The World’s No. 2 Wealthiest Person Ranks Above Bezos & Gates
Indian billionaire Gautam Adani briefly became the second-richest person in the world Friday, trailing only Elon Musk, and the relatively unknown infrastructure and energy mogul is now wealthier than the likes of Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.
Facts About Gautam Adani
Adani is worth $152.2 billion (by Friday afternoon ET), according to Forbes’ calculations, trailing only Musk ($270.1 billion) and Bernard Arnault ($154.7 billion), though Adani briefly overtook Arnault early Friday thanks to a surge in the stock price of several of his conglomerate Adani Group’s publicly listed companies.
The 60-year-old Adani, a self-made college dropout who first made his fortune thanks to a commodities and ports empire, has since acquired a variety of businesses in media, energy and transportation, including purchasing a majority stake in Mumbai International Airport in 2020, making his firm India’s largest airport operator.
History of His Wealth GrowthA self-described introvert, Adani has maintained a remarkably low profile for his wealth. Adani first appeared on Forbes’ billionaires list in 2008, with an estimated fortune of $9.3 billion, a fortune that has increased 15-fold since.
Adani became the wealthiest person in Asia in February as the share prices of Adani Group’s numerous Indian-listed companies exploded. Several of Adani’s companies were included in Forbes’ ranking of the 2,000 largest publicly traded companies in the world earlier this year: holding company Adani Enterprises, transportation giant Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone, renewable energy provider Adani Green Energy, utility company Adani Transmission and natural gas giant Adani Total Gas. Adani’s wealth surpassed $100 billion in April, and he rocketed past American investor Warren Buffet later that month to become the fifth-wealthiest person in the world. Adani moved ahead of Bill Gates known for his computer software in July and overtook Bezos known for his online store as the third-richest man earlier this week.
“Being an entrepreneur is my dream job as it tests one's tenacity. I could never take orders from anyone,” Adani told Forbes in 2010. Adani said at the time he hoped “to be remembered as someone who created unique infrastructure for India and contributed to India’s economic growth story.”
Adani has survived two notable brushes with death, a 1997 kidnapping and a 2008 terrorist attack. In 1997 he was abducted at gunpoint for a ransom of $1.5 million before being released, according to the Indian publication Times Now. The billionaire is reticent to speak on the incident, but told the Financial Times in 2013 the kidnapping was one of “two or three very unfortunate incidents” in his life. Later, Adani was dining at a restaurant at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel when terrorists overtook the restaurant as part of a wider string of Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008. He escaped only when soldiers stormed the building.
$7.7 billion. That’s how much Adani pledged to give away to charity on his 60th birthday in June. His wife Priti Adani chairs the family’s charitable Adani Foundation, which focuses on developing healthcare and education systems in India’s rural regions.
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