Gautam Adani: Story of the Richest Man in India
There are only seven people on earth richer than Gautam Adani, an Indian entrepreneur. According Bloomberg, his fortune exceeds $100 billion which makes him the wealthiest person in India.
However, Adani didn’t inherit all these riches from well-off parents. Indeed, he was born in a poor family of textile sellers. His life is also far from peaceful — it rather resembles a crime drama.
How did Adani manage to overcome all the challenges and become a famous entrepreneur? Let’s find out.
Adani was born in an Indian town Ahmedabad in 1962. His dad was a modest seller of textile who wanted to develop a family business. But at the age of 16 Adani claimed he wouldn’t run the textile store and set off to Mumbai to establish his own company.
Soon, he got a job as a diamond sorter at Mahendra Brothers. Having understood the product, Adani tried his hand as an intermediary in the sale of precious stones and acquired good deal-making skills.
In 1988, he founded a trading company, which served as a basis for his further business empire. Adani started by importing PVC and therefore needed a permit, the so-called LoAs. Then he collected LoAs from small plastic manufacturers and made bulk orders.
Nevertheless, PVC prices fluctuated greatly, and if they soared, competitors offered the customers to pay more than stipulated in the contract. Adani kept his word and sold PVC at a pre-agreed price even at a loss.
Therefore, he gained a good reputation, which helped to find new customers when expanding the range of goods. Agricultural products, textiles, and metals were added to PVC.
The economic liberalization of 1991 in India turned out to be a real boon for Adani. Among the measures was the reduction of export-import barriers which contributed to his Adani Group development. Moreover, the state authorities launched a program of public-private partnership and port development. This enabled Adani to complete the project for exporting salt to Japan.
In 1999, the entrepreneur became involved in the coal trade. A few years later, a special economic zone was opened near the port of Mundra. In 2006, Adani engaged in the construction of coal-fired power plants, having experience in this field.
The energy business was turned into Adani Power, while renewable energy sources became Adani Green Energy. In total, Adani Group has seven "daughters" listed on the stock exchange and Adani Enterprises has included such businesses as coal mining, road construction, airports, data centers and more.
Interestingly, Adani's empire could have been left without a founder twice. In 1998, Adani and his friend were abducted by a group of men. Luckily, a few days later a ransom of $2 million was paid, and the guys were set free.
In 2008, Adani was also on the verge of death, when terrorists shot civilians at public facilities. Fortunately, he was able to escape.
Adani managed to create a business empire because he always strives to take big risks and at the same time can hold a punch. Adani's traditional strategy is to get loans, establish a new business and, as soon as he shows a small profit, get into debt again for the sake of a new startup.
Another important feature is the ability to win people over and the desire to maintain good relations with everyone. When some of his employees made mistakes, he took this understandingly without scolding them.
In 2015, Adani founded Adani Green Energy, a renewable energy company that won a state contract for the development of solar energy.
In 2020, Adani acquired a total of 74% of shares in Mumbai International Airport, the second busiest in India. Now his holding already has eight airports providing at least 20% of the total passenger traffic across the country.
What do you think helped Adani succeed? Comment below