Gautam Adani is the richest Asian billionaire in history and one of the richest people on the planet.
Gautam Adani Biography
Gautam Adani is the chairman and founder of the Adani Group , an infrastructure conglomerate based in Ahmedabad, India’s 7th most populous city. In addition, he is the president of the Adani Foundation, run by his wife, Priti Adani.
He was born in 1962 into a middle-class family (his father was a small textile merchant), and he began studying Commerce at Gujarat University, but dropped out in the second year. He always showed interest in business, but not his father’s.
In 1981 his older brother bought a plastics factory in Ahmedabad and invited him to enter the business.
This company was Gautam Adani’s gateway to world trade, through PVC imports. After the plastic business, he began to trade metals, textiles and agricultural products and in 1995 he took over the first port. Today his company is the largest private port operator in India.
Gautam Adani Career
OR ONCE INAt one time, long before the hoodie was invented, business pioneers preferred to call themselves self-made men rather than entrepreneurs. They built hard assets like ports, railroads, and oil terminals. They bamboozled — and fooled — governments.
They built vast conglomerates. In America, such men made history in the Gilded Age. In India, one of the modern avatars of him is Gautam Adani, a merchant who began his career haggling for diamonds and now controls more ports, power plants, solar farms and airports than almost any other private tycoon.
A portly 59-year-old man of few words, a strong political antennae, and a stomach for debt, he couldn’t be further removed from the elven founder.
CEOs of the digital age. And yet, by June, the value of his companies had more than quintupled in 12 months, to $133 billion. That’s a tech-like growth of what is normally one of the heaviest parts of the old economy: infrastructure.
In India’s “Billionaire Raj,” Adani is often overshadowed by the other “A,” Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, who controls Reliance Industries, a petrochemical-to-telephone conglomerate.
Yet Adani, whose personal net worth nearly caught up with Ambani’s in June, is equally intriguing, not least because of some of the contradictions he embodies.
In a country whose banks have lost fortunes on loans for infrastructure projects, their debt-driven acquisition spree has gone from strength to strength.
He is a proponent of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s drive for self-sufficiency, but relatively few of his company’s shares are held by Indian institutional investors.
And it courts environmental, social and governance ( ESG) funds from around the world, yet parts of his empire are knee-deep in coal. Anyone who can sustain such a precarious juggling act probably also deserves to make history.
The interests of the Adani Group have been adapted to the economic ambitions of the Modi government. For example, since listing in 2018, the share price of Adani Green Energy ( AGEL ), his renewable energy company, has soared by more than 2,700%. As well as building what he considers the world’s largest solar power company, he is helping Modi achieve his clean energy ambitions. And he isn’t afraid of bold bets to win government contracts.
Take Adani Enterprises ( AEL), another listed entity, for example. In 2018-19, it acquired six privatized Indian airports, despite having no prior experience in the industry. Since then (and despite the blight on air travel caused by the covid-19 pandemic) its stock market value has eclipsed that of Adani Ports, historically the group’s crown jewel.
This expansion is not as reckless as it seems. Adani Group touts an “adjacency model” in which it moves into complementary areas: from ports to energy, logistics and data storage, for example.
Its debts are backed by growing cash flows. Reliance on bond markets, rather than India’s banks, has increased.
And it has brought foreign groups, such as TotalEnergies, the French supermajor, and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, into joint ventures. The government, which is not overly interested in foreign competition in India, welcomes such inflows as much as him.
However, its financing creates a paradox. While the group attracts foreign funding for companies that are directly focused on India, ordinary Indian investors hardly notice.
In addition to the flagship port business, the national mutual funds have minuscule amounts of their other publicly traded entities, including those whose share prices have soared of late, such as AGEL and AEL .
The group says such holdings should be expanded “in the near future,” explaining that the small floats are the result of relatively recent listings.
But in the meantime, questions about the group’s arcane shareholding structure have helped wipe tens of billions of dollars from the combined value of its six listed entities since mid-June.
Aside from him, which has large stakes in all of its listed companies, most of the remaining big investors are offshore funds, including some based in Mauritius. Some have almost all of their investments in Adani Group companies and doubts have been raised in parliament about their ownership.
In response, a government minister said last month that the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the capital markets regulator, was investigating some of the group’s companies.The group’s hunger for capital creates an additional conundrum. Increasingly, it is selling its clean energy businesses to ESG fund managers.
AEL still owns Carmichael, an Australian thermal coal mine that has been the target of a grassroots “Stop Adani” campaign, and has been shunned by banks and insurers concerned about the climate implications of financing coal projects.
Tim Buckley of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a pro-renewables think tank, believes exposure to coal could cause an ESG backlash that damages other parts of the Adani empire.
He argues that to reinforce his ESGreputation, the conglomerate should commit to phasing out coal power.
Mr. Adani seems to have no plans for that yet. He believes that a developing country like India cannot give up coal overnight.
The group still intends to produce 30% of gross operating profit from its utility businesses from thermal power generation in 2025 (it was 52% last year). When Carmichael produced his first lump of charcoal in time for Adani’s birthday on June 24, he tweeted, “Couldn’t be a better birthday present.”
Perhaps he recognizes that foreigners, despite sustainable pretensions, find India irresistible, especially with investment in China stagnant.
Perhaps he hopes they will approach giants like Adani, not least because of his ability to deal with India’s bureaucracy.
However, if they do, the group faces a problem. The stronger it gets, the nastier it will seem that few ordinary Indian shareholders are sharing the advantage.
Gautam Adani Philanthropy
He is the chairman of the Adani Foundation, funded through the Adani Group. It was founded in 1996. Apart from Gujarat, the Foundation operates in the states of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. In March 2020, he contributed Rs 100 crore to the PM CARES Fund through his group’s philanthropy arm, to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
He made a contribution of 5 crore to the Gujarat CM Relief Fund and 1 crore to the Maharashtra CM Relief Fund.
Gautam Adani Net Worth
All this has meant that the wealth of billionaires has been reduced in recent months. However, the crisis does not affect everyone equally.
According to Forbes , Gautam Adani , founder of the Adani Group, has managed to increase his wealth and is already among the richest people on the planet.
With a fortune of around 100,000 million dollars , the Indian businessman rubs shoulders with the largest fortunes in the world led by the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk , the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos , and the owner of the luxury group LVMH, Bernard Arnault. According to the Forbes and Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Adani is the richest person in India and Asia and the fifth richest in the world.
The Indian Gautam Adani became the third richest person in the world , being the first Asian to hold that position, amassing a fortune of approximately 137.4 billion dollars, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index .
Adani, already the richest man in Asia, is the founder of the Adani Group , which controls companies ranging from ports and aerospace , to solar power and coal .
According to Bloomberg , Adani’s fortune has soared during the COVID-19 pandemic, as investors have bet on his ability to grow his business in sectors that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has prioritized everythin for the development.
He has also benefited from are bound in coal use, which has fueled its rise in recent months.
Gautam Adani Private Life
Adani is married to his only wife, Priti Adani.He was kidnapped and held hostage for ransom in 1998, but he was released without be able to collect the money.
He was at the Taj Hotel during the 2008 Mumbai attacks.