Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has regained the title of the world’s richest man in the Forbes magazine’s annual billionaire list that includes 56 India based billionaires led by RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani.
Gates is back at the top spot after a four-year hiatus, reclaiming the title of world’s richest person from Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu, who had ranked number 1 for the previous four years.
Gates, whose fortune rose by USD 9 billion in the past year to USD 76 billion, has held the top spot for 15 of the past 20 years.
“After focussing on his philanthropy for years, Gates plans to spend more of his time working with product managers at Microsoft as rivals like Google and Apple continue to outshine the company in the market,” Forbes said.
With a networth of USD 18.6 billion, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) chief Mukesh Ambani leads the pack of 56 billionaires based in India featured on the list. His younger brother Anil Ambani is ranked 281st on the list with a net worth of USD 5 billion.
However, Forbes said the richest Indian person has seen “precipitous decline” in his fortune since 2008 when his networth was USD 43 billion and he when was the world’s fifth richest person. “Regardless he remains India’s richest person and is still bullish; says he plans to invest USD 25 billion in his businesses over the next 2 years,” Forbes said.
The magazine also referred to accusations of wrongdoing made against Reliance by Aam Admi Party founder Arvind Kejriwal, who had recently alleged that Ambani is “running the government”.
The other Indian billionaires in the list are ArcelorMittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal who is ranked 52nd with a networth of USD 16.7 billion, Wipro Chairman Azim Premji ranked 61st with USD 15.3 billion, founder of Sun Pharma Dilip Shanghvi ranked 82nd with USD 12.8 billion, HCL co-founder Shiv Nadar is ranked 102nd and has a net worth of USD 11.1 billion. Hinduja brothers came in at the 122nd with USD 10 billion.
Birla group chief Kumar Birla is ranked 191st and has a networth of USD 7 billion, Forbes said the ranks of the world’s billionaires continued to scale new heights and stretched to new corners of the world.
The list has 1,645 billionaires with an aggregate net worth of USD 6.4 trillion, up from USD 5.4 trillion a year ago. The list features a record 268 new ten-figure fortunes, including 42 new women billionaires.
In total, there are 172 women on the list, more than ever before and up from 138 last year.
The year’s biggest dollar gainer was Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, whose fortune jumped USD 15.2 billion, to USD 28.5
billion, as shares of his social network soared.