Gautam Adani is now the third richest person in the world, the first Asian to make the top three – Flying Journals

Gautam Adani is now the third richest person in the world, the first Asian to make the top three

Gautam Adani added $60.9 billion to his fortune in 2022 alone. (document)

Just a few years ago, few people outside India had heard of Gautam Adani. Now the Indian businessman, a college dropout who tried his luck as a diamond trader before turning to coal, has become the world’s third-richest man.

It was the first time an Asian broke into the top three of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index — something compatriot Mukesh Ambani and China’s Jack Ma have never done. Adani surpassed France’s Bernard Arnault with a fortune of $137.4 billion and is now second in the rankings to the United States’ Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

Adani, 60, has spent the past few years expanding his coal port group, into everything from data centers to cement, media and alumina. The group now owns India’s largest private port and airport operator, city gas distributor and coal mining company. While its Carmichael mine in Australia has been criticized by environmentalists, it pledged in November to invest $70 billion in green energy to become the world’s largest renewable energy producer.

Fears of rapid growth have grown as his empire expanded into one of the world’s largest conglomerates, driving significant wealth growth. CreditSights said in a report this month that Mr Adani’s deal spree was largely financed by debt and that his empire was “severely over-leveraged”.

Some lawmakers and market watchers also expressed concern about the opaque shareholder structure and the lack of analyst coverage of Adani Group companies. However, as the tycoon focused on areas that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sees as critical to achieving India’s long-term goals, shares have soared — some of which are up more than 1,000% since 2020 and valued at 20 per cent of earnings. 750 times.

The switch to green energy and infrastructure has won investments from companies including Warburg Pincus and TotalEnergies SE, helping Adani enter an echelon previously dominated by the U.S. tech giant. A surge in coal in recent months has further fueled his rise.

All told, in 2022 alone, Adani’s wealth will increase by $60.9 billion, five times that of the others. He first surpassed Ambani as Asia’s richest person in February, became a billionaire in April, and last month surpassed Microsoft Corp’s Bill Gates as the world’s fourth-richest person.

Mr. Adani was able to surpass some of the world’s richest American billionaires, in part because of their recent ramp-up of philanthropy. Gates said in July he would transfer $20 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which Warren Buffett has donated more than $35 billion.

The pair, along with Gates’ ex-wife Melinda France Gates, launched the Giving Pledge initiative in 2010, pledging to give away most of their lifetime wealth. The billions of dollars spent on philanthropy land them lower on the Bloomberg Wealth Rankings. Gates is now No. 5 and Buffett is No. 6.

Mr Adani also increased his charitable giving. He pledged $7.7 billion to social causes in June in honor of his 60th birthday.

(Apart from the title, this story was unedited by NDTV staff and was posted from a syndicated feed.)

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