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Savitri Jindal among world's 5 richest mothers

May 06, 2010 13:42 IST

Savitri Jindal, Asia's richest woman and the widow of the founder of steel and power conglomerate O P Jindal Group, is the richest billionaire mother with a net worth of $12.2 billion.

Savitri, 60, has nine children, the most of any woman billionaire in a long list of 70 mothers from around the world.

The list compiled by Forbes.com reveals the 70 women around the globe, who will celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday, as billionaires.

Non-executive chair of the O P Jindal Group, a steel and power conglomerate founded by her late husband, Om Prakash Jindal, in 1952, Savitri took over as group head after he died in a helicopter crash in 2005.

During his lifetime the patriarch had handed down operations to their four sons, Prithviraj, Sajjan, Ratan and Naveen, who today run independent units.

Savitri is also a Congress MLA from Hisar constituency in Haryana.

There are 70 billionaire moms in the world, and only eight of those women -- including Meg Whitman and J K Rowling -- earned their own way to vast riches.

But none of those self-starters are among the world's 10 richest moms, a group that is dominated by widows and daughters of the very rich.

Christy Walton, the widow of John Walton, son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, tops the list with $22.5 billion.

She is followed by Liliane Bettencourt, 87, of France, whose father founded the cosmetic giant L'Oreal and Birgit Rausing, the 86-year-old widow of the Swedish creator of packaging giant Tetra Laval.

Immediately after these three accomplished mother billionaires is Savitri Jindal.

Savitri is the richest woman in India, and 44th in the world with a net worth of $12.2 billion.

The Jindal Organisation is now a multi-billion dollars business involved in all aspects of steel production, from mining iron ore to manufacturing in 20 factories.

It recently acquired iron ore mines in Chile and Bolivia, as well as rights of oil exploration in Peru.

In London, Jindal lives in Kensington. She is joined by her four sons, all them involved in the business, including Naveen Jindal, an 'irrepressible polo enthusiast'.

"For Whitman, motherhood was not a deterrent to her success, but an aid," Forbes said on its website.

Other self-made millionaires on the list include Rosalia Mera, who along with her former husband launched the Spanish clothing firm Zara, Doris Fisher of the clothing giant The Gap and Guiliana Benetton of the Italian firm Benetton.

Writer JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, also made the list of self-made billionaires along with Elena Baturina of Russia, who made her fortune in construction and Zhang Xin, the CEO the Chinese property development company SOHO China and Yan Cheung, who runs Nine Dragons, which makes paperboard.

Seema Hakhu Kachru in Houston
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