Indian businessman Gautam Adani has been named the world’s third richest person with a fortune estimated at $137 billion (£117 billion) and has become the first Asian person to break into the top three among the world’s richest people.
Al-Adani, 60, who founded mining-to-energy group Adani Group after dropping out of university, ranked third on Tuesday in a daily updated third place. Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
His fortune has increased by $61 billion so far this year, according to the index, with the market capitalization of many of his companies growing. Many of his businesses are involved in natural gas, coal mining, and electricity generation, and are likely to have benefited from rising global energy prices.
Adani took third place after being overtaken by French billionaire Bernard Arnault who owns most of the LVMH group of luxury brands. Arnault’s fortune has fallen by $42 billion so far this year to $136 billion.
All of the top ten billionaires except Adani have seen their fortunes decline this year – After making huge gains during the Covid crisis.
The Adani Group owns India’s largest private seaport and airport operator as well as a massive coal mine in Queensland, Australia. The company has faced heavy criticism for its environmental impact on the Great Barrier Reef as well as its use of billions of liters of water annually.
Among these was Greta Thunberg, a Swedish ecologist campaign against the Carmichael coal mine.
Last year, it promised to invest $70 billion in green energy to become the world’s largest renewable energy producer.
Some critics suggest that Adani has benefited financially from his close relationship with the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
When six Indian airports lined up for privatization in 2018, Modi relaxed rules to allow companies without airport management experience to bid for them. Adani bought all six companies and became the largest airport operator in the country.
Kerala’s finance minister, Thomas Isaac, called the matter a “shameless act of nepotism”.
After Modi’s election victory in 2014, Prime Minister-elect Adani lent his private jet for a victory tour. Adani’s fortune has risen from $8 billion at the time of Modi’s election in 2014 to $137 billion today, an increase of more than 1,600%.
Last week, Adani increased his influence by buying a 29% stake in New Delhi Television (NDTV), which is seen as one of the few remaining independent TV channels in India.
NDTV said that Adani acquired his stake via a third party without informing the company’s founders and co-chairs, a former journalist, Radhika Roy, and her husband, Pranawi Roy, a well-known economist.
The company said the deal, which includes a proposal to buy an additional 26% stake, took place “without discussion, approval or notice.”
NDTV has never compromised on the core of its operations: its journalism. The company said. “We continue to proudly stand by that press.”
AMG Media Networks Limited (AMNL), the media part of the Adani empire, said the acquisition was “a milestone in AMNL’s goal journey to pave the way for new media across platforms”.
“AMNL strives to empower the Indian citizens, consumers and the interested people of India, with information and knowledge,” said AMNL CEO Sanjay Pughalia.
On his websiteAdani is described as a “first generation entrepreneur.” [who] Driven by the core philosophy of instilling ‘growth with good’ through his vision of nation building.”
“For Mr. Adani, nation building means transforming the Indian coast by building a series of ports and logistics centres,” she says. “For him, nation building also means enhancing the country’s energy security and reducing the gap between urban and rural areas by providing electricity to hundreds of millions who live in India’s remote areas.
“Nation building, for Mr. Adani, also involves enhancing food security by building a modern agricultural supply chain and empowering farmers. Each of his industrial endeavors has created tens of thousands of jobs.”
Adani said he was “honored” by Boris Johnson’s visit to the Adani Group’s headquarters in Gujarat, western India, becoming the first British prime minister to visit the state. “I am happy to support the climate and sustainability agenda with a focus on renewables, green H2 and new energy,” he said at the time of the visit in April. “It will also work with UK companies to co-create defense and aerospace technologies.”
“Beer fan. Travel specialist. Amateur alcohol scholar. Bacon trailblazer. Music fanatic.”