Mukesh Ambani joined by several new faces in India rich list

While industrialist Mukesh Ambani has retained his position as India's richest person for the ninth year in a row, with a net worth of $18.9 billion, the declining macroeconomic barometers have flattened the fortunes of the country's uber-rich.

As per Forbes magazine's latest India rich list, Ambani was followed by Sun Pharma's Dilip Shanghvi as second-richest with a net worth of $18 billion while Wipro's Azim Premji retained his third place with $15.9 billion.

As many as 10 of India's richest saw their net worth dip by over $1 billion each in one year, including Lakshmi Mittal, whose net worth dropped to $4.6 billion (ranked 8th with $11.2 billion). His rank too slipped three places.

Interestingly, however, amid big decline in fortunes, 12 new faces have made their debut in the India 100 rich list and over half of the 84 who return to the list this year are richer than last year.

The newcomers included Flipkart's founders, and low-cost airline IndiGo's co-founder Rakesh Gangwal, who has debuted at 70th position with a net worth of $1.6 billion ahead of his company's IPO.

Gangwal's partner Rahul Bhatia has moved up 12 positions to 38th with a net worth of $2.4 billion.

In the top 10, the Hinduja brothers were ranked 4th with $15.9 billion, followed by Pallonji Mistry at $14.7 billion, Shiv Nadar ($12.9 billion), the Godrej family ($11.4 billion), Lakshmi Mittal ($11.2 billion), Cyrus Poonawala ($7.9 billion) and Kumar Mangalam Birla ($7.8 billion).

Forbes said that while the economy is expected to grow by 7 per cent this year, the stock market is off 5 per cent from a year ago and the rupee has fallen 9 per cent. ''These declining barometers flattened the fortunes of India's 100 richest, whose combined wealth is nearly unchanged at $345 billion from a year ago,'' the magazine said.

The biggest gainer was vaccine maker Serum Institute's Cyrus Poonawalla whose wealth rose from $6.2 billion to $7.9 billion, pushing his rank to the 9th position.

The magazine said the minimum threshold for making it to the list has increased from $1 billion to $1.1 billion in 2015.

Forbes further said the list was compiled using shareholding and financial data obtained from families and individuals, stock exchanges, analysts and regulators.

The ranking lists family fortunes including those shared among extended families such as in the case of Godrej and Bajaj families while public fortunes were calculated on the basis of share price and exchange rates as on September 11.

The privately-held companies were valued on the basis of their peer group companies that are publicly listed, Forbes said.