Mukesh Ambani no longer among world's top 10 richest billionaires
Publish- December 27, 2020, 08:56 AM
S Kumar - UNB Delhi Correspondent
Update- December 27, 2020, 09:10 AM
India's richest man Mukesh Ambani. Photo: collected
India's richest man Mukesh Ambani is no more among the top 10 richest billionaires in the world, despite his oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries emerging as the biggest wealth creator in the past five years.
On the latest Bloomberg Billionaire Index, Ambani is at 11th position with a net worth of USD 76.5 billion. Earlier this year, he held the fourth position on the list with a net worth of USD 90 billion. However, the 63-year-old still is the richest man in Asia.
The top five richest billionaires on the list are the founder of e-commerce giant Amazon, Jeff Bezos, with a net worth of $186 billion, electric car maker Tesla's CEO Elon Musk with USD 160 billion, Microsoft founder Bill Gates with USD 131 billion, French businessman Bernard Arnault with USD 110 billion and Facebook founder Mark Zukerberg with USD 101 billion.
The Bloomberg Billionaire Index that debuted eight years ago tracks the net worth of the world's 500 wealthiest people almost on a daily basis.
The development has taken many by surprise given the fact that Ambani's Reliance Industries, which began as a yarn trading business, emerged as the biggest wealth creator in the past 25 years, with much of the gains coming in the past five years.
As per a study report by India's best-known brokerage firm Motilal Oswal, Reliance added Rs 4.4 trillion in wealth between 2015 and 2020.
"This is unbelievable that Ambani is out of the list, despite having managed to garner funds amid the pandemic that saw the shares of the conglomerate hitting an all-time high when several top-notch stocks hit an all-time low," says Delhi-based economist Nayana Singhal.
UNB had earlier extensively reported about Ambani's aggressive fundraising spree to make his conglomerate debt-free amid Covid and his strategic decision to radically reduce Reliance's dependence on the flagship oil sector to diversify into telecom and e-commerce.
Reliance had, in fact, raised USD 15.2 billion by selling stakes in its telecom unit Jio and another USD 7 billion through rights issue just in the first quarter of this fiscal.
UNB had also reported about Reliance's plans to take its telecom arm Jio public in the next fiscal, riding on the increased digital adoption across the world, including in India, in the wake of Covid. India's internet users are likely to grow to 850 million by 2022.
Jio has attracted some 370 million subscribers to its network since its mega launch in 2016, despite being a late entrant to India's telecom sector. By offering free voice calls and data at the world's cheapest price, it has already changed the country's digital landscape.
Apart from planning to take Jio to the bourses, Reliance is also in talks with a number of fast moving consumer goods companies in this country to deliver daily-use domestic essentials at the doorsteps of consumers via Jio's e-commerce venture JioMart.
Facebook's chat service WhatsApp has tied up with JioMart to make consumers connect with local groceries to buy products. And if the talks with these FMCG giants fructify, market watchers believe the entire move will change the face of India's e-commerce space forever.
India's e-commerce market is estimated to touch USD 200 billion by 2027. This assumes significance given WhatsApp has already got permission to launch an e-payments service in India and Facebook bought a 9.99 per cent stake, by investing USD 5.7 billion in Reliance.