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101 Indians on Forbes Billionaires List; Paytm's Vijay Sharma, Patanjali's Balkrishna New Entrants

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he Bull Run in Indian stock market has helped Indian billionaires expand their fortunes even as 17 new faces have made it to the 2017 Forbes World’s Billionaires List, taking the total number to 101 from 84 last year.

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New Delhi: The Bull Run in Indian stock market has helped Indian billionaires expand their fortunes even as 17 new faces have made it to the 2017 Forbes World’s Billionaires List, taking the total number to 101 from 84 last year.

The combined net worth of Indian billionaires on the list is $325.5 billion, or an average of $3.22 billion.

Mukesh Ambani continues to be the richest Indian with a net worth of $23.2 billion. The 59-year-old chairman of the oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries is ranked 33 on the global list.

Ambani is followed by Lakshmi Mittal, worth $16.4 billion, at rank 56; Azim Premji is ranked 72 ($14.9 billion); Dilip Shanghvi is ranked 84 ($13.7 billion) and Shiv Nadar is at 102 ($12.3 billion).

The youngest Indian on the list is 38-year-old Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma with a net worth of $1.3 billion, followed by Shamsheer Vayalil, 40-year-old founder of VPS Healthcare, a network of hospitals.

Another young entrant on the list is Acharya Balkrishna, 44-year-old friend of Baba Ramdev. Balkrishna holds 97% in Patanjali Ayurved and at $2.5 billion his wealth is 92% more than Sharma’s.

There are only four Indian women on the list – JSW Steel’s Savitri Jindal ($5.2 billion), Godrej group’s Smita Crishna-Godrej ($2.5 billion), Biocon’s Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw ($2.1 billion), and USV India’s Leena Tewari ($2 billion).

While this is the first time when the number of Indians on the list has crossed the three-digit mark, China has nearly thrice as many dollar billionaires. India comes fourth when it comes to people with ten-digit fortunes — after the US (565), China (319) and Germany (114).

The list is a snapshot of wealth taken on February 17, 2017, based on stock prices and exchange rates on that day. In the year leading up to February 17, the Nifty 50 index spiked more than 22%, enhancing the fortunes of many.

Globally, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates continues to be the richest with a net worth of $86 billion, up from $75 billion last year. Gates has been the world’s richest person for 18 out of the past 23 years.

The world’s 2,043 billionaires (1,810 in 2016) are collectively worth $7.67 trillion, up from $6.48 trillion last year.

Disclaimer: Reliance Industries owns Network 18

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