More than 60 percent of India’s population lives in extreme poverty- that is, they live on less than $3 a day. While the number has gone down in recent years, from 22.5 percent in 2011 to 10.3 percent in 2019, it’s still a major issue. Not only is unemployment a problem, but many also face inflation, starvation, and other issues.
To make matters worse, India doesn’t have a minimum wage. In other words, there’s no minimum pay that an employer must pay their workers. More often than not, a rate is simply agreed upon through negotiating and bargaining and more often than not, it’s not a fair living wage.
Having said that, there are those who are extremely wealthy. In fact, there are dozens of billionaires in India, and if you were to take the combined wealth of the top 100 richest individuals, their net worth would be at approximately $660 billion USD.
What’s more, is that the number of wealthy individuals has only gone up in recent years. According to BBC, there were 102 billionaires in the country in 2020; this number has increased to 166 in 2022. That’s not all, according to one report by Oxfam India, five percent of Indians own more than 60 percent of the nation’s wealth.
Top Ten Richest People in India – 2023 List
Without further ado, let’s take a look at who these billionaires are.
10. Sunil Mitta – $14.5 Billion
Sunil Mittal is the owner of Bharti Airtel, one of the largest mobile phone operators in India, with more than 470 million customers. Based in New Delhi, the company also operates in more than a dozen different countries worldwide including the Channel Islands, Africa, and South Asia. In fact, it’s the second largest mobile network provider in the world, after China Mobile. In 2016 alone, Bharti Airtel had a total revenue of more than $14.75 billion.
That’s not all, Mittal, is also the founder of Bharti Enterprises, which has interests in real estate, hospitality, education, food, insurance, malls, and other ventures. Some of their brands and companies include Centum Learning, Field Fresh Foods, which is a joint venture between Mittal and DMPL India, Brightstar Telecommunications, OneWeb, and Bharti Realty.
A philanthropist, Mittal runs the Bharti Foundation, which has opened a number of schools in various villages; they also provide food to the poor. In 2017, he and his family also pledged 10 percent of their wealth to set up the Satya Bharti University.
Born on October 23, 1957, Sunil Mittal is the son of Sat Paul Mittal, who was a member of the Indian Parliament. After graduating from university, he started his first business in 1976 with money that he borrowed from his parents; he was 18 at the time.
Several years later, he and his brothers moved to Mumbai and started a trading company. Not long afterward, he began producing push-button phones. By the early 1990s, he had started to make other devices including cordless phones and fax machines.
9. Dilip Shanghvi – $15.5 Billion
Dilip Shanghvi is the founder of Sun Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company that produces a number of generic drugs and pharmaceutical ingredients. Some of its products include dapaglifozin, brivaracetam, and barictinib. Based in Mumbai, it’s the largest pharmaceutical company in India and is also one of the largest specialty pharmaceutical companies in the world.
Over the years, the company has also acquired a number of brands including Pradeep Drug Company, Milmet Labs, Chattern Chemicals, Valeant Pharma and Able Labs. Since 2010, they’ve also owned a large stake- approximately 70 percent- in Taro Pharmaceuticals, which is one of the largest generic dermatology companies in the United States.
More recently in 2019, they also acquired Japan’s Pola Pharma and entered the China Market with a partnership with China Medical System Holdings.
Nowadays, Sun Pharmaceuticals is one of the most reputable brands in India. Over the past several years, they’ve won a number of awards including the Golden Peacock Award and Distribution Industry Award for Healthcare Achievements. Not only that but they’ve also been included in Forbes Magazines’ “World’s Best Employers” list.
Born on October 1, 1955, in Gujarat, India, Dilip Shanghvi spent his childhood in the Burrabazar neighborhood with his parents. After graduating college, he began to help his father with his business, which mainly dealt with generic drugs. He later opened his first factory in 1982; he was 27 years old.
8. Kumar Birla – $17.5 Billion
Kumar Birla is the chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, a multinational conglomerate that operates in a hundred countries worldwide including China, Malaysia, South Korea, Switzerland, Egypt, Brazil, Germany, and the United States. Based in Mumbai, the group has interests in branded apparel, insulators, chemicals, metals, financial services, as well as viscose fiber. Not only that but they’re also the largest producer of cement in India.
Some of their subsidiaries include Aleris, Vodafone Idea, Grasim Industries, UltraTech Cement, Domsjo Fabriker, Applause Entertainment, Aditya Birla Capital, and Novelis. In 2022, the corporate group had a total revenue of $60 billion.
Born on June 14, 1967, in West Bengal, India, Kumar Birla attended the University of Mumbai and later studied at the University of London, from which he received his Master of Business Administration degree. At the age of 28, he took over the family business and consolidated everything under the Aditya Birla Group brand.
By the 2000s, he had acquired a number of companies including Nifty Copper Mines, the Indian Aluminum Company, and L&T Cement.
7. Lakshmi Mittal – $18.2 Billion
Lakshmi Mittal is the Executive Chairman of ArcelorMittal, a multinational steel manufacturing company that’s based in Luxembourg City. Founded in 2006, they are the world’s second-largest steel producer, after the China Baowu Steel Group. In 2022 alone, they produced more than 88 million metric tons of crude steel, most of which were made for automotive purposes.
In addition to steel production, they’re also involved in mining, and research and development.
Aside from ArcelorMittal, he is also the chairman of Aperam, another stainless steel manufacturer, and the co-owner of the professional football club Queens Park Rangers F.C. Not only that but he’s also an executive committee member at the World Steel Association, and the World Economic Forum’s Business Council, among others.
Born on June 15, 1950, Lakshmi Mittal attended St. Xavier’s College, from which he graduated with a commerce degree. In 1976, he opened his first steel business in East Java after the Indian government curbed the production of steel. He later purchased two steel works in Tobago and Trinidad and turned them into profitable ventures.
In 2005, he was named “Business Person of the Year” by The Sunday Times. Not long afterward, he gave the “International Newsmaker of the Year” title by Time Magazine.
6. Savitri Jindal – $19.9 Billion
Savitri Jindal is the chairperson of the O.P. Jindal Group, an international conglomerate that was started by her late husband, Om Prakash Jindal. Founded in 1979, the group is active in various fields including infrastructure, steel, cement, and power.
She and her late husband had four sons, who after his death in 2005, began running the group’s companies independently. The group’s largest assets are currently overseen by her son Sajjan Jindal, who heads JSW Steel in Mumbai, while her youngest son, Naveen oversees Jindal Steel & Power in Delhi.
Born on March 20, 1940, in Assam, India, Savitri Jindal married her late husband Om Prakash Jindal, who had founded the O.P. Jindal Group, in the early 1970s. After her husband died in a helicopter crash in 2005, she became the chairman of the steel and power conglomerate.
By 2016, she had become the wealthiest woman in India with a net worth of more than $4 billion.
Aside from her work with the O.P. Jindal Group, she also served as a Minister for the Haryana Government. Not only that but she was also elected to the Hisar constituency in 2005 and was later appointed the cabinet minister in 2013.
5. Radhakishan Damani – $20.2 Billion
Radhakishan Damani is the founder of Avenue Supermarts Limited, aka DMart, a chain of grocery markets in India. Founded in 2002, the company also owns a number of subsidiaries including Avenue E-Commerce Ltd, Avenue Food Plaza Pvt Ltd, Align Retail Traders Pvt Ltd, and Reflect Wholesale and Retail Private Ltd.
Based in Mumbai, the company currently operates 306 stores across India and employs more than 10,700 permanent employees. In 2016, they also launched DMart Ready, an e-commerce platform that allows individuals to order household products and groceries online.
Born on July 12, 1955, in Rajasthan, India, Radhakishan Damani grew up in Mumbai and later attended the University of Mumbai, though he ultimately dropped out after a year. Following the death of his father, who worked in Mumbai’s financial district, he left his company and became an investor and stock market broker.
By the 1990s, he had started making profits by short-selling stocks. Not long afterward, he became the biggest individual shareholder of the Indian banking and financial company HDFC. Several years later, he began operating a department store in Nerul. From there, he launched his own grocery market chain in 2002, after quitting the stock market.
4. Cyrus Poonawalla – $24.3 Billion
Cyrus Poonawalla is the founder of the biopharmaceuticals company Serum Institute of India, the largest vaccine maker in the world. Established in 1966, the company initially produced immunobiological drugs, in addition to snake antivenom, and the tetanus antitoxin. From there, they began producing other types of vaccines including those for the influenza virus, and meningitis.
In addition to that, they also began producing blood plastma, hormone products, and antisera.
In 2012, the company acquired the Netherlands-based biopharmaceutical company Bilthoven Biologicals. Several years later, they invented Rabishield, a fast-acting anti-rabies agent, with help from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company also worked with AstraZeneca to produce the Covishield vaccine. They also partnered with Novavax to create COVI-VAC, a nasally administered coronavirus vaccine.
Born in 1941, Cyrus Poonawalla is the son of horse breeder Soli Poonawala. He and his late wife, who passed away in 2010, have a son named Adar, who is currently the SEO of the biopharmaceutical company.
3. Shiv Nadar – $29.1 Billion
Shiv Nadar is the founder of HCL Technologies, a multinational information technology and consulting company that’s based in Noida. Founded in 1976, the company has several subsidiaries including HCL Healthcare, HCL Technologies, and HCL Infosystems. Not only that but they’ve also acquired a number of businesses over the years including Axon Group Plc., Capital Stream Inc., ETL Factory Limited, Butler American Aerospace, the H&D International Group, and Starschema.
As of 2023, the company operates in more than 50 countries including Hong Kong, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, South Africa, Qatar, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Not only that but they also have operations in the Netherlands, Belgium, Romania, and the United Kingdom.
In addition to HCL Technologies, Nadar is also the chairman of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, which aims to develop India’s educational system.
Born on July 14, 1945, Shiv Nadar attended PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, from which he received an Electrical Engineering degree. After graduating, he began working at Cooper Engineering Ltd., though he ultimately quit to pursue his own endeavors. He later founded HCL at the age of thirty one with an investment of 187,000 Rs.
2. Mukesh Ambani – $100 Billion
Mukesh Ambani is the founder and chairman of Reliance Industries, a multinational conglomerate company that has interests in natural gas, mass media, petrochemicals, textiles, telecommunications, and textiles. As of 2023, they have a market value of over $240 billion.
Born in present-day Yemen, he lived with his family in a modest two-bedroom apartment in Mumbai as a teen. They later moved to India, where his family started a trading business that focused on textiles and spices.
After graduating from high school, he studied at St. Xavier’s College briefly, before transferring to the Institute of Chemical Technology, where he received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. While he originally enrolled at Stanford University for an MBA, he ultimately withdrew to help his father build Reliance instead, which at the time, was a fast-growing enterprise.
By the mid-2000s, he had become one of the richest people in India, according to Forbes magazine.
1. Gautam Adani – $107.5 Billion
Gautam is the chairman of the Adani Group, a multinational conglomerate with interests in power generation, airports, transmission, infrastructure, cement, real estate, and edible oils, among others. Based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, the group has a number of subsidiaries including Adani Power, Adani Transmission, Adani Green Energy, Adani Enteprises, and Adani Wilmar.
Not only that but the Adani group also owns a number of sports teams including the Gujarat Giants, which plays in the PKL (Pro Kabaddi League). They’ve also purchased a franchise in the Women’s Premier League, and a team in the Legends League Cricket.
Over the years, they’ve also sponsored a number of sports initiatives including a program for Olympic athletes.
Born on June 24, 1962, in Gujarat, India, Gautam Adani attended Gujarat University, where he studied commerce but ultimately dropped out to work with his brother on his plastics unit. He later founded Adani Enterprises (formerly known as Adani Exports) in 1988. At the time, they mainly dealt with power and agricultural commodities.
He is currently the richest man in India, with an estimated net worth of $150.2 billion USD.