While Mukesh Ambani tops the list, retaining his position as India's wealthiest individual for the 14th year in a row (since 2008)—adding $4 billion to his net worth in 2021—a few affluent women have made it to the top 100 as well. According to Forbes, in year two of the pandemic, India's richest increased their cumulative wealth by 50 per cent. Four pharma billionaires saw their wealth erode, and India's 100 richest are now worth $775 billion.
But, why should boys have all the fun? This year, six female entrepreneurs have bagged their place in the Forbes India Rich List. Come, meet these powerful Indian women:
1. Savitri Jindal
Indian businesswoman and Chairperson Emeritus of the OP Jindal Group Savitri Jindal, 71, has reentered the top 10 club with $18 billion. The last time the entrepreneur made it to the top 10 in Forbes India Rich List was in 2012. Comfortably perched at rank 7, her net worth has more than doubled since then. Apart from being the chairperson of the OP Jindal Group, she is also the president of Maharaja Agrasen Medical College, Agroha.
2. Vinod Rai Gupta
Sitting at the 24th rank is Vinod Rai Gupta, 76, with a cumulative net worth of $7.6 billion, up by 2X from $3.55 billion in 2020. Mother and son Vinod and Anil Rai Gupta draw their fortune from their holding in flagship Havells India. Havells was founded by Vinod's late husband, Qimat Rai Gupta, in 1958, as an electricals trading business. The company has 14 factories and sells in more than 50 countries.
3. Leena Tewari
On the 43rd position is USV Private Ltd's Leena Tewari, 64. An Indian businessperson and author, she is the chairperson of USV Private Limited, a multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company based in Mumbai, founded by her grandfather Vithal Balkrishna Gandhi in 1961. Her net worth in 2021 is $4.4 billion, a $1.4 billion jump since last year.
4. Divya Gokulnath
Divya Gokulnath, the co-founder of the multinational educational technology company Byju's, occupies the 47th rank in the Forbes India Rich List. She, along with her husband and co-founder Byju Raveendran, possess a net worth of $4.05 billion in 2021. As schools shut down during the pandemic—urging educational institutions to move online—digital platforms such as Byju's grew rapidly. Byju's wealth grew $1 billion in a year. At 35, Divya also happens to be the youngest billionaire on the list for the second year running.
5. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, 68, was the biggest wealth gainer in terms of percentage in 2020, at $4.6 billion. However, this year, she's lost the most wealth on the list in absolute terms—$0.7 billion—or 15.22%. In 2021, her net worth is $3.9 billion. She is the executive chairperson and founder of Biocon Limited and Biocon Biologics Limited, a biotechnology company based in Bangalore. She is also the former chairperson of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
6. Mallika Srinivasan
Ranked at the 73rd position in the list, Mallika Srinivasan's net worth in 2021 is $2.89 billion, a marginal increase from $2.45 billion in 2020. An Indian industrialist, she is the Chairman and Managing Director of Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited, a tractor major incorporated in 1960 at Chennai. The 61-year-old is also the chairperson of the Public Enterprises Selection Board constituted by the Government of India.