Gautam Shantilal Adani, born June 24, 1962, is an Indian millionaire. He is the chairman and founder of the Adani Group, an Ahmedabad-based multinational and conglomerate that is involved in port development and port operations in India. Adani is also the president of the Adani Foundation, which is mainly led by his wife, Priti Adani.
Gautam Adani’s Personal Fortune
As of October 4, 2022, Gautam Adani’s fortune stood at $132 billion, according to data from Bloomberg. These records point out that Adani is the richest person in India and Asia. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and the Forbes Real-Time Millionaires List, he is the fourth richest person in the world.
The Indian millionaire made headlines in September 2022 when he surpassed the fortune of his compatriot Mukesh Ambani. Until then, Ambani was the only Indian millionaire in the top ten of the world’s richest Forbes.
Gautam Adani was born on June 24, 1962, in a Jain family, Shantilal Adani, his father and Shantaben Adani, his mother. He was born in Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat. Adani had 7 siblings. His parents had migrated to Ahmedabad from the city of Tharad in the northern part of Gujarat. His father was a small textile merchant and had had a few comforts.
Adani was then educated at Sheth Chimanlal Nagindas Vidyalaya School in Ahmedabad, one of the oldest educational institutions in the city. After graduating from high school, Adani went on to study for a bachelor’s degree in commerce at the University of Gujarat but dropped out after the second year. Despite his school failure, he was keen on business, but not on his father’s textile business.
Also read: 10 Steps to Start a Business
Gautam Adani’s career in business
As a teenager, Adani moved to Mumbai in 1978 to work as a diamond grader and dealer for the Mahendra Brothers company.
In 1981, his older brother Mahasukhbhai Adani bought a plastics unit in Ahmedabad and invited him to run the operations. This business venture turned out to be Adania’s gateway to participate in imports and global trading of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
In 1985, he began importing primary polymers for small-scale industries. Following this foray into the business, in 1988, Adani established the company Adani Exports, now known as Adani Enterprises, the holding company of the Adani Group. The company originally traded and worked in agricultural energy commodities, but later diversified as it became successful and saw greater opportunities in other fields of business.
In 1991, amid liberalizing economic policies, the business turned out to be much more favorable for the company established by Adani. Thus, he began to expand his business to trade in metals, textiles, and agricultural products.
Gautam Adani’s port and energy investments
In 1994, the Gujarat government announced the management concession of the Mundra port, and in 1995 Adani was awarded the contract to manage that port. That was the great start of his financial success in India.
In 1995, Adani established the first jetty. Originally the wharf was operated by Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone, operations were later transferred to Adani Ports & SEZ (APSEZ). Today the company is the largest private multi-port operator in India. Mundra Port is the largest private-sector port in India, with the capacity to handle around 210 million tons of cargo per year.
In 1996, the power business arm of the Adani Group, Adani Power, was established by Adani. Adani Power has thermal power plants with a capacity of 4620MV, making it the largest private thermal power producer in the country.
International expansion of the Adani Group
In 2006, Adani entered the power generation business. It also started to expand globally since then. From 2009 to 2012, it acquired the Abbot Point port in Australia and the Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.
In May 2020, Adani won the world’s largest state contract from the Solar Energy Corporation of India worth $6 billion. The project of a photovoltaic power plant was taken over by the company Adani Green; Adani Solar will establish a capacity of 2000MV in solar cells and module manufacturing for solar energy.
In September 2020, in the midst of the Covid19 pandemic and the crisis in the aviation sector, Adani acquired 74% of Mumbai International Airport, the largest and busiest in India after Delhi airport.
Also read: 4 Ideas to start a business
Renewable energy projects and other businesses
In November 2021, while speaking to the Economic Forum on Bloomberg India, Adani said his group would invest $70 billion in new green or renewable energy businesses. At the time of the statement, the world economy was beginning to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and oil prices were rising sharply. Adani’s forecast is that soon the demand for energy will have to switch to renewable energy and this demand will continue to be high.
In May 2022, Adani’s family acquired Ambuja Cements and its subsidiary ACC from Holcim Group for $10.5 billion. The purchase of the cement company was carried out through an international special-purpose company.
Adani also owns Abbot Point, a coal mining project in Australia, which has the largest mines in the world. This is expressed by information collected by Forbes for Adani’s profile.
Foray into the media
In August 2022, AMG Media Networks Limited (AMNL), a unit of the Adani Group, stated that it planned to buy RRPR Holding, the 29.18% holder of the national media company NDTV, and made an offer to buy an additional 26%. In a statement, NDTV said that Adani acquired his share of the company through a third-party company without informing the company’s founders.
Former journalist Radhika Roy and her husband, economist Prannoy Roy, said that this purchase was made without the owners of the company knowing who the buyer would be. “The agreement was made without discussion, consent or notice,” said the Indian journalist. The bid for the news outlet also raised concerns about editorial independence in India, as Adani is seen as close to then-Prime Minister Narendra Modri and his party, ruling in 2022, the Bharatiya Jana Party.
Also read: Success and failure in starting a business
Personal life of Gautam Adani
Gautam Adani is married to Priti Adani. The couple has two sons, Karan Adani and Jeet Adani. He is a member of the Jain International Trade Organization. One of the news highlights from Adani’s personal life was that in 1998 he was kidnapped and held hostage for ransom. However, Adani was released without the kidnappers being able to claim any money. When the Mumbai attacks took place in 2008, Adani was staying at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
Gautam Adani’s philanthropic work
Gautam Adani is the owner of the Adani Foundation, a non-profit organization founded through the Adani Group. This entity was founded in 1996. In addition to working in the state of Gujarat, the organization also operates in the states of Maharshtra, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha.
In March 2020, Adani contributed $13 million to the PM Cares Fund through the group’s philanthropic arm to fight the coronavirus outbreak. A contribution of $630,000 was made to the Gujarat CM Humanitarian Aid Fund and $130,000 to the Maharashtra CM Humanitarian Aid Fund.
Adani led the Adani Group Conglomerate’s import of four cryogenic ISO tanks filled with 80 tons of liquid medical oxygen from Damman in Saudi Arabia to Mundra in Gujarat. The group also secured 5,000 medical oxygen cylinders from Linde in Saudi Arabia. In a Twitter post, Adani shared that every day his group was supplying 1,500 cylinders of medical oxygen to wherever they were needed in the Kutch district of Gujarat.
In June 2022, Adani pledged to donate $7.7 billion to social causes. The corpus of Adani’s donation will be managed by the Adani Foundation, making this one of the largest transfers to a philanthropic fund in India.
The economic thought of Gautam Adani
Whenever a business leader prospers on a large scale, the media begins to scrutinize the secrets of that person’s success. In this sense, Gautam Adani has not been an exception. Numerous media outlets and publications have investigated his success secrets and revealed them to the entire world.
Before being a successful businessman, Adani had to invest in many businesses. Adani believes that entering this world (of business) is about taking risks and dealing with uncertainties intelligently.
In the investment policy, Adani explains that his strategy has not changed since he started and that he continues betting on sectors of “high priority for India”. In this sense, taking into account what consumers demand and need most urgently is a universal business maxim that we can find in other entrepreneurs, such as Warren Buffett or Bill Gates.
In the same way, tenacity is a key element in your identity as an entrepreneur. Atani knows that not everything in life is easy and that many things require great effort and dedication. Thus, he points out that perseverance is extremely important to face adversity and succeed in the face of obstacles. He points out that some people have an easier time than others, but it is rare that an entrepreneur has been successful without having braved multiple obstacles along the way.
High level of leverage in your business
Even with an exemplary philosophy of entrepreneurship, large-scale business growth will always be a target of criticism. The same thing has happened with Adani’s businesses. Several observers and analysts have raised concerns about the Adani Group’s opaque share structures and lack of transparency in company reporting. Even so, the Group’s shares soared remarkably in 2022, with valuations that exceed earnings by a ratio of 750 to one.
Many believe, however, that Adani’s businesses are over-leveraged and fundamentally based on excessive debt financing. This assessment was made by the firm CreditSights in a 2022 business report.
Gautam Adani and politics
It’s not surprising that business leaders frequently find themselves drawn into political discussions because of the power they wield. However, Adani has made it clear that he does not like politics or partisanship. Because of this, he has friends in all political parties and stays away from political discussions. Even so, he explains that “he is not attracted to parties that have little vision and only want to make money.” On the other hand, Adani assures that “from my experience working with bureaucrats and politicians, if you are a credible business group, you will definitely get help. At the end of the day, they also want the development of their region, state or country”.
Despite his hostility to partisanship, this is not to say that Adani has not collaborated closely with India’s political leaders. Forbes Chile reports that the tycoon’s profits and rapid expansion are due to his focus on meeting India’s key development goals as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Vision is an important word in Adani’s vocabulary: “Each era has its own difficulties and opportunities. Dhirubhai, [another Indian millionaire] saw opportunities in the difficulties that he had. Today, we must look for opportunity in the difficulties we face,” said Gautam Adani in a 2011 interview for India Today.
Communication is key to Gautam Adani’s business
As a visionary entrepreneur, Adani knows that communicating effectively with his employees and team leaders is key to financial success. For this reason, he always uses simple language without jargon. Adani says: “I don’t like it when someone is talking in a complicated way.” In this way, Adani is similar to those doctors who tell you what is happening to you without using scientific terminology. This not only makes it much easier to understand things but also makes communication much easier.
The promoter of the economy of India
Adani has been able to use his position in business to also become an ambassador of India to the world. Gautam points out that “when you are in the infrastructure sector, you have to work with the government”. The billionaire, Mundra Port, built by the Adani Group, is a good example of cooperation between the private and public sectors.
Adani says he remains committed to developing world-class port infrastructure and facilities in India. These facilities, while improving the lives of Indians, also attract foreign direct investment to the country and establish it as a strong international business center that can be trusted and is conducive to the creation of much more wealth.
Gautam Adani, an entrepreneur passionate about what he does
Adani insists that her personal wealth is just a number. “Money doesn’t drive me. I like the challenges in which I feel that I can contribute to the construction of my nation. I could have created many different businesses but I feel more satisfied creating something that can be part of the India journey”.