Gautam Adani net worth soars, making college dropout 3rd richest person

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Just a few years ago, few people outside India had heard of Gautam Adani. Now the Indian businessman, a school leaver who first tried his luck as a diamond trader before turning to coal, has become the third richest person in the world.

It’s the first time an Asian person has broken into the top three of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index – fellow citizen Mukesh Ambani and China’s Jack Ma never got that far. With a fortune of $137.4 billion, Adani has overtaken France’s Bernard Arnault and now follows only Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos of the US in the rankings.

Adani, 60, has expanded his coal-to-port conglomerate in recent years, delving into everything from data centers to cement, media and alumina. The group now owns India’s largest private sector port and airport operator, city gas distributor and miner. Although Australia’s Carmichael mine was criticized by environmentalists, it pledged to invest $70 billion in green energy in November to become the world’s largest producer of renewable energy.

As his empire expanded into one of the world’s largest conglomerates fueling remarkable wealth gains, concerns grew over its rapid growth. Adani’s deals are primarily financed by debt and his empire is “deeply overextended,” CreditSights said in a report this month.

Some lawmakers and market observers have also expressed concerns about opaque shareholder structures and a lack of analyst coverage at Adani Group companies. Still, shares have soared — some more than 1,000% since 2020, with valuations reaching 750 times earnings — as the tycoon focused on areas Prime Minister Narendra Modi considers crucial to meeting India’s long-term goals.

The pivot to green energy and infrastructure has won investment from companies like Warburg Pincus and TotalEnergies SE, pushing Adani into the echelons previously dominated by US tech giants. The sharp rise in coal in recent months has fueled its rise even further.

All told, Adani added $60.9 billion to his fortune in 2022 alone, five times more than anyone else. He first passed Ambani as the richest Asian in February, became a centibillionaire in April, surpassing Microsoft Corp.’s Bill Gates. as the fourth richest person in the world.

Adani managed to pass some of the world’s richest American billionaires, in part because they recently ramped up their philanthropy. Gates said in July that he transferred $20 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, while Warren Buffett has already donated more than $35 billion to the charity.

The two, along with Gates’ ex-wife Melinda French Gates, started the Giving Pledge initiative in 2010, promising to give away most of their fortune during their lifetime. The billions of dollars spent on philanthropy have pushed them lower in the Bloomberg rankings of wealth. Gates is now fifth and Buffett sixth.

Adani has also increased his charitable donations. He pledged to donate $7.7 billion to social causes in June to mark his 60th birthday.

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The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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