Mukesh Ambani, 63, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd. is the 8th richest man in the world, according to the Hurun Global Rich List 2021. His wealth saw an increase of 24 per cent to $83 billion (bn) in the financial year 2020, as per the report. The list ranked 3,228 billionaires from 2,402 companies and 68 countries.
Elon Musk of Tesla topped his list of peers with a record addition of $151bn to his worth last year to become the richest man in the world for the first time with a net worth of $197 billion. He surpassed Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, who was Hurun's richest man of the year in 2020.
Bernard Arnault, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg bagged the third, fourth and fifth places at a net worth of $114bn, $bn, and $bn, respectively. Alice Walton, 71, of Walmart is the richest woman in the world. Zhong Shanshan, founder, and chairperson of the Nongfu Spring beverage company is the a new face in the billionaires' list.
China and USA make up over half of the known billionaires in the world with Asia accounting for 51 per cent of the world's billionaires. Beijing is home to 145 billionaires and is the world's billionaire capital for the 6th consecutive year.
It is interesting to know that India has seen a rise of the rich. The country now has 208 billionaires of which 177 live in the country. An analysis of the assets of Mukesh Ambani found that Reliance accounts for 8 per cent of the country's exports and 5 per cent of India's total revenues from customs and excise duty. "Mukesh Ambani had grown the value of his inherited assets by 71 per cent. For example, he inherited Reliance while it was valued at $10bn in 2002 and now has managed to increase that value to $83bn," the report said. Individuals in the healthcare and retail sectors benefitted most from the lockdown conditions created by the Coronavirus. Consumer goods, media and entertainment, and software services also had their profit margins increase last year.
Chairman and chief researcher of the Hurun Report, Rupert Hoogewerf, said, "Despite the disruption caused by COVID-19, this year has seen the biggest wealth increase of the last decade. As stock markets boom, driven partly by quantitative easing, and flurry of new listings have minted eight new dollar billionaires a week for the past year. The world has never seen this much wealth created in just one year, much more than perhaps could have been expected for a year so badly disrupted by COVID-19."
"The speed of wealth creation is nothing short of staggering. Three individuals added more than $50bn in a single year, led by Elon Musk with $151bn, on the back of the rise of e-cars, while e-commerce billionaires, Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Colin Huang of Pinduoduo added $50bn each. At this rate, we can expect to see fifty or more individuals break through the $100bn mark within the next five years," he said.
Some of the interesting points in the report include how 17 billionaires had their worth increase through investments in Blockchain. Tik Tok founder Zhang Yiming, though had witnessed his app getting banned in India, saw his assets increase by $40bn.