who founded the Vedanta group in 1976, is also chairman of Sterlite and is a director of Balco, HZL, and Vedanta Alumina Ltd. He has over 30 years' experience as an industrialist.

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Image: Anil Agarwal.
Photographs: Rediff Archive.
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14. Dilip Sanghvi

Net worth: $5.2 billion

Dilip Shanghvi, chairman of Sun Pharmaceuticals, is the 14th richest Indian.

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Image: Dilip Sanghvi.
Photographs: Reuters
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15. Shiv Nadar

Net worth: $4.7 billion

Shiv Nadar, founder of HCL, with a wealth of $4.2 billion is the 15th richest Indian.

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Image: Shiv Nadar.
Photographs: Reuters
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16.  Malvinder and Shivinder Singh

Net worth: $4.2 billion

Former Ranbaxy CEO Malvinder Singh and his brother Shivinder Singh with a wealth of $3.2 billion are the 16th richest in India.

Brothers Malvinder and Shivinder Mohan Singh decided that they need to grow their financial services business.

The family had acquired a non-banking finance company called Empire Capital and renamed it Fortis Securities. The company is now called Religare Enterprises, and it aims to rule the financial services world.

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Image: Malvinder and Shivinder Singh.
Photographs: Reuters
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17. Kalanithi Maran

Net worth: $4.0 billion

Kalanithi Maran heads Sun TV, India's biggest regional broadcaster. He owns 21 television channels in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada and 42 FM stations in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi. He is a shareholder in Red FM. He also owns two Tamil newspapers and four Tamil magazines.

He is the 17th richest Indian.

Maran is the son of the late DMK leader and former Union minister Murasoli Maran, the grandnephew of DMK president M Karunanidhi, and the brother of Dayanidhi Maran, former Union minister for communications and information technology.

He has also recently acquired the controlling stake in low-cost carrier Spice Jet.

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Image: Kalanithi Maran with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Photographs: Reuters
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18.  G M Rao

Net worth: $3.5 billion

Founder chairman of the GMR Group, G M Rao is the 18th richest in India.

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Image: G M Rao
Photographs: Reuters
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19.  Uday Kotak

Net worth: $3.4 billion

Uday Kotak is the vice chairman and managing director of Kotak Mahindra Bank.

The founder of Kotak Mahindra Bank, Uday holds 50% stake in the bank.

He is the 19th richest Indian.

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Image: Uday Kotak.
Photographs: Reuters
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Anand Burman

Net worth: $3.2 billion

Anand C. Burman is the chairman of Dabur India Ltd with particular interests in the areas of research and development in the pharmaceutical sciences as well as biotechnology and technology issues.

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Image: Anand Burman
Photographs: Courtesy, Dabur
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21. Indu Jain

Net worth: $3.1 billion

Indu Jain is The Times Group chairperson.

A promoter of art and culture, she is also a very astute entrepreneur and a noted philanthropist

The Times Group publishes India's largest newspapers, including The Times of India, The Economic Times and Navbharat Times.

Jain with a net worth of $2.8 billion is ranked 354th in the world. She is the second richest Indian woman and is the 21st richest person in India.

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Image: (Inset) Indu Jain.
Photographs: Reuters
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22. Rahul Bajaj

Net worth: $3.0 billion

The Bajaj Auto patriarch Rahul Bajaj is the 22nd richest Indian.

Rahul Bajaj, chairman of the Bajaj Group, is one of India's most distinguished business leaders and internationally respected for his business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit.

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Image: Rahul Bajaj.
Photographs: Reuters
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23. Subhash Chandra

Net worth: $2.9 billion

Subhash Chandra is the chairman of Essel Group, that launched India's satellite television revolution.

His Zee TV was one of the first television channels to take India by a storm.

The media baron is ranked 23rdd amongst India's richest people.

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Image: Subhash Chandra.
Photographs: Reuters
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24. Mickey Jagtiani

Net worth: $2.8 billion

Micky Jagtiani, CEO of the Landmark Group, is the 24th richest Indian.

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Image: Micky Jagtiani.
Photographs: Reuters
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25. Venugopal Dhoot.

Net worth: $2.65 billion

The 59-year-old Venugopal Dhoot is India's 25th richest person with a networth of $2.65 billion.

His father, the late Nandlal Madhavlal Dhoot, was the founder of Videocon Corporation and other businesses ventures such as Videocon Electronics.


Image: Venugopal Dhoot.
Photographs: Rediff Archive
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