Mumbai, Oct 11 : Reliance Industries' Chairman Mukesh Ambani has retained the top spot in Forbes' list of the richest Indians for the year 2019 for the 12th time in row as his net worth swelled to USD 51.4 billion this year.
Mr Ambani added USD4.1 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 USD452 billion.
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 USD4 billion boost had propelled Uday Kotak into the top five for the first time.
Infrastructure tycoon Gautam Adani, however, saw an increase in his wealth. With a net worth of USD15.7 billion, Adani jumped eight spots to clinch the second position in the list. Six newcomers have made their debut including Byju Raveendran (no. 72, USD1.91 billion), Manohar Lal and Madhusudan Agarwal (No. 86, USD1.7 billion) of Delhi-headquartered Haldiram Snacks and Rajesh Mehra (no. 95, USD1.5 billion) of Jaquar.
"In all, 14 were poorer by USD1 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. Meanwhile, Autoparts maker Vivek Chaand Sehgal's net worth more than halved to $2.45 billion given the drastic slowdown in the automobile industry. (UNI)