Corporate File

Gautam Adani: Cementing his portfolio

Rutam Vora | Updated on: May 22, 2022
Gautam Adani

Gautam Adani

The 59-year-old Gujarati entrepreneur is marching relentlessly into newer fields

On May 15, Gautam Adani became India's second-largest cement maker, after acquiring controlling stakes in two of India's leading cement companies — Ambuja Limited and ACC Limited — from Swiss major Holcim Ltd, in a $10-billion mega deal. A day before, his group picked up a 49 per cent stake in digital news platform Quintillion Media. From old economy businesses to new-age platforms, Adani wants a finger in all pies.

In 1991 as India embarked upon liberalisation of economic policies, it unlocked new business opportunities for several first-generation entrepreneurs. The rise of Gautam Adani matches that of India, post liberalisation.

Those observing Adani, say, scale matters the most to him and that's how he builds wealth for himself and his investors. A decade ago in 2011 — at about $10 billion net worth — Adani was less-known outside his home State, Gujarat. Today, he is in the limelight as he shares the space with the richest on the planet, after racing past the celebrated billionaire Warren Buffett to become fifth richest in Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires List in April 2022 with total net worth of $123.7 billion. Thanks to the phenomenal stock price rally in his seven listed entities, the Adani Group's collective market capitalisation topped ₹14 lakh crore on May 18, 2022.

This adds another feather in the cap of the 59-year-old Ahmedabad-based entrepreneur, who currently operates the largest port network in India. In January 2000, when his Mundra port was inaugurated, very few would have imagined that one day 25 per cent of the country’s port-based cargo business, and 41 per cent of container business would be handled by his ports arm Adani Ports and SEZ Limited. In the renewables space, Adani Green Energy Limited emerged world's largest solar player after achieving the target of 25 Gigawatts ahead of schedule. The flagship firm, Adani Enterprises Limited (AEL) — predominantly a trading player — has incubated 10 businesses, which are targeted at the needs of a futuristic society and includes new-age businesses like integrated logistics, data centers and green hydrogen.

From making baby steps with a modest commodity trading business in 1988, Adani has grown to become an unrivalled shark as he adds to his growing portfolio of businesses. Soon, a new story is set to be scripted, as Adani has announced a foray into the healthcare space.

Published on May 22, 2022
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