After Hurun list, Mukesh Ambani reclaims top spot on Forbes list of India’s 100 Richest


In a dramatic shift in the pecking order at the top, Mukesh Ambani has reclaimed the No. 1 position on the 2023 Forbes list of India’s 100 Richest. The collective wealth of India’s 100 Richest was flat at $799 billion this year. India is on a high after hosting the G20 Summit in New Delhi this September and becoming the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon.

Reflecting this sentiment, India’s stock market rose 14 per cent since fortunes were last measured.

However that jump, tempered by a weaker rupee, was not reflected in the collective net worth of India’s 100 Richest, which flatlined at $799 billion.

Ambani, who transformed Reliance Industries into a diversified conglomerate, reclaimed the No. 1 spot with a net worth of $92 billion.

Shortly after spinning off and listing Jio Financial Services, which has an asset management joint venture with BlackRock, Ambani cemented his succession plan by appointing his three children to Reliance’s board as non-executive directors in August.

The fortune of infrastructure magnate Gautam Adani, who rose meteorically to overtake Ambani as India’s richest person for the first time last year, reversed dramatically after a report by US short seller Hindenburg Research in January sent his group’s shares tumbling.

Despite recovering somewhat since, his net worth, which includes that of his family, fell by a whopping $82 billion to $68 billion — down the most in both dollar and percentage terms — and he slips back into second place.

Software tycoon Shiv Nadar climbs two spots to return to No. 3 with a fortune of $29.3 billion, as shares of HCL Technologies jumped 42 per cent in the past year amid a tech rebound.

Matriarch Savitri Jindal, of the O.P. Jindal Group, a power and steel conglomerate, ranks No. 4 with $24 billion, up 46 per cent, thanks partly to the September IPO of ports unit JSW Infrastructure, by her son Sajjan Jindal.

Rounding out the top five is Radhakishan Damani of Avenue Supermarts, whose fortune declined to $23 billion from $27.6 billion previously.

Naazneen Karmali, Asia Wealth Editor and India Editor of Forbes Asia, said: “India is riding high and is considered a hot spot by global investors. That buoyancy has made the elite club of India’s 100 Richest even more exclusive this year, with the minimum net worth to make the cutoff rising to a record $2.3 billion.”

The biggest percentage gainer this year is Inder Jaisinghani at No. 32 with $6.4 billion. His family’s net worth nearly doubled as his wires and cables company, Polycab India, benefited from increasing electrification.

Pharma brothers Ramesh and Rajeev Juneja got a handsome 64 per cent boost from the May listing of their Mankind Pharma, bringing them to No. 29 with $6.9 billion.

There are three new entrants this year: Renuka Jagtiani, chairwoman of Landmark Group, a Dubai-headquartered retailing giant, enters the list at No. 44 with $4.8 billion, following the passing of her husband Micky Jagtiani in May.

Also new to the list is the Dani family (No. 22, $8 billion) of Asian Paints, heirs of patriarch Ashwin Dani, who died in September.

The third newcomer is garment exporter K.P. Ramasamy (No. 100, $2.3 billion), founder and chairman of K.P.R Mill.

Among the seven returnees this year is Ranjan Pai (No. 86, $2.75 billion), who cashed out $1 billion from selling part of his stake in hospital chain Manipal Health Enterprises to Singapore’s Temasek.

Notable among the eight drop-offs are ed tech couple Byju Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath, whose firm Byju’s saw its valuation marked down drastically amid myriad challenges.

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