First Asian to crack the top three, Gautam Adani
Gautam Adani was relatively unknown to those outside of India until relatively recently. The Indian industrialist, who did not complete college but tried his hand at diamond trading before switching to coal, is now the third richest person in the world.
No other Asian has ever made it into the top three of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index before; Mukesh Ambani and Jack Ma of India and China, respectively, both fell short. Mr. Adani, with a net worth of $137.4 billion, is now the third richest in the world, behind only Elon Musk of the United States and Jeff Bezos of the United States.
Over the past few years, Mr. Adani, 60, has been actively diversifying his coal-to-ports conglomerate into new industries such as data centers, cement, media, and alumina. They have just acquired India’s largest privately owned port and airport operator, city gas distributor, and coal miner. Despite environmentalists’ concerns about its Carmichael project in Australia, the company promised in November to invest $70 billion in green energy in an effort to become the greatest renewable-energy generator in the world.
Worries have increased as his empire has grown to become one of the world’s greatest conglomerates, a key factor in the extraordinary gains in wealth. CreditSights said in research released this month that Mr. Adani’s “highly over-leveraged” empire was mostly supported by debt from his deal-making frenzy.
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Concerns have been voiced by several legislators and market observers regarding the lack of analyst coverage and the opacity of the shareholding structures of companies belonging to the Adani Group. Despite this, the shares have increased dramatically, with some rising by more than 1,000% since 2020 and reaching valuations of 750 times profits, as the tycoon has focused on sectors that Prime Minister Narendra Modi considers critical to achieving India’s long-term goals.
Mr. Adani has been able to join the ranks of the world’s richest people previously occupied by U.S. tech magnates because to his company’s successful move to green energy and infrastructure. His rise has been accelerated in recent months by the coal market’s expansion.
Mr. Gautam Adani has amassed a fortune of $60.9 billion in 2022, five times more than the next-richest person. In February, he surpassed Mr. Ambani as Asia’s wealthiest individual, in April he became the world’s fourth-wealthiest individual after passing Bill Gates of Microsoft Corp., and in the most recent month, he became a billionaire.
Mr. Gautam Adani surpassed some of the world’s richest US billionaires in part due to their increased charitable giving in recent years. While Warren Buffett has previously given over $35 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates announced in July that he would be donating $20 billion.
They launched the Giving Pledge in 2010 along with Gates’ ex-wife Melinda French Gates, promising to donate the majority of their wealth during their lifetimes. Since they have donated so much money, they have fallen in the Bloomberg rankings of the rich. Gates has moved up to sixth, while Buffett is now fifth.
Mr. Adani has also upped his philanthropic efforts. On the occasion of his 60th birthday, which occurred in June, he announced his intention to donate $7.7 billion to charitable causes.