Adani group chairman Gautam Adani surpassed Berkshire Hathaway founder Warren Buffett to become the fifth richest man in the world on Friday, only to slide down to the sixth position on Monday as shares of Adani group firms dipped, in line with the weak broader market.
Despite sliding down to the 6th spot, Adani's brief entry into the top 5 richest men in the world is being seen as an "incredible rise" for an Indian businessman. Gautam Adani's total net worth stands at $122 billion, while 91-year-old Warren Buffett is slightly above him at $122 billion, the Bloomberg Billionaire Index data shows. He added $43 billion to his net worth this year alone, the data shows.
Adani's port-to-energy empire has seven publically-listed companies, which have delivered stupendous returns this year. Adani Enterprises' share has risen 33% to ₹2,286 this year (year-to-date), while Adani Ports surged 17% in the calender year 2022. Adani Wilmar has seen a 185% growth this year, while Adani Power's share soared 169% YTD. Adani Transmission, Adani Green and Adani Total Gas have risen 51%, 110% and 38%, respectively, on YTD basis.
On April 8, three Adani Group companies announced a $2 billion primary capital infusion from International Holding Company (IHC), a conglomerate based in the UAE. The three "green-focused companies" include Adani Green Energy, Adani Transmission and Adani Enterprises. IHC will invest ₹3,850 crore in Adani Green, ₹3,850 crore in Adani Transmission and ₹7,700 crore in Adani Enterprises.
Adani had surpassed Reliance Industries' chairman Mukesh Ambani in early April when he entered the $100 billion club. The total net worth of Ambani, the only Indian (9th rank) in the top 10 list apart from Adani, stands at $102 billion.
Adani's rise to the top is nothing less than miraculous. The 59-year-old founder of Adani Group made most of his fortune in the past two years after betting on green energy. After the Indian government decided to cut the country’s dependence on fossil fuels, Adani was quick to join the green energy bandwagon and now his conglomerate is on its way to becoming the largest solar power producer in the world.
The Adani group plans to spend 75% of capital on green businesses, including $20 billion in renewables, green component manufacturing and enabling infrastructure, over the next decade. Adani Green Energy, the largest solar power developer in the world, also plans to build a 45GW renewable capacity by 2030.
The billionaires ahead of Adani on the rich list are Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bernard Arnault, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. However, Adani's net worth is still more than half of the world's richest businessman Elon Musk.