Quiet Indian tycoon Gautam Adani beats Musk, Ambani to add the most wealth in 2021

The net worth of  Mr Gautam Adani has jumped US$16.2 billion in 2021 to US$50 billion.
The net worth of Mr Gautam Adani has jumped US$16.2 billion in 2021 to US$50 billion.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

NEW DELHI (BLOOMBERG) - Indian tycoon Gautam Adani has added more billions to his wealth than any one else in the world this year on the back of investor excitement around his ports-to-power plants conglomerate.

The net worth of Mr Adani, a first-generation entrepreneur who rarely speaks publicly, has jumped US$16.2 billion (S$21.8 billion) in 2021 to US$50 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

This has made him the year's biggest wealth gainer, beating even Mr Elon Musk, who has tussled with Mr Jeff Bezos in 2021 for the title of world's richest.

Shares of all Adani group stocks, except one, have rallied at least 50 per cent this year.

The surge in wealth dwarfs the US$8.1 billion added by Mr Adani's compatriot and the richest person in Asia, Mr Mukesh Ambani. It also underscores the rising heft of the self-made billionaire, who has lured investment from Total to Warburg Pincus.

Mr Adani has been rapidly expanding his conglomerate, adding ports, airports, data centres and coal mines in India, while doggedly proceeding with his controversial Carmichael coal project in Australia.

"Adani has been consistently expanding its business in areas that are resilient to market cycles," said Mr Sunil Chandiramani, founder and chief executive officer at Nyka Advisory Services. 

"Now with the entry in data centres business, the group has also indicated its appetite for venturing into technology." Adani Enterprises signed a pact last month to develop 1 gigawatt of data centre capacity in India.

Adani Total Gas, the top performer in the group, has jumped almost 97 per cent this year, while the flagship Adani Enterprises has advanced 87 per cent. Adani Transmission is up 77 per cent. Adani Power and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone have gained more than 50 per cent this year. Adani Green Energy, after rising over 500 per cent last year, has climbed 10 per cent so far.