Gautam Adani's wealth exceeded $100 billion for the first time on April 1, 2022, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index.
Adani founded Adani Group, which works across sectors including energy, mining, and port management.
Adani reportedly dropped out of university to work as a diamond sorter before moving into business.
Indian industrialist Gautam Adani's wealth has just soared to $122 billion, pushing him past other centibillionaires including Warren Buffett and Larry Page.
He's now the fifth richest person in the world.
Adani was worth around $10 billion in June 2020, after which his wealth began to soar, data from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index shows. He's already added $28 billion so far in 2022, and breached the $100 billion threshold in early April, per Bloomberg's index.
Adani is founder and chairman of the Adani Group, a multinational conglomerate with businesses spanning energy, mining, port management, and airport operations. Among other things, Adani Group owns India's largest commercial port and has a 74% stake in Mumbai's international airport.
Bloomberg did not provide an underlying explanation for the increase in Adani's wealth but many of the group's businesses have seen their share prices soar since mid-March. According to Bloomberg, Adani has focused on areas that are key to meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's economic goals.
From diamond sorter to owner of a multinational conglomerate
Adani was born in Ahmedabad, in the Indian state of Gujarat, in 1962. He dropped out of Gujarat University after his second year studying commerce, according to Silicon India. He then turned to the diamond industry, first as a sorter and then as a trader in Mumbai, the publication reported.
Adani said he and a companion were kidnapped in 1998 after a group of men held them at gunpoint. A police report said the kidnappers demanded a $2 million ransom and released the pair after the ransom was paid, per The Indian Express. Eight people accused of the kidnapping were ultimately acquitted, Times Now India reported.
Adani was dining at the Taj Mahal Hotel during the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. He told India Today that from his table, he could see militants entering the hotel. He said he hid in the hotel's basement before moving to a hallway high up in the building.
The Adani Group is made up of six publicly-traded companies. It says it has a market capitalization of $222 billion and over 23,000 staff.
Adani is an executive director of Adani Enterprises and Adani Port and Special Economic Zone, and a non-executive director of Adani Power, Adani Transmissions, Adani Total Gas, and Adani Green Energy.
Most of Adani's wealth is derived from the big shareholdings he has in his companies. According to Bloomberg, he holds 75% stakes in each of Adani Enterprises, Adani Power, and Adani Transmissions. Adani Enterprises' share price has almost doubled in the last year while Adani Power's has tripled.
The only people richer than Adani are Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, according to Bloomberg's index. Musk is worth $253 billion, per Bloomberg – making him nearly $100 billion richer than Bezos, who's in second place.
Adani is the richest Indian on the list, ahead of Mukesh Ambani, whose wealth Bloomberg put at around $103 billion. Ambani is the largest shareholder of Reliance Industries, a multinational conglomerate.
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