Washington: Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani has topped the Forbes magazine's list of the top 100 richest tycoons in India for the eighth consecutive year with a net worth of $23.6 billion, up $2.6 billion from last year.
For the first time, the top 100 richest tycoons in India are all billionaires, according to the latest Forbes rich list. The combined net worth of India's 100 wealthiest is $346 billion, up more than a third from $259 billion in 2013.
"In 2014, India's outlook has moved very quickly from gloom to boom. The new federal government's mandate for change has sparked euphoria in the stock market causing a seismic shift in Indian wealth this year," said Naazneen Karmali, India Editor of Forbes Asia.
Dilip Shanghvi, founder of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, India's most valuable drug maker, is the new No. 2, overtaking steel baron Lakshmi Mittal, who slips to fifth place. Sun Pharmaceutical's shares surged after it acquired rival Ranbaxy Laboratories from Japan's Daiichi Sankyo for $4 billion in April, Forbes said.
The 59-year old Shanghvi saw his fortune rise by $4.1 billion to $18 billion. Moving up one notch to No. 3 is Azim Premji, whose net wealth increased to $16.4 billion from $13.8 billion previously.
In July, his tech firm Wipro set up a $100 million venture capital fund to back startups led by his son Rishad.
The biggest dollar gainer is ports magnate Gautam Adani, who jumped 11 spots to No. 11 adding nearly $4.5 billion to his wealth which reached $7.1 billion on soaring shares of his companies.
Adani has been on a buying spree: he bought a port in eastern India from the Tata Group for $900 million and agreed to pay $1 billion for a power plant in southern India, Forbes noted.
The minimum amount required to make the list was $1 billion, up from $635 million in 2013. With a record minimum net worth this year, 11 from last year fell off, including tycoons Brij Bhushan Singal and Vijay Mallya.
The top 10 richest in India are:
1) Mukesh Ambani; $23.6 billion
2) Dilip Shanghvi; $18 billion
3) Azim Premji; $16.4 billion
4) Pallonji Mistry; $15.9 billion
5) Lakshmi Mittal; $15.8 billion
6) Hinduja brothers; $13.3 billion
7) Shiv Nadar; $12.5 billion
8) Godrej family; $11.6 billion
9) Kumar Birla; $9.2 billion
10) Sunil Mittal; $7.8 billion