Washington, March 3: Mukesh Ambani again emerged as the richest among ten Indians in the Forbes annual list of a record 1,645 billionaires with an aggregate net worth of $6.41 trillion, up from $5.4 trillion last year.
Ambani, with a net worth of $18.6 billion was ranked 40th as Microsoft founder Bill Gates was back on top as the world’s richest person on Forbes’ 28th annual ranking of the world’s billionaires after a four-year hiatus. His younger brother Anil Ambani was valued with a net worth of $5 billion.
Gates has topped the list for 15 of the last 20 years. With a net worth of $76 billion, up from $67 billion in 2013, the technology guru moved up on the list by one slot this year.
The Reliance industries chairman was followed among the Indians by steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal (No. 52) with $16.7 billion in the second place and Wipro’s Azim Premji (No. 61) with $15.3 billion in the third place.
Other Indians on the list were: Dilip Shanghvi (No.82) $12.8 billion, Shiv Nadar (102) $11.1 billion, Kumar Birla (191) $7 billion, Sunil Mittal & family (244), $5.7 billion, Anil Ambani $5 billion, Micky Jagtiani (281) $5 billion and Savitri Jindal & family (295) $4.9 billion.
Gates beat out telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu (2), who had maintained the number one spot for the past four consecutive years but lost $1 billion of his net worth, now valued at $72 billion, according to a Forbes media release.
Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega (best known for the Zara fashion chain) maintained his number 3 spot from 2013, but increased his net worth $7 billion for a total of $64 billion, ahead of Warren Buffett (No. 4) with a net worth of $58.2 billion.
While Google co-founder Sergey Brin (19) made it into the top 20, the biggest net worth gainer was Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (21), who more than doubled his fortune from $13.3 billion in 2013 to $28.5 billion.
The company’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg (1,540), made the list for the first time.
Thanks to the tech boom and strong equity markets, the US led with the greatest number of billionaires, with 492, followed by China with 152 and Russia with 111, Forbes said.
Regionally, Europe boasted the most billionaires outside of the US, with 468 billionaires, followed by Asia-Pacific with 444.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)