With the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the world and markets in the red, a significant chunk of the collective net worth of this year’s billionaires’ wealth was shaved off. As a result, the total combined net worth of billionaires this year is $8 trillion, down from $8.7 trillion in 2020, as per the Forbes Billionaires List 2020.
Fortunes of Indian billionaires have also taken a big hit due to the global economic slowdown hastened by the pandemic coupled with a resultant decline in consumer demand. While the total number of Indian billionaires has come down to 102 as against 106 in 2019, their collective net worth has also taken a dip by 23 per cent to $313 billion, according to Forbes.
But some, like Byju Raveendran, former Math tutor and founder of edtech company BYJU’s, found themselves for the first time on the global rich list. With an estimated net worth of $1.8 billion, Raveendran became India’s youngest billionaire to be on the coveted list. In January, BYJU’s was valued at $8 billion in its last round of funding. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and China’s Tencent are some of its investors.
Reliance Industries’ Chairman Mukesh Ambani retained the top spot on the list with an estimated net worth of $36.8 billion, followed by the retail tycoon and founder of Avenue Supermarts (DMart supermarkets chain) Radhakishan Damani with an estimated net worth of $13.8 billion, making him India’s second-richest person for the very first time. Shiv Nadar, co-founder of HCL Group, took the third spot with an estimated net worth of $11.9 billion.
As far as Asia-Pacific is concerned, the most billionaires comes from this part of the world at 778, followed by the US at 614 and Europe at 511. Country-wise, the US is the leader with most number of billionaires at 614 in 2020 as against 607 last year, then China with 389 as opposed to 324 in 2019, followed by Germany with 107, India at 102 and finally, Russia with 99.
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