India now has more billionaires than any other country except for the US and China, overtaking the United Kingdom and Russia to place third on an annual list of the world’s wealthiest people.
The 2015 Hurun Report, China’s equivalent of Forbes Rich List, said India now has 97 billionaires, compared with 93 in Russia and 80 in the UK.
Those numbers still pale in comparison with China, which boasts a staggering 430 dollar billionaires, a number that’s fast catching up with the United States which is home to 536.
Industrialist Mukesh Ambani, the boss of Reliance Group, leads the Indian list with a net worth of $20 billion (£13.1 billion).
According to the Hurun Report, 9% of India’s billionaires inherited a small business and grew it big whilst 5% are largely self-made, albeit with a little help from parents or relatives through private education or the right connections.
A bumper year for India’s stock market in the aftermath of the election of development-driven Prime Minister Narendra Modi has benefited India’s wealthiest individuals, the report adds.
Anand Mahindra, head of the vast Mahindra Group, gained most from the stock market’s performance and saw his wealth soar some 80% in the last financial year.
India’s commercial and cultural capital Mumbai is home to the most number of Indian billionaires whose combined wealth now stands at $266 billion or just under 15% of the country’s total Gross Domestic Product.