Rakesh Jhunjhunwala (62), India’s self-styled big bull of the stock markets, passed away early on Sunday morning. Jhunjhunwala had an estimated net worth of $5.5 billion (approximately ₹45,000 crore), making him the 36th richest man in India, according to Forbes.
Born on July 5, 1960, Jhunjhunwala was the son of an income tax officer and hailed from the district of Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan. He graduated with a B.Com degree from Sydenham College (University of Mumbai) and thereafter enrolled at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Jhunjhunwala had begun investing with $100 in 1985 when the BSE benchmark index Sensex was trading just at 150. He ran a privately-owned stock trading firm called RARE Enterprises.
Some of his biggest investments were Titan, CRISIL, Aurobindo Pharma, Praj Industries, NCC, Aptech Limited, Ion Exchange, Fortis Healthcare, Lupin, VIP Industries, Geojit Financial Services, Rallis India, Jubilant Life Sciences, etc. Besides, he loved to dabble in derivatives, currency and gold. Recently, he had invested ₹260 crore in the new budget airline company Akasha Airlines.
Jhunjhunwala had also shown interest in film production and his philanthropic portfolio included nutrition and education. He had pledged to give away 25 per cent of his wealth to charity. His most valuable listed holding was watch and jewellery maker Titan, part of the Tata conglomerate. After the Covid-19 lockdown ended, when Jhunjhunwala met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he was wheelchair-bound.
He contributed to shelters for cancer-affected children, Agastya International Foundation and Arpan, an entity that helps create awareness among children about sexual exploitation. Jhunjhunwala also supported Ashoka University, Friends of Tribals Society and Olympic Gold Quest. He was building an eye hospital in Navi Mumbai, which could perform 15,000 eye surgeries free of cost.