The ongoing coronavirus crisis has dealt a massive blow to many businesses and due to which, entrepreneurs are widely affected. It should be noted that the cumulative wealth of Indian billionaires has dropped 23 per cent to $313 billion this year. Moreover, the number of billionaires has reduced by four to 102, as per the Forbes Billionaires List 2020.
Meet Byju Raveendran – the founder of edtech unicorn BYJU’s and is India’s youngest billionaire. The 39-year-old entrepreneur had debuted in the Forbes Billionaires List this year with an estimated net worth of $1.8 billion. Today, he is one of the dozen new entrants in the coveted billionaires’ club.
The other massive gainer is retail tycoon Radhakishan Damani who is the founder of Avenue Supermarts which runs the popular supermarket chain DMart. Even in this crisis when the retail peers continue to fight with debt and decline in sales, Damani’s wealth has surged nearly 25 per cent to $13.8 billion and is India’s second-richest person.
Meanwhile, the top business magnate Mukesh Ambani retained the top spot in the Indian billionaires’ list. Nonetheless, the Reliance Industries chairman lost nearly half his wealth to stock market crashes and global oil wars which was sabotaged by the coronavirus outbreak.
In March, Ambani lost the tag of Asia’s richest man as he surrendered his spot to Alibaba founder Jack Ma. His wealth now stands at $36.8 billion, as per Forbes.
The other wealth gainers in 2020 are Gautami Adani of Adani Group who is placed fifth in the list of richest people in India. Sunil Mittal of Bharti Airtel takes the sixth spot where Forbes estimates their net worth to be $8.9 billion and $8.8 billion respectively.
HCL Founder-Chairman Shiv Nadar is at the third spot and Kotak Mahindra Bank MD-CEO Uday Kotak at the fourth spot whose respective fortunes are estimated at $11.9 billion and $10.4 billion respectively.
Wipro Chairman Azim Premji is absent in the top five list who had pledged to donate $21 billion to charity. Premji’s fortune is estimated at $6.1 billion, making him India’s tenth richest man, according to Forbes.
Azim Premji’s massive charity drive impacted the cumulative wealth of Indian billionaires this year.
“Close to a fifth of the decline can be attributed to the generosity of tech tycoon Azim Premji, who donated a big chunk of his shares in publicly traded Wipro in 2019 to his foundation,” Forbes stated.
It is no surprise that Premji is often compared to the likes of Bill Gates, who pledged close to $35 billion to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and also sacrificed the ‘world’s richest man’ tag to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.