Gautam Adani, an Indian billionaire, briefly overtook Elon Musk as the richest man in the world on Friday. The relatively unknown energy and infrastructure tycoon is now worth more than Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, among others.
Forbes estimates that Adani is worth $152.2 billion, coming in third behind only Elon Musk ($270.1 billion) or Bernard Arnault ($154.7 billion). However, Adani briefly passed Arnault early Friday thanks to a rise in the share price of several of his conglomerate Adani Group’s publicly traded companies.
Adani, 60, a self-made college dropout who initially amassed wealth through commodities but also a ports empire, has since acquired a number of businesses in the media, energy, and transportation sectors. In 2020, he also bought a majority stake in Mumbai International Airport, making his company India’s largest airport operator.
Adani, who calls himself an introvert, has kept a fairly quiet profile considering his fortune.
Adani first showed up on Forbes’ list of the wealthiest people in 2008, with an estimated net worth of $9.3 billion, which has since grown 15-fold.
In February, as the share prices of the many Indian-listed firms owned by Adani Group skyrocketed, Adani became the richest man in Asia. The holding company Adani Enterprises, the transportation behemoth Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone, the provider of renewable energy Adani Green Energy, the utility company Adani Transmission, and the natural gas behemoth Adani Total Gas were among the Adani companies listed in Forbes’ ranking of the 2,000 most widely traded companies in the world earlier this year.
When Adani’s worth topped $100 billion in April, he quickly overtook American billionaire Warren Buffet to rank fifth in the world’s wealthiest people. In July, Adani passed Bill Gates, and this week, he surpassed Bezos to become the third-richest person in the world.
My ideal career would be an entrepreneur because it requires a lot of perseverance. In 2010, Adani stated to Forbes, “I could never follow directions from anyone.” At the time, Adani said his desire to “be remembered as someone who built special infrastructure for India and helped the country’s economic success story.”
Adani had survived two famous near-death experiences: a kidnapping in 1997 and a terrorist attack in 2008. He was kidnapped at gunpoint in 1997 and released after paying a $1.5 million ransom, according to the Indian newspaper Times Now.
Despite his reluctance to discuss the incident, the billionaire told the Financial Times in 2013 that he had experienced “two or three pretty bad incidents” in his life. Later, as part of a larger series of Mumbai terrorist assaults in 2008, Adani was eating at a restaurant inside the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel when terrorists took control of the establishment. Only when soldiers raided the building was he able to flee.
7 7 billion. Adani promised to donate that amount to charity on his 60th birthday in June. His wife Priti Adani is the head of the Adani Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to improve rural India’s healthcare and educational institutions.