Thanks to their growing entrepreneurial urge, smaller cities are giving big metros a run for their money when it comes to churning out multi-billionaires.
Cities such as Coimbatore, Surat, Rajkot, Ludhiana, Agra, Nagpur, Gurugram, Noida and Pune are churning out more billionaires with every passing year.
The Coimbatore-based promoters of KPR Mill — brothers P Nataraj, KPD Sigamani and KP Ramasamy — have emerged the richest with a wealth of Rs 5,400 crore, according to the latest IIFL Wealth and Hurun India Rich list.
Incorporated in 2003 by KP Ramasamy, a farmer’s son who could study only till high school, KPR Mill has emerged as one of India’s largest knitwear garment export businesses, which supplies to top global fashion brands such as Marks & Spencer, H&M and Primark. The listed entity, KPR Mill, logged a turnover of Rs 1,313 crore and net profit of Rs 224 crore in the June quarter.
Lesser known Bhikhabhai Popatbhai Virani, the co-promoter of Balaji Wafer, has a wealth of Rs 3,400 crore and emerged the richest in Rajkot, which has seven businessmen with wealth of over Rs 1,000 crore.
Virani and his two brothers migrated to Rajkot from Jamnagar after raising Rs 20,000 by selling their ancestral agriculture land in 1982, to make a living by producing potato chips from a small room.
Today, Balaji Wafers Private has a fully automated factory at Vajdi, about 20 km from Rajkot and the small Balaji temple in the forefront of the 50-acre factory area, is proof of the faith the owners have in Lord Balaji.
Gurugram has made its debut among the top-10 cities producing the highest number of billionaires. It added four new faces, taking the total number of entrants to 18. The number of rich people in Surat and Gurugram has increased to 22 and 18 from just 4 and 6 in the last four years.
Dinesh Chandra Agarwal of IndiaMart, with assets of Rs 4,200 crore, emerged the richest in Noida, which has eight billionaires.
Pune with 34 entries has closed in on Kolkata, which boasts 37 entries in the list.
Managing Director and Chief Researcher, Hurun India, Anas Rahman Junaid, said over the last decade, wealth creation has become more decentralised and dispersed with the number of Indian cities in the rich list increasing to 82 from just 10.
“At this rate, I expect to see each of the government’s planned 100 smart cities to have a rich lister in five years,” he said.
September 24, 2022