Thanks to the growing number of entrepreneurs, smaller cities are giving metros a run for their money when it comes to minting rupee billionaires. Cities such as Coimbatore, Surat, Rajkot, Ludhiana, Agra, Nagpur, Gurugram, Noida and Pune have become billionaire mills.

The Coimbatore-based promoters of KPR Mill — brothers P Nataraj, KPD Sigamani and KP Ramasamy — have emerged the richest with a wealth of ₹5,400 crore, according to the latest IIFL Wealth and Hurun India Rich list.

Incorporated in 2003 by KP Ramasamy, a farmer’s son who could study only till high school, KPR Mill has emerged one of India’s largest knitwear garment export businesses, supplying to top global fashion brands such as Marks & Spencer, H&M and Primark. The listed entity, KPR Mill, logged a turnover of ₹1,313 crore and a net profit of ₹224 crore in the June quarter.

Bhikhabhai Popatbhai Virani, Co-promoter of Balaji Wafer, with a wealth of ₹3,400 crore was the richest person in Rajkot, which has seven businessmen who are worth over ₹1,000 crore. Virani and his two brothers migrated to Rajkot from Jamnagar after raising ₹20,000 by selling their ancestral agriculture land in 1982, to make a living by producing potato chips from a small room.

Gurugram has made its debut among the top-10 cities producing the highest number of billionaires. It added four new faces, taking the total number of entrants to 18. In the last four years, the number of super-rich in Surat and Gurugram has increased to 22 and 18 from four and six, respectively.

Dinesh Chandra Agarwal of IndiaMart, with assets of ₹4,200 crore, was richest of Noida’s eight billionaires.

With 34 entries Pune has closed in on Kolkata, which boasts of 37 on the rich list.

Hurun India Managing Director and Chief Researcher Anas Rahman Junaid said that over the last decade, wealth creation has become more decentralised and dispersed with the number of Indian cities in the rich list increasing to 82 from just 10.

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