|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Ambanis are the richest Indians, Premji second
BS Bureau in Mumbai | September 26, 2003 09:16 IST
Last Updated: September 26, 2003 11:18 IST
Mukesh and Anil Ambani are India's wealthiest billionaires.
The chairman and managing director and the vice-chairman and managing director, respectively, of Reliance Industries are worth a cool Rs 23,588 crore (Rs 235.88 billion), thanks to an increase in the price of the Reliance Industries scrip between December 2002 and August 2003, the period Business Standard considered for ranking India's billionaires.
What is more, for the first time since Business Standard started ranking India's billionaires in 1999, the Ambanis have displaced Wipro Chairman Azim Premji as the billionaire of the year.
With Wipro's share price declining 40 per cent since December 2002, Premji is now the second richest Indian, with a net worth of Rs 18,964 crore (Rs 189.64 billion).
The third in the list of richest Indians are Malvinder and Shivender Singh of Ranbaxy, with Rs 5,086 crore (Rs 50.86 billion). They are followed by the Bharti group's Sunil Mittal (Rs 5,000 crore -- Rs 50 billion) who is at the fourth spot. Shiv Nadar of HCL Technologies in the fifth place (Rs 4,299 crore -- Rs 42.99 billion).
Overall, it has been a good year for the wealthy.
A booming stock market propelled 15 corporate moguls into the Billionaire Club list, raising the total to 125. They were collectively worth a staggering Rs 1,20,951 crore (Rs 1,209.51 billion) on August 31 this year.
Besides Premji, several other new economy czars became poorer, thanks to the prices of their companies' shares dropping.
B Ramalinga Raju of Satyam Computer was Rs 601 crore (Rs 6.01 billion) poorer, slipping in the billionaire rankings from the 8th spot last year to the 19th position this year. His net worth declined from Rs 1,934 crore (Rs 19.34 billion) to Rs 1,333 crore (Rs 13.33 billion).
Others who have slipped in their rankings include Nandan Nilekani, Sudha Murthy, Akshata Murthy, S Gopalakrishnan, all of Infosys, who were poorer by Rs 138 crore (Rs 1.38 billion), Rs 175 crore (Rs 1.75 billion), Rs 133 crore (Rs 1.33 billion) and Rs 103 crore (Rs 1.03 billion), respectively.
Infosys Chairman and Chief Mentor N R Narayana Murthy is not in the list because figures on his shareholding are not available.
The infotech industry continues to produce far more billionaires than any other industry -- 24 -- the same as last year. Thirteen of them are promoters of one company, Infosys Technologies.
However, promoters of pharmaceutical companies are catching up. With the share prices of these companies moving up sharply, their wealth have soared.
Leaving aside the Ranbaxy heirs, Dilip Shanghvi, promoter of Sun Pharmaceuticals, moved up three places from last year to the 6th position, with a net worth of Rs 3,027 crore (Rs 30.27 billion).
Anji Reddy of Dr Reddy's Laboratories remains at the 10th slot with a net worth of Rs 2,132 crore (Rs 21.32 billion).
Deshbandhu Gupta of Lupin Laboratories jumped from the 44th position last year to 23rd this year, while P V Ramaprasad Reddy of Aurobindo Pharmaceuticals climbed from the 52nd spot to the 34th.
Indeed, the 22 billionaires from the pharmaceutical sector increased their net wealth by Rs 6,578 crore (Rs 65.78 billion) to Rs 20,224 crore (Rs 202.24 billion).
With a revival in the fortunes of steel companies, their promoters have become wealthier too.
So Ravi and Shashi Ruia, promoters of Essar Steel, have moved up in the billionaire rankings from the 64th position last year to 37 this year, as has O P Jindal, promoter of Jindal Vijaynagar, Jindal Iron and Jindal Steel, from the 32nd spot last year to 18 this year.