Silent storm Gautam Adani is making the news for making more wealth than anyone else in 2021. The net worth of the first-generation Indian tycoon from Gujarat surged a whopping $16.2 billion in 2021 and is now at $50 billion. According to Bloomsburg Billionaires Index, the net worth riding on the backs of his ports-to-powerplant ventures helped him beat the likes of Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos. It should be noted that both Bezos and Musk have been fighting for the spot of world’s richest person. Currently, Bezos is on the top spot while Musk on the second.
The huge gains made by Adani overshadow the $8.1 billion added by another Gujarat salt-to-software business conglomerate chairman, Mr. Mukesh Ambani. The Adani Group’s airports, docks, powerplants, are mushrooming across the country. So much so that all of his ventures have been on a bullish rally and have gained at least 50% or more.
It’s impressive how Gautam Adani’s group of businesses have earned profits during the drastic fallout post COVID-19 lockdown. While shares of the Adani Enterprises have surged over 90%, Adani Transmission, Adani Power and Adani ports have all recorded profits rising 79% and 52% respectively. So it should come to no one’s surprise that Mr. Adani has come out shining brighter than any other man. His net worth rose past $50 billion, almost double of what Mr. Mukesh Ambani accumulated during the period.
The story of Adani Enterprises’ founder and chairman Gautam Adani is interesting to say the least. From a humble background, to establishing businesses across the coast of Gujarat, to getting in the good graces of the then Gujarat Chief Minister and now India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the story of this businessman is surely a Netflix show waiting to be made.
Gautam Adani is one of the few billionaire business moguls who never inherited any power nor had the backing of early-stage capitalists. The son of an ordinary Gujarati couple completed his primary education in Ahmedabad and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in the Commerce space in Gujarat University. However most visionary billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and more, Mr. Adani dropped out from his university.
Like any run-of-the-mill Gujarati man in 70s, he started working as a diamond sorter in Mumbai. A keen man, Adani learnt all the rules from the playbook and set his own diamond brokerage firm in Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazar. But in 1981 he was called to Ahmedabad by his elder brother to aid him in his poly-vinyl-chloride unit (PVC Unit). This was one of the most important milestones of Adani’s life. In 1988, he formed Adani Enterprises, a trading venture, and the rest is as they say history.
Thanks to economic liberalization that helped many businesses across India cement itself, Adani entered more and more spaces, establishing Adani Ports, and an SEZ (Special Economic Zone) also labeled as the Gujarat Adani Port. The port was on the coast of the Arabian Sea and went on to become the largest private port. Adani continued leapfrogging and established 28 new subsidiaries of Adani Group across the country. In just three decades, Adani Group was a giant in the transport, logistics and energy supply space in the country.
His humble background and his entrepreneurial journey may sound inspiring, and even one that should be idealized. But he is also known for making use of his influence and connections with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
To understand about the symbiotic relationship between Mr. Narendra Modi and the ‘other’ Gujarati business magnate, read our in-depth piece here: