Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man has bypassed fellow billionaires Elon Musk and Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and emerged as the sixth-richest person in the world according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
With a whopping net worth of $72.4 billion, Mukesh Ambani is Asia’s richest person and has sights on surpassing Jeff Bezos – the founder of Amazon and world’s richest person.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, when most of the businesses are struggling to survive, Mukesh Ambani who is the Chairman of Reliance Industries has managed to attract massive investments worth billions of dollars from leading firms including Facebook Inc., Silver Lake and, most recently, Qualcomm Inc.
According to Forbes, more than two-thirds of the $22 billion funding was raised by offloading a 25% stake in Jio Platforms, Reliance’s fast-growing telecom and broadband unit. Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook picked up a 10% stake for $5.7 billion and private equity titan Robert Smith’s Vista Equity Partners paid $1.5 billion for a 2.3% stake.
This isn’t the first time that Ambani has emerged as the world’s top 10 richest people. He made his first appearance at number 5 in 2008 and stayed in the top 10 for the next 3 years. In 2010, he had climbed to No. 4 with $29 billion, dropping to No. 9 a year later with $27 billion.
Ambani fell out of the top 10 in 2012. Experts credit this resurgence to his fast-growing ventures in the oil and petrochemical sector along with his entry in the telecom and retail industries.
However, Mukesh Ambani, for now, is far behind Amazon founder Jeff Bezos whose net worth is almost the double of Ambani’s worth. Bezos is now worth close to $170 billion.
According to a study done by Comparisun, an advice platform for small businesses, Bezos would become a trillionaire (net worth of over $1,000 billion) by 2026, whereas, Ambani may become a trillionaire by 2033. According to Comparisun, Ambani would be the fifth such person in the world to achieve the feat.
Last year in August, Ambani had announced that Reliance, which has invested $46 billion to build out Jio, would have zero debt by March 2021. With about 50% of debt already paid till March 2020, it is set to achieve its target on time.
“Mukesh has changed the face of Reliance from petrochemicals to technology,” said fellow billionaire Harsh Goenka, chairman of the RPG Group. “That global investors are scrambling to pick up a piece of Jio during a global pandemic, is nothing short of incredible.”
Amazon founder – Jeff Bezos, despite the lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic, gained $34.6 billion to his wealth. Meanwhile, the company has faced criticism from U.S. senators and the general public for its treatment of warehouse workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Reports of unsafe working conditions at Amazon warehouses have raised questions on the company’s treatment of its employees. Allegedly, Amazon fired the whistleblower who was told not to raise the concerns about the working conditions in the warehouses.