Tesla CEO Elon Musk is the richest person in the world, followed by Amazon's Jeff Bezos at the second position. Reliance Industries' Mukesh Ambani is the richest Indian and is ranked eighth globally.
A total of 412 new billionaires were added in the last year to take the total number of billionaires in the world to 3,228, as per the Hurun Global Rich List 2021. While China had the maximum number of billionaires at 1,058, US was second with 696 billionaires. India was third on the list, adding 40 billionaires to take its total count to 177.
The list pegged Ambani's total wealth at $83 billion. "Mumbai-based Ambani, 63, saw his wealth up 24 per cent to $83bn, on the back of a surge in the value of energy and telecom giant Reliance. India's largest exporter, Reliance accounts for 8 per cent of the country's exports and 5 per cent of India's total revenues from customs and excise duty," the report said.
It said Reliance is planning a calculated shift to renewable energy and has decided to venture into the battery-making business ahead of the electric vehicle boom.
Musk became the world's richest person by adding $151 billion over the last year, taking his wealth to $197 billion. "The bulk of his wealth is from his 21 per cent share of Tesla, which is worth just under $800 billion. SpaceX, in which Musk has a 52 per cent share, added $13 billion in value in the past year...," it said.
Jeff Bezos was second on the list with wealth of $189 billion. Luxury goods company LVMH's Bernard Arnault was third on the list ($114 billion), followed by Bill Gates ($110 billion), Mark Zuckerberg ($101 billion) and Warren Buffett ($91 billion).
The wealth calculations are a snapshot of January 15, 2021, Hurun said. This is the tenth year of the ranking.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the total wealth of billionaires rose $3.5 trillion or 32 per cent to $14.7 trillion. The pandemic drove up billionaires from healthcare and retail sectors the fastest, while there were also winners from electric vehicles and e-commerce sector, Hurun said.
India now has 209 billionaires, of which 177 live in India, compared with 689 in the US. Last year, India added billionaires at a similar rate to the US, 50 as compared with 69, it said.
"China has added more new faces than the rest of the world combined, and pulled away big time from the US in the past year. Despite the trade war with the US, China added 256 new billionaires, to become the first country in the world to top 1,000 'known' dollar billionaires with 1,056, more than the combined total of the next three countries of the US, India and Germany," Hurun Report Chairman and Chief Researcher Rupert Hoogewerf said.