India's Gautam Adani (60) has scripted a history where he is now the first Asian to become the world's third-richest person. It is the first time that anyone from Asia has entered the top three list of global billionaires. Adani is behind Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos and if his wealth surges on a current scale, he will become the second-richest person in the world surpassing Jeff Bezos.
Adani's rapid business expansion and investments have skyrocketed his fortune to a new height. Unfamiliar a decade ago, he is now attained global prominence and has turned heads when he surpassed France's Bernard Arnault, the Chief of Louis Vuitton, to become the third-richest person. According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Adani has reported a $137.4 billion fortune.
India's Mukesh Ambani and China's Jack Ma have never come closer to Adani in their wealthy rivalry. Adani's entity is the third largest in India after Reliance and Tata Group and Adani's conglomerate has been venturing into crucial sectors from cement, coal, energy and infrastructure, to media. Adani's surge has come in a short period of time and if he adds $17 billion to his fortune based on the current rating, he would surpass Jeff Bezos.
The Adani Group now owns India's largest private-sector port and airport operator, city-gas distributor and coal miner. Though his empire is growing rapidly, the concerns have also grown with CreditSights, in its latest report, said that Adani's deals have been predominantly funded with debt and his empire is deeply over-leveraged.
Some lawmakers have raised concerns over shareholder structures and a lack of analyst coverage at Adani Group. However, on the other hand, the shares have also surged. It has been reported that the pivot to green energy and infrastructure has won investments from firms including TotalEnergies and Warburg Pincus. The surge in coal in recent months has further advanced his fortune.
It is pertinent to note that Adani has added $60.9 billion to his fortune in 2022 alone, which is five times more than anyone else. Earlier in February, Adani surpassed Mukesh Ambani to become the richest man in Asia and Adani went on to become a centibillionaire in April and surpassed Microsoft's Bill Gates as the world's fourth-richest person last month.
Within a month, Adani has witnessed another elevation by becoming the third-richest person. It has been reported that Adani's surge in the ranking was made possible by some of the world's richest billionaires in the US who have boosted their philanthropic initiatives. Bill Gates said in July he was transferring $20 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation while Warren Buffett has already donated more than $35 billion to the charity. Bill Gates is currently the world's fifth-richest person followed by Warren Buffett.
Gautam Adani has also increased his charitable contributions. Earlier in June, he pledged to donate $7.7 billion to social causes on the occasion of his 60th birthday. While Adani is the third-richest person, Mukesh Ambani is at number 11 on the list of billionaires with $91.9 billion. The net worth of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos is currently at $251 billion and $153 billion respectively.