Published: 09th February 2022
What the FAQ: Who is Gautam Adani and how did he become Asia's new richest man?
We look at Gautam Adani's growth as a business mogul through the years as well as some of his philanthropic works
Gautam Adani recently became Asia's richest man, overtaking another Indian, Mukesh Ambani in the process. He has a reported wealth of $88.5 billion to his name, which shades Ambani's $87.9 billion. He has had a growth of $12 billion this year, making him the biggest gainer in the world. So, how did he become the 10th richest man in the world? Which industries does he have a stake in? We answer all that and much more in this edition of What the FAQ.
What were Adani's beginnings like?
Adani dropped out of college and was always keen on setting up his own business. His elder brother's plastics unit in Ahmedabad was a breakaway to global trading. In 1985, Adani started importing polymers for small-scale industries. Adani Exports, established in 1988, dealt in agriculture and power commodities. Soon, the liberalisation policies led to his growth even further.
What was his first big break?
In 1995, Adani got the contract for managing the Mundra Port in Gujarat, after its outsourcing was announced by the Gujarat government. Today the Mundra Port is the largest private-sector port in India, with the capacity to handle up to 210 million tons of cargo every year. In 1996, Adani expanded his reach to the power sector with Adani Power. Today he is the largest single producer of thermal power in the country.
What are some of his recent ventures?
During recent years, there has been a marked effort to move into the Green Energy sector by the Adani Group. This was most clearly demonstrated when Adani won the world's largest solar bid by the Solar Energy Corporation of India worth $6 billion. The Adani group will install up to 10,000 MW of solar power across the country. Adani also acquired a 74 per cent stake in Mumbai International Airport, which signalled his interest in the commercial aviation sector.
What are some of his philanthropic works?
During the initial Cornovirus lockdown, the Adani group was supplying up to 1,500 cylinders of medical oxygen in the Kutch region of Gujarat. He made a contribution of Rs 100 crore to the PM Cares Fund in March 2020 to fight the COVID outbreak as well as a Rs 5 crore donation to Gujarat CM Relief Fund and Rs 1 crore to the Maharashtra CM Relief Fund. Besides this, Adani also initiated the Adani Foundation. It focuses on four key areas of education, community health, sustainable livelihood development and community infrastructure development.