Mukesh Ambani is the Richest Man in India–and in Asia

By on March 5th, 2012 26 Comments

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Mukesh Ambani, left, is the richest man in Asia. (Photo: World Economic Forum/Creative Commons)

Mukesh Ambani, left, is the richest man in Asia. (Photo: World Economic Forum/Creative Commons)

Indian businessman Mukesh Ambani is estimated to have nearly $27 billion to his name–that’s a billion per floor of his now infamous home, Antilia. And Ambani isn’t the only Indian dominating the list of Asia’s richest. Weighing in at nearly $24 billion, Lakshmi Mittal, who chairs the largest steelmaking company in the world, rounds out the list of the continent’s top three.

Asia in general is experiencing economic growth that is unmatched in other parts of the world, leading it to surpass the number of billionaires in Europe and North America over the past two years. Compared to its 245 billionaires in 2010, Asia had 351 last year–19 more than North America and a full hundred more than Europe.

Mumbai’s Ambani is an example of the type of wealth now found in India. At only 54 years old, he is the eleventh richest man in the world, mostly due to his stake in India’s largest oil refining complex and natural gas field.

While Ambani may be a beacon of Indian ingenuity and success, Antilia is frequently not viewed so favorably. Pegged in the media as an opulent building that lays mostly empty while so many in Mumbai’s streets go hungry each night, the $500 million structure is more a symbol of opulence than of progress.

Amina Elahi is Divanee.com’s Managing Editor. Check out her blog, where she posts words and images that make her think.