Wipro founder and tech tycoon Azim Premji has dropped to 17th spot from the second position on Forbes India Rich List after giving away a substantial portion of his fortune to charity. Premji saw his net worth plunge to $7.2 billion from $21 billion last year.
"In all, 14 were poorer by $1 billion or more, and nine members from last year's ranks dropped off. More than a third of that decline was due to the remarkable largesse of tech tycoon Azim Premji, who gave away a chunk of his fortune in March and consequently dropped in the ranks to No. 17 from No. 2," Forbes said.
Azim Premji's wealth dropped by $13.8 billion as he gave away a chunk of his fortune to charity; he's on the #17 spot on the #ForbesIndiaRichList2019October 11, 2019
ArcelorMittal chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal's net worth also plunged to $10.4 billion to ninth spot this year. The steel baron had bagged third place last year with a net worth of $18.3 billion. This steep decline came on account of falling steel prices and muted demand.
"Steel baron Lakshmi Mittal, who has yet to complete the acquisition of bankrupt Essar Steel, took a $7.8 billion hit amid falling steel prices and weak demand," Forbes added.
Business magnates in the auto and consumer goods space also saw a steep drop in their wealth. Autoparts maker Vivek Chaand Sehgal's net worth more than halved to $2.45 billion on account of weak consumer sentiment in the automobile industry.
This year spelled an 8% drop in the total wealth of business tycoons on the Forbes' 2019 list to $452 billion. It had been a "challenging year for the nation's wealthies" owing to the economic slowdown.
Meanwhile, the list also included six newcomers who made their debut this year comprising Byju Raveendran (no. 72, $1.91 billion), Manohar Lal and Madhusudan Agarwal (No. 86, $1.7 billion) of Delhi-headquartered Haldiram Snacks and Rajesh Mehra (no. 95, $1.5 billion) of Jaquar.