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A college dropout among top 10 richest Indians

By Dev Chatterjee
Last updated on: August 03, 2015 15:44 IST
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Jagtiani, 63, a college dropout, started with $6,000 in 1973. After cleaning hotel rooms and driving taxis in Bahrain, his first business was to sell baby food there.

 

Micky Jagtiani, owner of Landmark, the unlisted Dubai-based retail chain, has entered the list of 10 richest Indians compiled by Bloomberg.

The net worth of Jagtiani is estimated at $6.6 billion, above the $6 billion of Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, placed eleventh on the list.

 Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, placed eleventh on the list of richest Indians. Photograph: Reuters

Birla, like other commodity billionaires, is facing a price downcycle, with the share price of flagship Hindalco Industries falling 34 per cent since January.

Jagtiani, on the other hand, is reaping the benefits of a retail boom in India and West Asia.

Bharti group Chairman Sunil Mittal is misisng from the rich Indians list. Photograph: Courtesy, Airtel

Bloomberg has excluded Bharti group Chairman Sunil Mittal, who, according to Forbes, had an estimated wealth of $7.8 billion, and the Hinduja brothers with estimated wealth of $13.3 billion in 2014.

Jagtiani, 63, a college dropout, started with $6,000 in 1973.

After cleaning hotel rooms and driving taxis in Bahrain, his first business was to sell baby food there.

He opened his first Shoe Mart in Dubai in 1990.

The group today has 50,000 employees, sells 25 own labels and 40 franchise brands, and generates $5 billion in annual revenue from 1,900 stores across the region.

The closely-held companies also have franchise rights for big brands like shoe designer Steve Madden and health club Fitness First. 

The group is the largest importer of non-food items in the Persian Gulf.

Jagtiani, with active support from wife Renuka, operates the Lifestyle branded stores in India and has a stake in Debenhams, the UK's second-largest apparel retailer. In India, the company grew 25 per cent in 2014-15 to report Rs 4,700 crore or Rs 47 billion of revenue.

The group plans to open seven Lifestyle stores, four Home Centre stores and 25 Max stores in India in the current financial year.

It has ended its alliance with Groupe Auchan for 13 hypermarkets and joined hands with Spar.

Jagtiani plans to expand his food chain, Food

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Dev Chatterjee
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