Here’s how much Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani and other top billionaires earned during India’s massive slowdown

The cream is rising to the top at a faster rate than ever. So far 2019 has been a tough year as the economy is growing at a much slower pace. Millions of people across auto, textile, diamond and polishing sectors lost their jobs and an equivalent number are sitting on the brink of a pay cut.

But the richest in India seem to be immune to it.

Business Insider India curated a list of all the billionaires who have witnessed massive gains in networth 2019 till now based on Bloomberg Billionaire Index — that ranks world’s 500 richest people daily.


Here’s a list of all those billionaires who gained in 2019



Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, added a $12.8 bn

Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, added a $12.8 bn

Forbes Rank: 1

Net worth: $57.6 b

Y-o-Y gains: + 29.9%

It looks like there’s no stopping to Mukesh Ambani’s growth. He is the chairman of one India’s most valued companies. He added $4.1 billion to his net worth last year even when half of Indian the billionaires lost wealth.

And his telecom venture seems to be paying off. As he added 340 million subscribers in three years of launch, his shareholders rewarded him handsomely. The buzz of a Jio IPO is gaining steam after he spun off the telecom venture last week, which could land shareholders with another windfall.

But it is not just Jio, revenues from Reliance Retail too grew at 47.5% to ₹38,196 crore in the quarter ending June 2019. He also managed to rope in Saudi Aramco to invest $15 billion in his energy business, which will help him turn debt-free by March 2020.

​Gautam Adani gained $2.13 billion

​Gautam Adani gained $2.13 billion

Forbes Rank: 2

Net worth: $9.87 billion

Yoy gains: +27.6%

Gautam Adani, the owner of India’s largest private port at Mundra, is another gainer in the list. Adani Enterprise, the flagship of Adani group, witnessed a 192% Y-o-Y growth at ₹172 crore.

Most of Adani Group’s growth between 2014 and 2019 can be attributed to the Indian government. Adani won 25 out of 126 bids government bids across the various industries of the group. Many investors were eyeing to pump money into Adani Enterprise when India re-elected Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.

This year he got clearance to kickstart its Australian coal mine project after 9 years of delays — bringing his massive $10 billion investment into the mine — to fruition.


​Uday Kotak witnessed a $2.45 b growth

​Uday Kotak witnessed a $2.45 b growth

Forbes Rank: 5

Net worth: $14.8 b

Yoy gains: +21.6%

Uday Kotak, the billionaire promoter of Kotak Mahindra bank, also added $4 billion to his net worth primarily because of the increased value of his shareholding. A lot of it comes from the government’s move to reduce the corporate tax rate from 30% to 22%.

In the first quarter of 2019, the bank’s profits rose 33%, on lower provisions which is basically an indicator of good asset quality.

Share price of majority of Indian banks suffered in 2019 — except for Kotak Mahindra Bank.

​Shiv Nadar gained $2.24 b

​Shiv Nadar gained $2.24 b

Forbes Rank: 6

Net worth: $15.9

Yoy gains: +17.3%

Software major HCL Technologies is one of those few companies which is betting on growing faster than expected. Not only did it net profit grow 4.4% for the second quarter to ₹2,651 crore, it also revised its revenue growth forecast from 14-16% to 15-17%

And its chairman and founder Shiv Nadar’s wealth is growing too. Forbes pegs the 72-year old Nadar’s fortunes at $14.8 billion, which is almost twice of his company’s annual revenues.


​Azim Premji’s net worth rose by $2.47 b

​Azim Premji’s net worth rose by $2.47 b

Forbes Rank: 17

Net worth: $19.8

Yoy gains: +14.2%

Azim Premji — the czar of the Indian IT industry — witnessed a 14% increase in his net worth to $19.8, as of 31 October. This comes after Wipro’s Q2 profit climbed 36% YoY to ₹2,561 crore as compared to the same quarter last year.

All his money is landing in good hands. But Premji’s wealth did drop by $13.8 billion in 2019 after he donated 35% of Wipro shares worth $7.5 billion to a charitable trust.