Patanjali’s Balkrishna enters Forbes rich list with $2.5 bn

SINGAPORE (TIP): Yoga guru Ramdev’s close associate Acharya Balkrishna has entered the annual Forbes list of India’s 100 Richest People at the 48th position with a net worth of$2.5 billion, owing to his 97 per cent holding in Patanjali Ayurved. However, new-age retailer Flipkart’s co-founders Sachin and Binny Bansal made a surprise exit from the list.

The Forbes list on Sept 22 (Thursday) named industrialist Mukesh Ambani as India’s richest person for the ninth year in a row with a sharp increase in his net worth to $22.7 billion, while Sun Pharma’s Dilip Shanghvi was ranked a distant second with a wealth of $16.9 billion. Mukesh’s younger brother Anil Ambani was ranked 32nd with a net worth of $3.4 billion, down from 29th spot last year.

This year, the minimum amount required to make to the Forbes list was$1.25 billion, up from $1.1 billion in 2015. Forbes said the list was compiled using shareholding and financial information obtained from the families and individuals, stock exchanges, analysts and regulators. Forbes said the combined net worth of India’s 100 wealthiest is $381 billion (nearly Rs 25.5 lakh crore), a rise of 10% from $345 billion in 2015.

Balkrishna is among the six newcomers on the list, while 13 persons have failed to make the cut this year. Flipkart’s Bansals were ranked 86th last year with a net worth of $1.3 billion. Mukesh Ambani’s wealth rose in the past one year from $18.9 billion to$22.7 billion (over Rs 1.5 lakh crore) on 21% surge in share price of Reliance Industries, the flagship company of his group, which recently launched 4G mobile services with much fanfare. He was ranked 36th in the global rich list.

Shanghvi retained his second position, though his wealth fell by $1.1 billion due to plunge in share price of his group firm Sun Pharma, the world’s fifth largest generic drug maker, Forbes said. The Hinduja brothers rose to the third spot by displacing Premji and saw their worth rising to $15.2 billion, from$14.8 a year ago.

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“The four siblings -Srichand, Gopichand, Prakash, and Ashok -control multinational empire Hinduja Group, with businesses ranging from trucks and lubricants to banking and cable television. The group commissioned its much-delayed 1,040-MW thermal power unit in south India in July ,” the magazine said.

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