Gautam Adani has climbed the ladder up to the 4th position on the list of the world’s richest people. The Indian billionaire’s net worth shot up to a whopping $112.5 billion this Thursday. With these figures, he now surpasses Bill Gates -the founder of Microsoft- by a handsome amount of $230 million. Since early 2021, the Indian businessman’s worth has increased by over two folds. Just this year, Adani had a $36 billion increase in his fortune.
Gautam Adani is the chairman of the Ahmedabad-based Adani group. He has stakes in 6 major publicly traded companies. All six companies come under the banner of Adani Group and deal in green energy, power, ports, gas and others. Furthermore, Adani also serves as the president of the Adani foundation. This foundation is majorly led by his wife, Priti Adani and focuses on philanthropic efforts. The tycoon is a first-generation entrepreneur and truly a self-made man. Here is how an average boy from a small city in India went on to become the country’s richest man and raised a fortune on his own.
Gautam Adani Early Life
The now billionaire, Gautam Adani, hails from Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Born to Shantilal and Shanti Adani on 24th June 1962, he is currently 60 years old. He has seven siblings and received his education from Sheth Chimanlal Nagindas Vidyalaya School in Ahmedabad. Later, he started to pursue a bachelor’s in Commerce from Gujrat University but dropped out after two years. His parents moved from a small town in Gujarat named Tharad to the big city in hopes of better business prospects. Shantilal Adani was a small textile merchant. Gautam always had a knack for business but never took much interest in his father’s textile dealings.
He married Priti, who is a dentist by profession. The couple has two sons, named Karan Adani and Jeet Adani. Moreover, Gautam is a Jain Hindu and has made many efforts to help his community. He is a member of the Jain International Trade Organization as well.
The business tycoon’s life took an unexpected turn when he got abducted in 1998. Adani was kidnapped and held for ransom. However, the nightmare ended once the ransom was paid in full, and the criminals released Adani. Later in 2008, he found himself stuck at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai during the Mumbai Attacks. Although luckily, he and most others managed to make it out alive from the terror scene.
Gautam Adani did not hail from a family of generational riches. He was a simple man with a big dream and an unmatched sense of business. In 1978, he moved to Mumbai to work for the Mahendra Brothers as a diamond sorter. Three years later, his brother Mahasukhbhai Adani bought a plastics unit, and Gautam went back to Ahmedabad to work alongside him. Little did he know that this would be his gateway into the international trading market. He started trading in PVC imports and supplied primary polymers to small-scale industries. This led him to establish Adani Exports, now known as Adani Enterprises.
The company initially traded largely in power and agricultural products. However, following the 1991 economic liberalization bill, Adani expanded his business into textile, metal and agro products trading.
In 1995 his company secured the contract for managerial outsourcing of the Mundra Port. This is where he set up his very first jetty. Currently, Mundra port is the largest port within India’s private sector, and his company is the biggest private multi-port operator.
The following year, in 1996, Gautam Adani established Adani power. Today, Adani Power is the major private producer of thermal power in India. Its power plants have a capacity of 4620MW. Between the years 2009-2012, his company went on to take the contract for Abbot Point Port in Australia and Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.
While the world was on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gautam Adani was hard at work. In May 2020, his company won the bid for Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) -the world’s biggest solar bid amounting to a total of over $6 billion USD. This 8000MW photovoltaic power plant comes under Adani Green and is soon to start working. The same year, Adani took hold of 74% of the shares of the Mumbai International Airport, the second busiest airport in the country.
In February 2022, Gautam Adani went on to cross Mukesh Ambani as Asia’s richest person. In May 2022, he bought Ambuja Cements and its subsidiary ACC from Holcim Group.
Gautam Adani’s rise to The World’s 4th Richest Person
Like all entrepreneurs, Adani Group also faced multiple ups and downs. However, unlike others, the company always managed to rise above the hurdles. Adani’s current net worth stands at an astounding $116.4 billion. This puts him just behind Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon($146.8 billion). Elon Musk tops the list with $250.7 billion, followed by Bernard Arnault (the CEO of Louis Vitton) at $157.6 billion.
Adani’s rise to the 4th position came following Bill Gates’s announcement of a hefty donation. Bill Gates, who once held the position of the world’s richest person, is now at the 5th position in the world rankings. Gates’s wealth shrank due to his increased philanthropic involvement. He pledged to donate $20 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. This donation comes in accordance with the Google founder’s aim to increase the company’s charitable donations by 50% by 2026. As per sources, Bill Gates plans to donate most of his wealth during his lifetime rather than after his demise.
Philanthropic Efforts of Gautam Adani
Similar to his counterparts, Gautam Adani is quite big on his philanthropic efforts as well. The Adani Foundation, run by Priti Adani, has long been putting multiple efforts into helping those around them. In March 2020, Adani contributed a hefty 100 crore INR to help fight the coronavirus global pandemic. Moreover, as of June 2022, the business tycoon pledged to give away 60,000 crore INR ($7.7 billion) in donations towards social causes.