As India’s Economy Slows, Net Worth of Wealthiest 100 Goes Up By 26%

Mukesh Ambani, who has topped the Forbes’ annual list of India’s richest 100 for the tenth year, saw his net worth go up by 67%.

Mukesh Ambani and Azim Premji, ranks one and two on the list. Credit: Reuters

Mukesh Ambani and Azim Premji, ranks one and two on the list. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani, who has topped Forbes‘ annual list of India’s 100 richest tycoons for the tenth consecutive year, has seen a whopping 67% rise in his net worth in the last year – at a times when the Indian economy is experiencing a slowdown. And it’s not just him – the combined net worth of India’s 100 wealthiest people went up by 26% since 2016, according to the magazine.

Mukesh’s net worth now stands at $38 billion – the oil-and-telecom tycoon added $15.3 billion in the last year alone.

“Despite India’s economic slowdown, the country’s 100 richest have collectively enjoyed a bumper year thanks to a buoyant stock market. While the Indian billionaire factory continued to churn out new names from diverse sectors, the price of entry rose to a record high. The top 100 club is getting more exclusive with each passing year,” India editor of Forbes Asia Naazneen Karmali has said.

Second on the list is tech magnate Azim Premji, who has come up two ranks this year. His net worth went up by $4 billion, to $19 billion. According to Forbes, this “gain is partly due to increased revenue and profit at his privately held consumer-goods business Wipro Enterprises, which makes everything from soaps to lightbulbs”.

Next are the Hinduja brothers, who added $3.2 billion to their net worth to get to $18.4 billion.

The 100 wealthiest on this year’s Forbes list are all billionaires. “The minimum amount required to make the list was $1.25 billion last year, 17 percent lower than this year,” the magazine said.

Some of those on the list are also poorer than they were last year, half of whom are from the pharma sector. The biggest loss was seen by pharmaceutical magnate Dilip Shanghvi, whose net worth went down by $4.8 billion, Forbes reported. For three years running before this, he had come in second on the list.

  • Anjan Basu

    A guffawing Mukesh Ambani is who matters, not the hapless men and women from the ‘other India’ who starve and die in their millions from malnutrition and disease. What goes by the name of liberalisation has actually exacerbated existing income inequalities all across the world. But in a country such as ours, which has as yet created few reliable democratic institutions so that predatory capitalism has managed to bare its fangs with impunity, these inequalities have taken on an ugliness of aspect that is rarely seen in more developed economies.