Mukesh Ambani, the richest person in Asia, joined Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk in the most exclusive wealth club in the world with a fortune of at least $ 100 billion.
The president of India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. entered the rarefied 11-man group when his conglomerate’s shares rose to a record high on Friday. He’s now worth $ 100.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, after his wealth surged $ 23.8 billion this year.
Since inheriting the oil refining and petrochemical businesses from his late father’s empire in 2005, Ambani, 64, has been seeking to transform the energy giant into a retail, technology and e-commerce titan. Its telecommunications unit, which started its services in 2016, is now the dominant operator in the Indian market. Its retail and tech companies raised about $ 27 billion last year, selling stakes to investors ranging from Facebook Inc. and Google to KKR & Co. and Silver Lake.
Ambani unveiled an ambitious push toward green energy in June, with a planned investment of around $ 10 billion over three years. And last month, the mogul said his company would “aggressively” pursue cheaper green hydrogen production. The plan aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitions to turn India into a cleaner global fuel manufacturing hub to combat climate change and reduce energy imports from the world’s third largest oil consumer.
While Ambani’s announcement has been seen by some as an acknowledgment that his group needs to look beyond oil to cement its future, fossil fuel still plays a central role at Reliance, accounting for nearly 60% of its $ 73,000. million in annual revenue. The petroleum-to-chemicals business is now a separate unit and discussions are underway for Saudi Arabian Oil Co. to be an investor.
“Mukesh Ambani is at the forefront of creating new businesses with new emerging technologies,” said Chakri Lokapriya, chief investment officer at TCG Asset Management Co. in Mumbai. “Building businesses of scale at high speed comes with execution challenges, but he has proven his capabilities.”
Reliance’s history dates back to the late 1960s when Dhirubhai Ambani, who started out as a gas station attendant in Yemen, began turning his polyester business into a vast empire. When he died of a stroke in 2002 without leaving a will, an inheritance dispute broke out between his two sons, Mukesh and Anil, 62, which was finally resolved by the brothers’ mother, Kokilaben, in 2005.
Under the truce deal, Mukesh gained control of flagship oil refining and petrochemical businesses, while his younger brother gained newer areas such as power generation, financial services and telecommunications services. Anil, once a billionaire, said in a London court last year that his net worth was “zero.”
India’s billionaires are some of the biggest winners on the world’s rich list, as Asia’s best-performing major stock market this year is driven by an increase in initial public offerings.
Gautam Adani, founder of the coal and renewable energy conglomerate Adani Group, has added $ 39.5 billion to his fortune this year, while the country’s third-richest person, tech mogul Azim Premji, saw his wealth grow by $ 12.8 billion. Dollars.