India’s Wealth Factory – Fortune India

“If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.”

— John Davison Rockefeller.

These pearls of wisdom by American oil magnate and modern history’s first billionaire, in a sense, define the fulcrum of entrepreneurship, one on which great fortunes are built. In a similar vein, Rockefeller, who started sweating it out at the age of 16, had also remarked: “He who works all day has no time to make money.” In essence, fortune favours the brave who pursue something out of the ordinary.

Rockefeller founded Standard Oil Company in 1870 as a 31-year-old and, going by public records, it took him 46 years to attain the status of a billionaire by virtue of controlling about 90% of the US’ oil production. He was 77, when he became the world’s first billionaire in 1916. Since then, the league of extraordinaires — the elite 1% club — has only multiplied at a faster pace. The $23-trillion economy — the factory of capitalism — is home to over 700 billionaires, who command close to $5 trillion in wealth. Tesla’s 51-year-old maverick founder, Elon Musk, is the world’s richest billionaire at $251 billion, after first making it to the elite club as a 41-year-old in 2012.

They are the toast of capitalists, envy of the socialists, and loathed by the Marxists. But the reality of wealth is best surmised by Mark Twain’s quote — “I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.” But what makes this gilded community unique is that they are a bunch of go-getters whose dope is not money but pursuing an idea whose time has come.

Back home, the story is no different.

Here’s a pulse on India’s bustling wealth factory in our maiden ranking of the country’s dollar billionaires (with wealth of ₹7,974 crore and above).

The findings are, indeed, rich.

While free India turned 75 this August, her journey to a $3.12 trillion economy has at least 142 dollar billionaires whose businesses are largely based at home. They are collectively worth $832 billion (₹66.36 lakh crore), aided substantially by a buoyant equity market. While the US equity market is worth $44 trillion, making up for 40.7% of the $108 trillion global equity market cap, India is at a nascent 3.2% — but bustling at $3.48 trillion. While the Rich List largely chronicles India-domiciled billionaires, there are enough and more dollar billionaires under the radar whose details are not available in public domain.

The optimism is all-pervasive.

Soumya Rajan, founder and CEO, Waterfield Advisors, believes India’s wealth potential has not yet been fully exploited. “When I started my entrepreneurial journey as a wealth advisor a decade ago, there were precisely 69 billionaires in the country. A doubling of this number in 10 years is a testament to Asia’s rise as the new economic superpower, with …….