Hurun Global Rich List 2021: World adds 8 billionaires a week in 2020
Business Standard|March 02, 2021
Illustration by Ajay Mohanty
Of all global billionaires, 71 per cent are self-made and only 29 per cent have inherited the wealth

The world added 8 billionaires a week in 2020 – 421 in a year – taking their total number to a record 3,288, according to the 10th Edition of Hurun Global Rich List 2021 released Tuesday. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the total wealth of all billionaires across the globe surged 32 per cent during the period under review to $14.7 trillion.

“Billionaires have added in the past year the equivalent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of Germany to take their wealth to the equivalent of China. They added $3.5 trillion to take their total wealth to $14.7 trillion, a huge concentration of economic power,” the report said.

The Hurun Global Rich List 2021 ranked 3228 billionaires from 2,402 companies and 68 countries. The wealth calculations are a snapshot of January 15, 2021.

Tesla's Elon Musk added a massive $151 billion during the year to become richest man in world for first time, with $197 billion in net worth. Amazon.com Inc. boss Jeff Bezos with a staggering $189 billion in net worth and Bernard Arnault, chief executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE, the world's largest luxury-goods company with net worth of $114 billion ranked second and third globally, respectively. Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) are the other two that complete the top-five ranking line-up.

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“Despite the disruption caused by Covid-19, this year has seen the biggest wealth increase of the last decade. A stock market boom, driven partly by quantitative easing, and flurry of new listings have minted eight new dollar billionaires a week for the past year,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report chairman and chief researcher.

Three individuals, according to the report, added over $50 billion in a single year, led by Elon Musk with $151 billion, whilst e-commerce billionaires Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Colin Huang of Pinduoduo added $50 billion each.

“At this rate, expect to see 50 or more break through the $100 billion mark within the next five years,” Hoogewerf said.

And most of these billionaires have toiled hard to achieve the status. Of all global billionaires, 71 per cent are self-made and only 29 per cent have inherited the wealth, the report said. Among the lot are 231 self-made women, up 51 from last year. China dominated with 66 per cent of the world’s self-made women billionaires, led by Zhong Huijuan of drug-maker Hansoh with a net worth of $23 billion. The richest woman in the world is Alice Walton of Walmart with a networth of $74 billion.

The rise of Asia and India

Country-wise, China leads with the most number of billionaires at 1058, followed by the US (696), India (177), Germany, the United Kingdom and Switzerland at over 100 each.

By continent, Asia accounts for 51 per cent of the billionaires. India, the report said, now has 209 billionaires. “India last year added billionaires at a similar rate to the US, 50 compared with 69,” the report said.

With $83 billion, Reliance Industries' (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani was the richest in India, second richest in Asia and the eighth richest in the World. Gautam Adani (Adani Group), Shiv Nadar (HCL Group), Lakshmi N Mittal (ArcelorMittal) and Cyrus Poonawalla (Serum Institute of India) are the other top-ranking billionaires in India, according to the Hurun Global Rich List 2021. Apoorva Mehta of Instacart with a net worth of $1.7 billion and Nikhil Kamath of Zerodha with a net worth of $1.9 billion are the youngest Indians in the list.

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“Indian wealth creation is dominated by cyclical/ traditional industries compared to tech-driven wealth creation in the USA and China. When the tech-driven wealth creation reaches full potential, India could potentially beat the USA in terms of the number of billionaires”, said Anas Rahman Junaid, managing director and chief researcher, Hurun India.

Among cities, Mumbai hosts the maximum number of billionaires (60), followed by New Delhi (40) and Bengaluru (22).

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First Published: Tue, March 02 2021. 10:47 IST
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