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2018 World’s Billionaires’ List Feature 12 Indian-Americans

Press Release

Forbes March 6 announced its latest group of the world’s billionaires with numerous Indian Americans and South Asian Americans cracking the list.

Among those on the ‘2018 World’s Billionaires’ list are Rakesh Gangwal, Shahid Khan, Romesh Wadhwani, Vinod Khosla, Kavitark Ram Shriram, Brian Sheth, John Kapoor, Aneel Bhusri, Niraj Shah, Jayshree Ullal and Bharat Desai.

Pakistani American engineer and owner of the National Football League's Jacksonville Jaguars Shahid Khan was the first South Asian American to appear on the billionaires' list.

Khan, 67, appeared at No. 217 on the list with a net worth of $7.2 billion.

He bought auto parts supplier Flex-N-Gate in 1980. His design for a one-piece truck bumper was the basis for his success, Forbes said. The company now has 62 plants and more than 24,000 employees worldwide.

Airline veteran Rakesh Gangwal, who has made his $3.3 billion fortune from InterGlobe Aviation, the parent outfit of India's largest airline IndiGo, comes in at No. 703 on the list.

Gangwal, 64, started his airline career with United Airlines in 1984 and went on to run US Airways Group as its chief executive and chairman.

The Indian American Miami resident co-founded IndiGo, headquartered outside Delhi, with Rahul Bhatia in 2006 with one aircraft.

Gangwal owns close to 37 percent of the company and now serves as a board member.

Romesh T. Wadhwani, 70, the founder and chairman of Symphony Technology Group, came in at No. 766 on the list. His net worth is $3.1 according to Forbes.

In January 2017 the firm sold MSC Software to Swedish company Hexagon for $834 million.

After graduating from the Indian Institute of Technology, he went to Carnegie Mellon and received a doctorate in 1972 in electrical engineering.

The serial entrepreneur later founded Aspect Development, which i2 Technologies acquired for $9.3 billion in stock in 1999.

He sits on the boards of the Kennedy Center and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Indian American Vinod Khosla, through Khosla Ventures, has generated a net worth of $2.3 billion. The 63-year-old venture capitalist comes in at No. 1,070 on the list.

Khosla Ventures invests in experimental technologies such as biomedicine and robotics. Khosla co-founded computer hardware firm Sun Microsystems in 1982 with Andy Bechtolsheim, Bill Joy and Scott McNealy.

He spent 18 years at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers before launching his own fund.

Kavitark Ram Shriram, the managing partner of Sherpalo Ventures and an early Google backer, came in at No. 1,157 on the list with a net worth of $2.1 billion.

Shriram has sold of most of his stock but remains on the board of its parent company, Alphabet.

Born in India, Shriram studied math at the University of Madras. After moving to the U.S. he joined Netscape in 1994 as an executive.

Later he became president of Junglee, an online comparison shopping firm acquired by Amazon in 1998.

Since 2000, Shriram has been investing in young technology startups through his firm, Sherpalo Ventures.

His portfolio includes Paperless Post, an online card invitation service; Gusto, an online HR service provider; and InMobi, a mobile advertising company.

Brian Sheth, of Austin, Texas, co-founded Vista Equity Partners in 2000 and is the firm’s president. Since then, Sheth has racked up a net worth of $2 billion and slides in at No. 1,215 on the list.

Additionally, he helped boost his net worth by buying and fixing up a less-than glamorous collection of enterprise software companies.

The son of an Indian immigrant who worked at the Department of Environmental Conservation and a teacher, he is the founding donor and chairman of Global Wildlife Conservation. He is also a director of more than a dozen companies.

John Kapoor, founder and former CEO and chair of Insys Therapeutics, comes in at No. 1,339 with $1.8 billion.

In October 2017 Kapoor was arrested and charged with conspiring to bribe doctors to needlessly prescribe fentanyl spray Subsys. He denied the charges.

Insys has been embroiled in a legal controversy including multiple investigations in connection with the marketing and sales of fentanyl spray Subsys, Forbes said.

He owns nearly 70 percent of Insys Therapeutics' shares.

He also resigned in October 2017 as chairman of Akorn, which makes generic prescription drugs.

Aneel Bhusri comes into the billionaires list at No. 1,477. The Indian American is CEO of business software firm Workday, which he co-founded with Dave Duffield, the founder of PeopleSoft.

Bhusri, 52, started his career in the early 1990s at business software firm PeopleSoft, where he rose to become vice chairman.

He also works as an advisory partner at venture capital firm Greylock Partners; he's been on the Forbes Midas List six times since 2008.

He studied electrical engineering at Brown University and has an M.B.A. from Stanford.

Niraj Shah, co-founder and CEO of Wayfair, also made it to the list at No. 1,477 with a net worth of $1.6 billion.

He started the business in 2002 with Steve Conine, a fellow billionaire. The two met as high school students at a program at Cornell University.

Wayfair now has annual revenue of more than $3 billion and sells over 8 million unique products. He told India-West he hopes to make Wayfair the pre-eminent brand in home (see India-West article here).

Jayshree Ullal, with a net worth of $1.3 billion, came in at No. 1,756 on the list.

Ullal, who is the 2015 Ernst & Young U.S. Entrepreneur of the Year (see India-West article here), has been president and CEO of Arista Networks, a computer networking firm, since 2008.

The company went public in June 2014 and reported $1.1 billion in revenues in 2016.

Ullal owns some 5 percent of Arista's stock, some of which is earmarked for her two children, niece and nephew, Forbes said.

Ullal's former employer, Cisco, is suing Arista for alleged patent infringement, which it denies.

Born in London and raised in India, she is now one of America's wealthiest female executives, it said.

Bharat Desai, chairman and co-founder of consulting and outsourcing Syntel Inc., made the list at No. 1,999 with his $1.1 billion net worth.

He founded the company with his wife Neerja Sethi from their apartment in Troy, Mich.

Sethi, who holds less of Syntel than Desai, fell from the billionaires rank as its shares took a sharp plunge in late 2016 and have yet to rebound.

In its first year, Syntel generated just $30,000 in sales; today the company has more than $900 million in revenue.

Desai was born in Kenya, raised in India and came to the U.S. in 1976 as a programmer for Tata.

In addition to the Indian Americans, several India-based individuals were on the billionaires’ list.

At No. 19 was Mukesh Ambani. The 60-year-old founder and chair of Reliance Industry earned his $40.1 billion net worth from the petrochemicals, oil and gas industry.

Based in the U.K, siblings Srichand, Gopichand, Prakash and Ashok Hinduja have a net worth of $19.5 billion and come in at No. 55 on the list. The siblings run the multinational conglomerate Hinduja Group, which conducts businesses ranging from trucks and lubricants to banking and cable TV.

Azim Premji, the chairman of Wipro Ltd., comes in at No. 58 on the 2018 list with a value of $18.8 billion. Wipro is India's third-largest outsourcer.

At No. 62 on this year's list is Lakshmi Mittal. The 67-year-old chairman and CEO of steelmaker ArcelorMittal has a net worth of $18.5 billion.

Shiv Nadar, 72, an Indian IT pioneer who co-founded HCL in a garage in 1976 to make calculators and microprocessors, came in at No. 98 on the list with a net worth of $14.6 billion. He currently chairs HCL Technologies, India's fourth-largest software services provider.

At No. 115 on the list is Dilip Shanghvi, who has a net worth of $12.8 billion, which he earned in the pharmaceuticals industry. Shanghvi founded Sun Pharma in 1983 to make psychiatric drugs after borrowing $200 from his father. The company is the fourth largest generics maker worldwide.

Kumar Birla, a 50-year-old who earned his net worth in the commodities industries, comes in at No. 127 on the list. Birla, who heads the Aditya Birla Group, is worth $11.8 billion.

Uday Kotak, 58, has used finance to create his $10.7 billion net worth in coming at No. 143 on the list. He started a finance firm in 1985 and converted it into a bank in 2003. Kotak Mahindra Bank is now among the top banks in India's private sector.

Mumbai investor Radhakishan Damani and his family has a net worth $10 billion. The 63-year-old is No. 151 on the list. He is now considered the leader of India’s retail industry following the 2017 IPO of his supermarket chain D-Mart.

Gautam Adani, 55, in the commodities and ports industries, earned his $9.7 billion net worth in being No. 154 on the list. Adani, through the Adani Group, controls Gujarat-based Mundra Port, which is India's largest.

At No. 170 on the list is vaccine industry leader in India Cyrus Poonawalla. The 76-year-old has a net worth of $9.1 billion thanks to Serum Institute of India, which he founded in 1966.

Tied at No. 176 on the list are Savitri Jindal, 67, and Sunil Mittal, 60, both with $8.8 billion. Jindal earned her worth in the steel industry, as well as the power, cement and infrastructure industries, with the Jindal Group, which she chairs. Mittal earned his fortune in the telecom industry with Bharti Airtel, which is India's largest mobile phone operator.

Malaysia's Ananda Krishnan, 79, through the telecom, media and oil services industries, came in at No. 217 on the list with a $7.2 billion net worth.

Sri Prakash Lohia, 65, of Indonesia, came in at No. 228 on the list with a $7 billion net worth. Lohia earned his fortune in the polyester industry.

Kushal Pal Singh of the real estate industry comes in at No. 265 on the list with a net worth of $6.4 billion. Singh built DLF City, originally stationed in Gurgaon but now headquartered in Delhi, by acquiring land from farmers.

Acharya Balkrishna, 45, thanks to the success of his consumer goods company Patanjali Ayurved, earned his fortune. He comes in at No. 274 on the list with a net worth of $6.3 billion. Vikram Lal, 76, through his Eicher Motors company, which produces motorcycles, also came in at No. 274 with a net worth of $6.3 billion.

At No. 281 on the list is 74-year-old consumer goods executive Nusli Wadia, who serves as chair of the Wadia Group. He has a net worth of $6.2 billion.

With a 65 percent stake in Shree Cement, the No. 289 individual on the list, Benu Gopal Bangur, has a net worth of $6 billion.

Vivek Chaand Sehgal, 61, of Australia, through the auto parts industry, came in at No. 289 on the list with a $6 billion net worth.

Sun TV Network head Kalanithi Maran comes in at No. 372 on the list with a $5.2 billion net worth. Also in the media industry, Subhash Chandra, 67, comes in at No. 388 on the list with a net worth of $5 billion.

Pharmaceutical veteran Pankaj Patel, 64, also appeared at No. 388 on the list with a $5 billion net worth.

Another pharmaceuticals veteran, Ajay Piramal, 62, came in at No. 404 on the list with $4.9 billion net worth.

Brothers Niraj, Madhur and Shekhar Bajaj, with the Bajaj Group, came in at No. 422 on the list with their $4.8 billion net worth. Their cousin Rahul Bajaj, the chair of the group, comes in at No. 499 on the list with a $4.3 billion net worth.

Father and son Kapil and Rahul Bhatia, mostly through InterGlobe Aviation, which owns budget carrier IndiGo, earned their net worth of $4.5 billion. That value puts them at No. 466 on the list. Another 94 individuals based out of India appear on the list.

At the top of the list is Amazon chief executive officer Jeff Bezos, whose net worth is $112 billion. Bezos topped Microsoft founder Bill Gates — net worth of $90 billion — who falls out of the top spot for the sixth time since 1995, Forbes said.

Rounding out the top 5 is Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett, LVMH's Bernard Arnault and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg with $84 billion, $72 billion and $71 billion respectively. President Donald Trump, through real estate and TV, has a $3.1 billion net worth and comes in at No. 766 on the list.

A record 2,208 billionaires made Forbes’ 32nd annual ranking of the world’s billionaires, it said. Altogether they are worth a record $9.1 trillion, up 18 percent from a year ago.

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