India’s billionaires got richer over the last five years — by a whopping 60%

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on May 13, 2021

Their total wealth from the top 15 industries is at ₹37.39-lakh crore

The total wealth of billionaires from the country’s top 15 industries rose by 60 per cent during the last five years to record a whopping ₹37.39-lakh crore as of December 2020, with pharmaceuticals leading the pack. These sectors were also generally untouched in 2020, a year various States imposed lockdowns to contain the raging Covid-19 pandemic.

Pharma tops the table

While pharmaceuticals maintained the top slot every year since 2016 and ended 2020 creating cumulative wealth of ₹8.12-lakh crore, Chemicals and petrochemicals came in second with ₹3.43-lakh crore. FMCG, which was in the second position five years ago, fell to third in 2018 and further to 11 by December last year. However, the sector’s net worth grew to ₹3.56-lakh crore from ₹2.45-lakh crore. In 2016, the cumulative wealth of the top 15 sectors stood at ₹23.26-lakh crore, according to data collated by Hurun India.

“The numbers evidence that Indian companies are registering the most accelerated value creation in the country’s history. Added to this, when the tech-driven wealth creation reaches full potential, India could potentially beat the US in terms of the number of billionaires,” Hurun India Managing Director and Chief Researcher, Anas Rahman Junaid, told BusinessLine.

As of 2020-end, software & services sector generated wealth of ₹5.70-lakh crore, nearly doubling from ₹2.43-lakh crore posted in 2016. The sector maintained its position as the third largest wealth creator for high networth individuals (HNIs).

At 121, pharmaceuticals had the highest number of HNIs — investors, promoters and founders — more than three times than that of 39 HNIs in 2016, followed by chemicals & petrochemicals at 55 (21 five years ago), software & services at 50 (21) and automobile & auto components at 43 (18).


Top cities

Mumbai, which had 104 billionaires as of 2017-end, maintained its top ranking in 2020 for the fifth year in a row with a total of 217 HNIs. The financial capital of the country had a total of 104 HNIs in 2016. New Delhi came in second with 129 billionaires, followed by Bengaluru (67), Hyderabad (50) and Ahmedabad (38). The pecking order of the top five had remained unchanged for the past five years while Chennai (37) dethroned Kolkata (32) this year.

Published on May 12, 2021

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