Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani on Friday raced past Alibaba founder Jack Ma to earn Asia’s richest person tag. After the market hours on Friday, Mr Ambani was worth $44.3 billion compared to $44 billion of Mr Ma. The shares of Mr Ambani’s company appreciated by 1.6 per cent on Friday over his plans to diversify the petrochemical major into a market leader in the Indian e-commerce space.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Mr Deven Choksey, managing director at Mumbai-based K.R. Choksey Sha-res and Securities Pvt. Ltd, attributed RIL’s plans in the telecom and ecommerce sectors for the growth in the share price. “Jio is the biggest driver behind the surge in Reliance shares. With Jio, Mr Ambani has created a highway. He will also provide you cars and say you drive in my car, on my highway. Just give me toll now. It was not so clearly visible earlier,” he told Bloomberg.
Globally, however, Mr Ambani has still a long way to go reclaim his place in the Forbes top 10 rich list, where he was featured from 2008 to 2011. Mr Ambani, who joined the billionaire list in 2006 after his split with his younger brother, had his best year in 2008 when he was the fifth richest person in the world with a net worth of $43 billion — just $19 billion less than the richest person in the world.
Though Mr Ambani’s wealth halved in 2009 to $19.5 billion, his net worth hovered around $20 billion till this year. In 2018, Mr Ambani reclaimed his $40-billion net worth that he had in 2008 — after eight long years. In the world, however, has undergone a drastic change in the last 10 years, with new-age technology companies and younger billionaires joining the rich list. Despite Mr Ambani reclaiming his $40-billion mark, there is a $72 billion gap in terms of net worth from the world richest person in 2018 as against $19 billion in 2008.