Gautam Adani, billionaire industrialist and Adani Group’s chairperson replaced Bernard Arnault, the co-founder and chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, to become the world’s second richest individual according to data by Forbes.

According to Forbes’ Real-time Billionaires list, Adani and his family’s net worth as of Friday stood at $155.4 billion against Arnault’s $155.2 billion. Adani now trails Tesla’s Elon Musk, who remains the world’s richest man with a net worth of $273.5 billion.

Adani Group stocks Adani Enterprises, Adani Port and Adani Transmission touched their record highs on the BSE in Friday’s early trade, leading to a rise in the group Chairman’s real-time net worth.

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Who is Gautam Adani?

Born in 1962 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Adani dropped out of college to pursue business.

Adani moved to Mumbai in 1978 to work as a diamond sorter and founded his own diamond brokerage firm in the city within three years.

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With a foothold in the business world, Adani rapidly expanded his business activities to several sectors between 1981 and 1994, including plastics, polymers, metals, textiles, and agro products.

In 1995, Adani established his first jetty in the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat. While it was initially operated by the Mundra Port & Special Economic Zone, operations were transferred to Adani Ports & SEZ in 1998, paving the way for the company’s ascent to become India’s largest private multi-port operator. The Mundra Port managed by Adani’s company is also the largest private port in India capable of handling over 200 million tonnes of cargo annually.

With Adani fast become a major industrialist, he was kidnapped in 1998 at gunpoint and held for a ransom, with the kidnappers demanding $1.5 million. However, he was later taken to an unknown location and released without any money collected. His abductors were arrested over the course of the next decade, but were acquitted in 2018.

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Adani’s meteoric rise as an industrialist did not stop after the kidnapping, and in 2006, the 59-year-old entered the power generation industry, quickly becoming the largest private thermal power producer in India.

Between 2009 and 2012, the Adani Group went on to acquire the Abbot Point Port and the Carmichael coal mine in Australia, further expanding its business footprint.

Subsequently, in 2020, Adani also entered the clean energy sector, and won a $6 billion bid by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), the biggest solar power bid in the world at the time.

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Later in the same year, Adani acquired a 74% stake in the Mumbai International Airport, which is the second-busiest airport in India.

In November 2021, Adani briefly overtook Reliance Industries head Mukesh Ambani to become Asia’s richest man. He reclaimed his spot at the top again on February 8, 2022, with a net worth of $88.5 billion. Mukesh Ambani, meanwhile, got relegated to the second richest man in Asia, with a net worth of $87.9 billion.

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In May 2022, he made an entry into the cement sector when
he won the race to acquire Swiss giant Holcim’s cement business in India for $10.5
billion. He also aims to be the world’s largest green energy producer and has
said he will invest upto $70 billion on renewable energy projects.

Gautam Adani is married to Priti Adani. They have two sons, Karan and Jeet.