With a nearly USD 12 billion (Rs 90,000 crore) jump in his personal fortune, Gautam Adani, chairman of the Adani Group, has now become the richest Asian and the world’s biggest wealth-gainer in 2021.
Worth approximately USD 88.5 billion (Rs 67 lakh crore), according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, Adani has toppled Mukesh Ambani, head of Reliance Industries, to bag the title. Ambani, who has enjoyed the position of India’s richest person for the last 14 years, barring a brief period when Sun Pharma chief Dilip Shangavi dethroned him, is now worth about USD 87.9 billion (Rs 65 lakh crore), down by almost USD 2 billion (Rs 15,000 crore) from the beginning of the year.
Interestingly, both Indian billionaires are currently richer than Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who lost roughly USD 29 billion (Rs 22 lakh crore) in net worth after Facebook’s parent company Meta’s stock plunged by 26 percent.
Today Adani, who owns 74 percent of Mumbai International Airport, is the 10th richest person in the world. In the last three years, his group has gained control of seven Indian airports, and almost 25 percent of in and outbound passengers in India now travel through an Adani airport. The Adani Group also controls India’s largest private port of Mundra in Gujarat. At present, Adani owns 12 ports and plans to be the biggest ports operator in the world by 2030. He has also announced his plans to expand his green energy capacity almost eightfold by 2025.
A college dropout, Adani moved to Mumbai to try his luck in the diamond industry in 1978. He then returned to Gujarat to manage the operations of a plastics unit in Ahmedabad, which his brother had bought. In 1988, Adani established Adani Exports, now known as Adani Enterprises, and gradually expanded his business interests into ports, metals, textiles, power generation, solar power and agricultural products.