Worth Rs 70,000 cr, Patanjali’s Acharya Balkrishna named to India’s richest

Acharya Balkrishna of Patanjali | Wikipedia

Acharya Balkrishna of Patanjali has emerged as the latest addition to the list of the top ten richest people in India, which is still headed by Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries.

Haridwar-based Acharya Balkrishna, age 45, rose to 8th position from 25th last year after seeing his wealth grow by 173%.

He is now worth Rs 70,000 Cr. Patanjali, with a turnover of INR 10,561 crore in 2016-2017 has been a close competition to major international brands.

Balkrishna was born to Sumitra Devi and Jay Vallabh on July 25, 1972 in Haridwar. His parents are natives of Baglung, Nepal, but his father was working in Haridwar when Balkrishna was born.

He joined Kalwa Gurukul, Haryana in 1988, where he met Baba Ramdev. After Balkrishna completed his post-graduation from Sampurnanand Sanskrit University in Varanasi, he traveled across India to study plants and their medicinal value.

In the year 1993 he and Ramdev were living in the Himalayan caves of the Hindu pilgrim town of Gangotri, a popular haunt among holy men and ascetic near the source of India’s holiest river, the Ganges. Because of his knowledge of herbs, Balkrishna started getting frequent requests from visitors for medicines for common ailments. Together, they founded Divya Pharmacy in Haridwar in 1995.


According to numbers from Hurun Report, the wealth of India’s top 100 people increased by 11% this year compared to the same period last year. For comparison, the BSE Sensex was up by 16.1% as on July 31 compared to a year earlier.

Business magnate, Mukesh Ambani, with net worth of INR 257,900 crore is ranked first in the list for the sixth consecutive year.

“Mukesh Ambani’s wealth shot up by a staggering 58% to INR 257,900 crores and retains the richest Indian title for the 6th year running. Mukesh Ambani also climbed to top 15 in the Hurun Global Rich List for the first time,” pointed out the London-based firm.

Share price of Reliance industries hit nine year high in July 2017. Over the last one year, Reliance Industries shares have gained over 1% every seven days, rising by 56% in 52 weeks.

His wealth is 50% more than the GDP of the country of his birth – Yemen, pointed out the firm.

“It is rare to find a country with such a dominant richest person (Mukesh Ambani) whose wealth is thrice more than that of the no.2 in the list. We have never seen such a wide margin between the richest and the second richest in big countries that include USA, China, UK, Russia and so on”, said Rupert Hoogewerf, Chairman and Chief Researcher, Hurun Report Global

Hurun Report is a leading luxury publishing and events group established in 1998.

According to its India Rich List for 2017, Radhakishan Damani of Dmart supermarkets was the biggest gainer with wealth increase of 320% during the year, while 34-year-old Divyank Turakhia of Media.net was the youngest self-made billionaire.

42-year-old Bengaluru based Ambiga Subramanian of Mu-Sigma is the youngest self-made woman in the list. She sold her shares in Mu-Sigma, the data analytics unicorn that she co-founded.

51 of the 1,000 people in this year’s list are women. 100 individuals saw their wealth decline during the year.

Mumbai registered an increase of 78 individuals in the rich list and Delhi added 52. With 182 individuals, Mumbai is the capital for India’s super-rich, followed by New Delhi (117) and Bengaluru (51). With 26 new entrants, Ahmedabad breaks into top 5.

There are 18 new cities in this year’s list compared to last year. Chennai and Kanpur have performed well this year with a 35% and 27% increase in number of India Rich Listers respectively and have reserved spot amongst the Top 10 cities this year. Interestingly, Udaipur has 3 Indian Rich Listers, Vadodara has 2, and Kanchipuram and Faridabad has 1 Indian Rich Lister in Hurun India Rich List 2017.

Cut off to be in the Top 100 has more than doubled to INR 8,400 crores since 2013. There are 136 Billionaires in the list this year, a record number since the inception of Hurun Rich List In 2012

Pharma and FMCG had a stellar year in the Hurun India Rich List by doubling the number of entrants to 79 and 63 respectively

At least, 16 people saw their wealth double year on year, while the number of dollar billionaires has increased to 136 from 126 last year.

“Demonetization, GST implementation and so on have not impacted wealth creation in organized sector. In fact, going by the trend in the list, these factors seem to have positively impacted the mega rich and their companies. Despite a solid performance of the corporates, a declining trend in national GDP growth points to impact of such schemes on the unorganized sectors”, said Anas Rahman Junaid, MD and Chief Researcher, Hurun Report India.

“The market capitalization of all listed companies is now equivalent to 84% of India’s nominal GDP which is the highest in emerging markets. This year, we have expanded the list to highlight the success stories of some of the emerging entrepreneurs” he adds.

The biggest gain registered was a 321% increase by Radhakishan Damani (62), Chairman of Avenue Supermarts followed by Anurang Jain (55) & family, the Managing Director of Endurance Technologies with a wealth increase of 286%.

The top three in the biggest gainers list are backed by the IPO performance of their companies.

Radhakishan Damani’s wealth increase was backed by the IPO of Avenue Supermarts, which runs the D-Mart brand of stores in the supermarket chain. The shares of Avenue Supermarts were listed at a premium of 102% and rallied further 43% as on 31 July 2017.

Another notable performer was Kishore Biyani of Future Retail who registered a 259% wealth increase.

Merger of Future Retail and Bharti Retail created the biggest supermarket chain with a turnover of INR 15,000 crore and its subsequent relisting resulted in significant wealth creation for Biyani.

Eklavya Juneja (24) of Mankind Pharma is the youngest person in the list. He owns 12% of Mankind Pharma which was founded by father Rajeev Juneja.

All the under 40 entrepreneurs in Hurun India Rich List 2017 derive their wealth from innovative technological ventures.

Divyank Turakhia bootstrapped his company media.net without external funding. Rest of the entrepreneurs raised money from some of the top international funds.

Kushal Pal Singh (86) of DLF is the richest real estate billionaire in the list with a wealth of INR 27,400 crore. Mangal Prabhat Lodha (61), founder of Lodha Group is the richest private real estate developer in the list with a wealth of INR 15,700 crore followed by Jithendra Virwani (51) of Embassy Property Developments with INR 8,800 crore.