New Delhi: Reliance Industries' Chairman Mukesh Ambani has once again topped the list of Forbes' richest Indians for the 12th year in a row as his net worth swelled to $51.4 billion.
"He added $4.1 billion to his net worth as Jio, the three-year-old telecom unit of his Reliance Industries, became one of India’s biggest mobile carriers with 340 million subscribers," Forbes said. A "challenging year for the nation's wealthies" because of the economic slowdown, spelled an 8 per cent fall in the total wealth of the tycoons on the 2019 list, amounting to $452 billion.
"In all, 14 were poorer by $1 billion or more, and nine members from last year’s ranks dropped off. More than a third of that decline was due to the remarkable largesse of tech tycoon Azim Premji, who gave away a chunk of his fortune in March and consequently dropped in the ranks to No. 17 from No. 2," Forbes said.
Infrastructure tycoon Gautam Adani, however, saw an increase in his wealth. With a net worth of $15.7 billion, Adani jumped eight spots to clinch the second position in the list.
Following Ambani and Adani in the list, are Ashok Leyland owners — Hinduja brothers, Shapoorji Pallonji Group's Pallonji Mistry, Kotak Mahindra Bank's Uday Kotak and HCL Technologies' Shiv Nadar. A $4 billion boost had propelled Uday Kotak into the top five for the first time.
Six newcomers have made their debut including Byju Raveendran (no. 72, $1.91 billion), Manohar Lal and Madhusudan Agarwal (No. 86, $1.7 billion) of Delhi-headquartered Haldiram Snacks and Rajesh Mehra (no. 95, $1.5 billion) of Jaquar.
Meanwhile, Autoparts maker Vivek Chaand Sehgal's net worth more than halved to $2.45 billion given the drastic slowdown in the automobile industry.
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