Mumbai: Forbes has released its 2017 list of India's 100 richest people, and Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani is one again -- for the tenth straight year -- at the top, with a net worth of $38 billion.
Far behind, on the second spot, is Wipro chairman Azim Premji, with a net worth of $19 billion. On the third spot are the Hinduja brothers of Ashok Leyland, sitting at $18.4 billion.
"Despite the country's economic hiccups, the combined net worth of India's 100 wealthiest stood at a whopping $479 billion, a rise of 26 percent from $374 billion in 2016," Forbes said in a statement on its website.
Forbes said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “economic experiments” barely affected India’s billionaires while none gained more than oil-and-gas tycoon Mukesh Ambani, who cemented his decade-long hold on the top slot by adding a staggering $15.3 billion (67%) to his last year’s wealth to become one of Asia’s top five richest.
"While the Indian billionaire factory continued to churn out new names from diverse sectors, the price of entry rose to a record high. The top 100 club is getting more exclusive with each passing year," Naazneen Karmali, India Editor of Forbes Asia, said.
The 100 wealthiest on this year's list are all billionaires. The minimum amount required to make the list was $1.25 billion last year, 17 per cent lower than this year.
Anil Ambani, Mukesh’s younger brother, was ranked much lower at 45th place with $3.15 billion. He was ranked 32nd in 2016 ($3.4 billion) and 29th a year before that.
Patanjali Ayurved’s Acharya Balkrishna, known as a close associate of yoga guru Ramdev, made a big jump from 48th place last year to 19th now with a net worth of $6.55 billion (about Rs 43,000 crore).
Also included in the list of India's richest are Yusuf Hamied of Cipla and Shamsheer Vayalil of VPS Healthcare.Hamied was ranked at 60th position with net worth $2.62 billion, Shamsheer with net worth of $1.57 billion was ranked 94.
The list of India’s richest also has seven women including Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.
In terms of billionaires in the UAE, Yusufali MA, who leads Emke Group, was ranked at 27, followed by Micky Jagtiani of the Landmark Group (32), B.R Shetty of NMC Group (34), Ravi Pillai of RP Group (35) and Sunny Varkey of Gems Group (65).