New King of Indian Billionaires: Gautam Adani becomes India’s richest, surpasses Ambani

According to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index, Gautam Adani’s current net worth stands at $97.6 billion, slightly ahead of Mukesh Ambani's $97 billion.

Alina Khan
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Billionaire Gautam Adani has overtaken Reliance Industries' Mukesh Ambani to become the richest person in India. Adani's current net worth stands at $97.6 billion, slightly ahead of Ambani's $97 billion, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index.

Gautam Adani becomes India’s richest billionaire

The milestone follows a strong rally in Adani Group shares, which added $7.67 billion to Gautam Adani's wealth in a single day. Adani's fortune has gained $13.3 billion year-to-date - the most among the world's top 100 billionaires.

Just a year ago, Adani had lost his title as India's wealthiest to Ambani after his ports-to-power empire valuation plummeted on a critical report by US short-seller Hindenburg Research. At one point, Adani's net worth dipped below $40 billion as the group's market capitalisation sank to $150 billion.

Adani-Hindenburg case

Since then, the conglomerate has staged a robust recovery supported by debt reduction, investments from US firm GQG Partners, and favourable Supreme Court verdicts in the ongoing Adani-Hindenburg case.

Recently, the Supreme Court dismissed petitions to transfer the case from India's Securities Board to a special investigative team. Reacting to the judgment, Adani said, "Truth has prevailed. I'm grateful to those who stood by us. Our contribution to India's growth continues."

The verdict boosted investor confidence, spurring a share price rally in Adani's listed firms. Ambani had first overtaken Adani as India's wealthiest last February. But Adani's companies have vastly outperformed Reliance in the stock market over the past year.

Adani Enterprises has surged 114%, Adani Ports is up 62%, while Adani Green Energy and Adani Transmission have gained 38% each. In comparison, Reliance is up just 3.8% over the past year.

Who is Gautam Adani?

Gautam Adani, 60, has diversified the Adani Group from its roots as a commodities trader into ports, power generation, transmission, real estate, agriculture, defence and more. He has claimed the crown of India's richest during a turbulent period after the Hindenburg report accused his empire of stock manipulation and fraud.

While Mukesh Ambani, 65, inherited Reliance Industries from his father, Gautam Adani has built his conglomerate from scratch. Both billionaires hail from Gujarat and have prospered under successive governments.

Adani's ascent to the peak of India's rich list caps a remarkable comeback for the tycoon's business empire. With Adani projecting massive investments in green energy and infrastructure, his next goal will be joining the elite club of the world's top 10 richest.