Riding the digital wave, Mukesh Ambani, the first Indian to break into the global top 10 rich list, would emerge as one of the five richest people in the world in the next two or three years.

The Chairman of Reliance Industries would be the only Indian to feature in Hurun’s Global Rich List in this time frame.

However, a surprise contender for the top position would be French multi-national luxury goods conglomerate Louis Vuitton SE group head, Bernard Arnault, who is in a neck-to-neck race with Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos.

“The next millions for Ambani would come in from telecom and retail and all the things he is building around it. So, it would come from broadband, the Internet and the entire eco-system, and his plans to integrate kirana stores with the telecom infrastructure, among others,” Rupert Hoogewerf, founder and Chairman of Hurun Report, which compiles the rich list of many countries, told BusinessLine.

In 2019, Jeff Bezos topped the Hurun Global Rich List for a second year in a row, and Ambani — who holds about 52 per cent stake in RIL — ranked 10th. To move into the top slot, Mukesh Ambani’s net worth should nearly double to $100 billion from the present $54 billion (₹3.83-lakh crore), as that of others in the race is also set to rise.

21st Century Baifu Academy, a business institute promoted by Hurun Report, brings a group of global entrepreneurs to engage with their Indian counterparts. This year also it brought about 30 entrepreneurs to India.

Formal definitions

At the last count, Hurun Report found 494 Unicorns globally and India was ranked third with 21. The Indian list was led by payments solutions platform One97 Communications ($10 billion), followed by cab aggregator Ola Cabs ($6 billion) and online educator Byju’s ($6 billion), and travel-stay finder OYO Rooms ($5 billion) ranked third.

India has 20 or 30 Mountain Goats (a start-up with a potential to emerge as a Unicorns in next two to three years) and 10-20 Cheetahs (which will take three to four to become a Mountain Goat).

“While Mountain Goats can’t make many mistakes, Cheetahs have to run fast to become Mountain Goats. We have come up with formal definitions to help investors understand the start-up space,” Hoogewerf added.

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