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Forty Indians entered billionaires club in pandemic hit-2020

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Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, as many as 40 Indians registered themselves in the billionaires club  as per a survey.

Mukesh Ambani continued to be the wealthiest Indian with a networth of USD 83 billion. The head of Reliance Industries witnessed a 24 per cent jump in fortunes and climbed up one spot to be the eighth richest globally, as per the Hurun Global Rich List.

Gautam Adani from Gujarat, who has had a spectacular rise in fortunes in the last few years, saw his wealth almost doubling to USD 32 billion in 2020 and climbed 20 places to be the 48th richest person globally and the second wealthiest Indian. His brother Vinod’s wealth grew 128 per cent to USD 9.8 billion.

The report compiles individual or family wealth in the year to January 15. It can be noted that the Indian economy is set to contract by over 7 per cent because of the impact of the pandemic, which had forced governments to go for lockdowns that had a debilitating impact on the poor.

The report comes at a time when concerns are being raised about a ‘K-shaped’ recovery being underway, where a select few prosper.

Hurun India’s Managing Director and Chief Researcher Anas Rahman Junaid said Indian wealth creation is dominated by cyclical or traditional industries compared to tech-driven wealth creation in the US and China.

“When the tech-driven wealth creation reaches full potential, India could potentially beat USA in terms of the number of billionaires,” he added.

IT company HCL’s Shiv Nadar was the third wealthiest Indian with a fortune of USD 27 billion while some peers in the tech industry dominated the list of fastest growing wealth.

Jay Chaudhry of software company Zcaler saw a 274 per cent rise in networth to USD 13 billion during the year while Byju Raveendran and family saw a 100 per cent increase in its wealth to USD 2.8 billion, the report said.

Diversified corporate house Mahindra Group’s head Anand Mahindra and family also saw a 100 per cent increase in wealth to USD 2.4 billion, it said.

Among those who saw a decline in their networth during the year was Acharya Balkrishna of Patanjali Ayurved at USD3.6 billion, down 32 per cent.

The financial capital continues to lead in the country from a concentration perspective, being home to 60 of the 177 Indian billionaires, followed by New Delhi at 40 and Bengaluru at 22 billionaires, it said.

From a gender perspective, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon leads with a networth of USD 4.8 billion (up 41 per cent), Smita V Crishna of Godrej at USD 4.7 billion and Lupin’s Manju Gupta at USD 3.3 billion.

A majority of 118 billionaires were classified as self-made ones in the ranking, as against 932 of the 1,058 billionaires in neighbouring China, which is home to the highest number of billionaires.

Globally, the list is led by Elon Musk of Tesla with a fortune of USD 197 billion followed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos at USD 189 billion and Frenchman Bernard Arnault of fashion house LVMH at USD 114 billion.

Automobile

Maruti Suzuki five seater to be launched in India soon

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The Jimny has been around long enough in global markets for it to be time for a mid-life nip and tuck, but more importantly this also means that the 5-door Jimny is one step closer to making it to reality. The 5-door Jimny, introduced to India as the Sierra at the 2020 Auto Expo is ear-marked for India. Recent spy-shots reveal a few more details of the India bound SUV.

Like the Jimny Sierra, the 5-door version of the Jimny will be about 300mm longer than the 3-door both in terms of wheelbase and length. The Jimny 5-door will measure in at 3,850mm in length, 1,645mm in width and 1,730mm in height and a wheelbase of 2,550mm. Like the 3-door the Jimny 5-door will have a ground clearance of 210mm and weigh in a 1190kg, 100 more than the 3-door. In the India perspective, this means that the Jimny will come in under the 4-meter mark, although the 1.5 liter petrol motor in the Jimny is likely to negate the benefit of its overall length in terms of taxation.

In global markets the K15B 1.5 litre petrol is rated for 102bhp, although it will be interesting to see if Maruti Suzuki opt for the mild-hybrid powertrain that usually accomanies this motor in India. At present Maruti Suzuki uses this motor with the smart hybrid system in the Vitara Brezza, the S-Cross, the Ciaz as well as the Ertiga. It is likely that the Jimny 5-door will use the same 5-speed manual and 4-speed torque converter that we’ve seen on all the above cars.

Now it is likely that the 5-door Jimny will debut alongside the 3-door Jimny facelift globally with similar cosmetic tweaks. India has already been manufacturing the Jimny 3-door for export markets for some time now, and now we can confirm that the 5-door has been earmarked for a launch in India shortly after the global launch, either by the end of 2021 or early next year.

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