Nobody can see the future, but Successful businessmen can anticipate the coming trends, and the exceptional ones among them become tycoons by working on the trends. Gautam Adani is one of them; he realized that the future is green, and adapted his groups accordingly. This has helped him enter into a race with Reliance Industries’ Mukesh Ambani for being Asia’s richest person
On February 11, he bypassed Ambani. A few days later, Ambani overtook him. The race is on.
The 59-year-old Chairman and Founder of the Ahmedabad-based multinational conglomerate Adani Group earned his spurs in ports, mines, and infrastructure projects. It was, however, his foray into green energy that his worth recently reached $88.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
This catapulted Adani in the list of the world’s top 10 richest persons, surpassing even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The Adani Group controls the Mundra port, which is India’s largest. He also holds 74 percent equity in the Mumbai international airport.
Gautam Adani took Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis on “green future” seriously. This made his fortunes soar, as Adani Green Energy’s share price almost doubled in the past year, making it the most valuable of Adani companies. The group intends to put $70 billion into eco-friendly projects by 2030.
Adani is a first-generation tycoon, who moved around on his Bajaj Super scooter during the 1980s with his childhood friend Malay Mahadevia on the pillion. Mahadevia is now a top executive in the Adani Group.
Adani’s take on most matters has been different. In the late 1990s, an Adani Exports employee messed up big time, causing a loss of Rs 20 crore. He apologized and resigned. Adani’s reaction was: “I know you will not make a similar mistake in the future because of this lesson. Why should your next employer benet from this learning when I have paid the price for it?” He refused to accept the resignation.
With India aiming for 500 gigawatts of energy from non-fossil fuel capacity by 2030, half of which are expected from renewables, Adani has smartly aligned his businesses with the national targets. The market has appreciated this, as evident from the surge in his stocks. Ditto with foreign investors. Among them is the French oil company Total, which acquired 20 percent equity in Adani Green Energy last year. Unsurprisingly, Gautam Adani’s worth has more than doubled in the same period.
Adani, however, is not the only business person who has thrived in the competitive market that PM Modi’s policies, especially Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India, have created. Adani was a big player even a decade ago, but there are also a large number of entrepreneurs whose startups have become unicorns (companies with a valuation of $1 billion) and even decacorns ($10 billion).