Forbes magazine unveiled its 34th annual list of Global Billionaires, with nine Indian Americans among the nearly 2,100 individuals counted by the publication.
The 34th grouping of billionaires highlighted by Forbes comprised a total of 2,095 people led by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, for the third consecutive year, despite his net worth plunging by $18 billion. The Amazon CEO is valued at $113 billion, down from $131 billion last year. The decrease in his net worth is primarily due to his recent divorce.
Bill Gates remains in the No. 2 position with a fortune of $98 billion, up $1.5 billion from last year. Bernard Arnault of LVMH moves up on this year’s ranking and debuts in the top three, as the third-wealthiest person in the world, after Warren Buffett’s fortune fell by $15 billion. Buffett (No. 4) is valued at $67.5 billion, down from $82.5 from last year. Rounding out the top five is Larry Ellison, founder, chairman and Chief Technology Officer of Oracle Corporation. While the software executive moves up on the ranking, his fortune is down $3.5 billion this year, to $59 billion.
Outside of the top-grossing individuals are nine Indian Americans – seven men and two women – among them Romesh Wadhwani, Jay Chaudhry, Rakesh Gangwal, Kavitarak Ram Shriram, Vinod Khosla, Aneel Bhusri, Bharat Desai, Neerja Sethi and Jayshree Ullal.
Wadhwani, with a value of $3.4 billion, tops the Indian American group at No. 565 on the list. The chair and chief executive at Symphony Technology Group, which brings in $2.5 billion in annual revenues, combined nine of his companies that were AI focused into a new group called SymphonyAI in 2017.
Chaudhry, at No. 743 on the list, has a net worth of $2.8 billion. Chaudhry is CEO of ZScaler, a cybersecurity firm he founded in 2008. It went public in March 2018. He and his family own 45% of the Nasdaq-listed firm.
Gangwal has a net worth of $2.4 billion, which puts him at No. 875 on the list. He made his fortune from InterGlobe Aviation, the parent outfit of budget airline IndiGo, India’s largest by market share. He started his airline career with United Airlines in 1984 and went on to run US Airways Group as its chief executive and chairman.
Shriram, at No. 945 on the list, has a net worth of $2.2 billion. An early Google backer, Shriram has sold of most of his stock but remains on the board of its parent company, Alphabet. Born in India, Shriram studied math at the University of Madras. After moving to the U.S. he joined Netscape in 1994 as an executive.
Khosla comes in at No. 1,063 on the list with $2 billion in net worth. Khosla is the founder of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Khosla Ventures. His firm invests in experimental technologies such as biomedicine and robotics.
Bhusri, with a net worth of $1.7 billion, comes in at No. 1,267 on the list. He is the CEO of business software firm Workday, which he cofounded with Dave Duffield, the founder of PeopleSoft. He started his career in the early 1990s at business software firm PeopleSoft, where he rose to become vice chairman.
Desai, ranked No. 1,513 on the list, has a net worth of $1.4 billion. Desai founded IT consulting and outsourcing company Syntel with his wife Neerja Sethi from their apartment in Troy, Michigan in 1980. In October 2018 French IT firm Atos SE acquired Syntel for $3.4 billion in cash.
Sethi is the first Indian American woman on the list, coming in at No. 1,990 on the list with $1 billion in net worth. Sethi cofounded IT consulting and outsourcing firm Syntel with her husband Bharat Desai in 1980 in their apartment in Troy, Michigan. French IT firm Atos SE bought Syntel for $3.4 billion in October 2018. Sethi got an estimated $510 million for her stake.
Ullal also has a net worth of $1 billion and ranks 1,990 on the list. The former EY Entrepreneur of the Year winner Ullal has been president and CEO of Arista Networks, a computer networking firm, since 2008. The publicly-traded company recorded revenues of $2.2 billion in 2018.
Also on the list is Pakistani American Shahid Khan, at No. 183 on the list, with a net worth of $7.8 billion.
India has 101 billionaires, according to the Forbes list.
Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, some of the world’s wealthiest are serving as agents of change and taking action to reinvent their businesses to aid in the global response to the coronavirus outbreak, a Forbes April 7 news release notes.
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