Tuesday, June 6, 2023

The Coal King’s Incredible Rise To The Top Of The World’s Richest People

Businessman Gautam Adani poses during a wedding reception in Mumbai, India in a 2019 photo.Rajanish Kakade (AP)

He is 60 years old, was born in India and has a net worth of $125,000 million. According to Bloomberg, in 2022, Gautam Adani has climbed up 12 places in the list of world’s richest people. Now it occupies the third position. Only Elon Musk and Bernard Arnault are ahead of them. This year, which has seen the super-wealthy of their checking accounts empty as stock markets plummet, they have added 49,000 million to their wallets. The misfortune of the majority has been a blessing for him. His tenth lottery winner has two names written all over him: shipping and mining. Supply chain constraints have held up global trade for months and it is India’s largest port operator; Furthermore, it is one of the main coal exporters on the planet at a time when the energy crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine has restored the glory to fossil fuels.

Being at the right place at the right time. His life is marked by Baraka, the lucky break. Few survive the kidnapping and terroristic carnage. Born into a middle-class family dedicated to the textile business, he left school early. He tried his hand as a diamond trader and established a diamond firm in 1988. Business The raw material, the seed of his present empire. This was the time when the complex system of permits in his country was being phased out (license secret) which had dominated local commerce for decades and astute men like him were making their way into the business world.

His rapid rise in society did not go unnoticed and in 1995 he was abducted outside a club. He was released shortly afterwards and the local press reported that his freedom had cost him $1.5 million. This would not be the last time his life was in danger. Years later, on November 26, 2008, Adani was attacked by Islamic extremists while he was at the luxurious Taj Mahal Hotel in Bombay. The businessman was at a dinner with friends but was unharmed as he managed to hide in the building’s basement until Indian commandos eliminated the terrorists. “I saw death four meters away,” he said, according to a chronicle published on the BBC’s website.

parallel career

Another stroke of luck is linked to his native place Gujarat. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India since 2014, was also born in this state. The rise of Adani’s companies parallels the political rise of Modi. The first stone in his port empire was laid in 1995 when he won the competition to manage the modest port of Mundra. A few years later, in 2001, Modi was elected as the Governor of Gujarat for the Hindu Nationalist Bharatiya Party. Within months of his victory, more than 1,000 Muslims were murdered in his jurisdiction and Modi was accused of doing nothing to stop the communal violence. Adani came to his rescue and promoted the holding of a business summit to promote investment in his home region. James Crabtree argues in his book, “Adani and Modi have enjoyed a long marriage of convenience: mega-project-obsessed politicians and ambitious businessmen have become indispensable to each other.” billionaire secret,

Today, the Adani Group is a huge conglomerate with interests not only in coal or ports, but also in infrastructure and the real estate market. The stock market value of its listed subsidiaries is over $200,000 million. The Indian tycoon has marked on his roadmap the diversification of his empire, both in business and their geographical origins. Last May, it bought the Indian cement subsidiary of Swiss group Holcim, paying 10.5 billion. Furthermore, it is close to becoming the largest shareholder in NDTV after launching a hostile takeover bid for this television channel, one of the voices criticizing the Indian Prime Minister’s management.

But the big move Adani is planning is to become the messiah of renewable energy. This is quite paradoxical if one takes into account that their companies’ mining operations generate more than 3% of all carbon dioxide emissions from coal use in the world, according to the organization SumOfUs cited by Bloomberg. The public presentation of his ambitious green plan took place on 27 September during his speech at the Forbes Global CEO Conference event held in Singapore. “Over the next 10 years we will invest $100,000 million. 70% of this money will be for infrastructure related to energy transition”, he announced. Solar energy and green hydrogen are two of his priorities.

The huge investment effort promised by Adani – whose holding company is starting to have a remarkable level of debt – forms a key part of the Modi government’s plans to counter China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean through a program called New Routes Is. For example in silk, the construction of a new port in Sri Lanka by a group of Indian merchants is part of this combination of interests. At his conference in Singapore, Adani did not level a single charge against Russia for invading Ukraine and instead hit out at Beijing, which was inappropriate in sneaky trade diplomacy. “China will feel more and more isolated. Nationalist movements, supply chain problems and technological sanctions will have an impact on the country. Its real estate and debt problems are a reminder of the lost decade that Japan suffered,” he Predicted.

A few years ago, Adani offered the London Science Museum to be one of its sponsors. Concerned about its companies’ reputation for polluting, the museum commissioned a report from an NGO, which concluded that the caboose was owned by the Adani Group. grade Environment, second only to Saudi Aramco and Exxon. Despite this warning, museum managers looked the other way. In October 2021, it inaugurated a new space which was baptized as “Adani Green Energy Room”. It is clear that money buys will and washes reputation.

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