30 September, 2007


1st: Lakshmi Mittal

Age: 56 Net Worth: $32.0 billion Company: ArcelorMittal Industry: Manufacturing Fortune: Inherited and growing Residence: London, United Kingdom, Europe & Russia Steel titan known for deal-making. The $34 billion Arcelor-Mittal merger created an industry behemoth that now accounts for 10% of world's production. Mittal owns 44% of combined $80 billion (sales) Arcelor-Mittal and is its chief executive. He began his career working in the family's steelmaking business in India. This Londoner is UK's richest resident.

2nd: Mukesh Ambani

Age: 49 Net Worth: $20.1 billion Company: Reliance Industries Industry: Manufacturing Fortune: Inherited and growing Residence: Mumbai, Asia & Australia Since splitting with younger brother Anil in 2005 and taking control of $20 billion (revenues) Reliance Industries, founded by his late father Dhirubhai Ambani, fortune has soared by $11 billion. Mukesh's megaplans include $10 billion investment to develop special economic zones (SEZs). Recently got board approval to hike personal stake in Reliance Industries 44% to 48%.

3rd: Anil Ambani

Age: 47 Net Worth: $18.2 billion Company: Reliance Communications Industry: Telecom, power & finance Fortune: Inherited and growing Residence: Mumbai, Asia & Australia Feud with older brother Mukesh led brothers to split up family fortune in 2005; Anil took over family's telecom, finance and power interests. Net worth has surged by more than $12 billion in past year, thanks in part to 2006 listing of telecom operator Reliance Communications, of which he holds 66%.

4th: Azim Premji

Age: 61 Net Worth: $17.1 billion Company: Wipro Industry: Technology Fortune: Inherited and growing Residence: Bangalore, Asia & Australia Inherited a cooking oil business from his father that he transformed into technology services giant Wipro. Recently set up Wipro Arabia, a joint venture with Saudi Arabia's Dar Al Riyadh group. Often wears shirts with the company logo embroidered on the pocket.

5th: Kushal Pal Singh

Age: 75 Net Worth: $10.0 billion Company: DLF Industry: Real Estate Fortune: Inherited and growing Residence: Delhi, Asia & Australia Joined his father-in-law's Delhi Land & Finance in 1961. Singh later built DLF City in Gurgaon, his showpiece township on the outskirts of Delhi, by acquiring land from farmers. Transformed DLF into one of India's biggest real estate developers. Now leaves son Rajiv and daughter Pia to run operations.

6th: Sunil Mittal

Age: 49 Net Worth: $9.5 billion Company: Bharti Airtel Industry: Technology Fortune: Self-made Residence: Delhi, Asia & Australia Built his Bharti group, along with two siblings, into India's largest mobile phone operator in just ten years. Vodafone and SingTel both own stakes in recently flagship Bharti Airtel. Bharti is investing $2.5 billion in a new retailing venture in partnership with Wal-Mart. Also has partnerships with Axa for insurance and with the Rothschild family for exporting fruits and vegetables.

7th: Kumar Mangalam Birla

Age: 39 Net Worth: $8.0 billion Company: Aditya Birla Group Industry: Diversified Fortune: Inherited Residence: Mumbai, Asia & Australia Became chairman of commodities conglomerate at the age of 28 after his father's death. His $12 billion (sales) Aditya Birla Group is India's largest copper, aluminum producer. Expanding in the US with recent $6 billion acquisition of NYSE-listed aluminum manufacturer Novelis. After spat with Tata group paid nearly $1 billion to buy former partner's stake in mobile phone venture Idea Cellular and took it public.

8th: Shashi & Ravi Ruia

Age: 63 & 57 Net Worth: $8.0 billion Company: Essar Group Industry: Diversified Fortune: Inherited Residence: Mumbai, Asia & Australia The Ruias brothers turned a small family construction business into a conglomerate with interests in shipping, steel, oil and gas, and telecom. Partnered with Li Ka-shing's Hutchison in mobile phone operator Hutchison Essar in 2000. Reaped a bonanza in February, after Li announced he was selling his stake to Vodafone, in a deal that valued the brothers' 33% stake at $6.3 billion. Ruias are consolidating their empire into $4.6 billion (sales) Essar Global, which is likely to list overseas.

9th: Ramesh Chandra

Age: 67 Net Worth: $6.4 billion Company: Unitech Industry: Real Estate Fortune: Self-made Residence: New Delhi, Asia & Australia After studying structural engineering in UK, he returned home to start consulting firm. Moved into residential real estate, building middle-class housing in Gurgaon and later in southern and eastern India. Market cap of his flagship Unitech has soared to $8.6 billion. Listed subsidiary Unitech Corporate Park on the London Stock Exchange's AIM, raising $720 million.

10th: Pallonji Mistry

Age: 77 Net Worth: $5.6 billion Company: Tata Consultancy Services Industry: Engineering/Construction Fortune: Inherited Residence: Mumbai, Asia & Australia The low-profile construction magnate is the single-largest shareholder in Tata Sons, holding company of $22 billion (sales) Tata group. Its Tata Consultancy Services is India's largest software exporter; its Tata Steel recently won $12 billion bid to acquire Corus group, Europe's second-largest steel producer.